Sitecom WL-309 Gaming Router 2 review

Does adding dual-band operations make a better router?

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Our Verdict

A decent router, but the technical arguments for dual band don't hold up in the real world.

For

  • Decent gaming pings on 2.4GHz channel
  • USB port

Against

  • Expensive
  • 5GHz frequency falls off over distance

Of all the routers that are built around Ubicom's excellent StreamEngine processor for prioritising network traffic, Sitecom's WL-308 Gaming Router was arguably the best for home use.

How could Sitecom improve on its design? By adding a second transmitter for dual-band operation of course. Install the WL-309 Gaming Router 2 and you'll find two wireless networks cover your house, one in the normal 2.4GHz range, and one in the higher frequency 5GHz spectrum.

StreamEngine toting competitors includes Engenius' Gaming Router and Linksys' WRT-330, while the technology powers D-Link's Xtreme N range too. Of them all, though, Sitecom's original Gaming Router was the one that seemed best geared towards gamers, and offered the most consistently low pings no matter what else was going on on the network. And it even managed to look good, too.

Prices for both the WL-308 and the WL-309 are highly variable at the moment, but the newer model with its second channel carries a price premium of around £20. A bargain, if it's a big improvement.

In order to simulate 'real world' scores, the benchmarking PC was positioned roughly 15m from the router, through one brick and one plasterboard wall. The second //Warcraft// test is designed to stress the packet prioritisation abilities of the router. For reference, the //WoW// ping in test 1 was 24ms with an ethernet cable.

World of Warcraft ping
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (2.4GHz): 114ms
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (5GHz): 213ms
Engenius Gaming Router: 149ms
Ethernet cable: 24ms

World of Warcraft ping (while downloading RUSE demo and uploading to Dropbox)
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (2.4GHz): 134ms
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (5GHz): 223ms
Engenius Gaming Router: 245ms

Pingtest.net ping test (three run average)
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (2.4GHz): 27ms
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (5GHz): 27ms
Engenius Gaming Router: 30ms

Pingtest.net jitter test
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (2.4GHz): 10ms
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (5GHz): 11ms
Engenius Gaming Router: 15ms

File transfer across wireless LAN (1.7GB file)
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (2.4GHz): 13.59 mins
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (5GHz): 9.19 mins
Engenius Gaming Router: 17.05 mins

File transfer across wireless LAN (200MB small files)
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (2.4GHz): 3.03 mins
Sitecom Gaming Router 2 (5GHz): 4.27 mins
Engenius Gaming Router: 2.13 mins

Tech Specs

Product TypeWireless Router
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
ISM BandYes
UNII BandYes
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
USBYes
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports4
Number of Broadband (RJ-45) Ports1
Total Number of Antennas4
Wireless Transmission Speed300 Mbps
Brand NameSitecom
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
ISM Maximum Frequency2.40 GHz
UNII Maximum Frequency5 GHz
ManufacturerSitecom
Product ModelWL-309
Product NameWireless Simultaneous Dualband 300N XR Gigabit Gaming Router II
Manufacturer Part NumberWL-309
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sitecom.com
Marketing Information

The Wireless Simultaneous Dual-band 300N XR Gigabit Gaming Router II is the next step in the network evolution with uncompromising performance for demanding applications, such as gaming, and downloading and streaming HD films. The Gaming Router guarantees low latency online gaming and lag free local network gaming, because the advanced StreamEngine technology within the network gives priority to time-sensitive applications.

Package Contents
  • WL-309 DualBand Wireless Router
  • Network Cable
  • Power Adapter
  • Driver CD-rom
  • User Manual
Limited Warranty10 Year