Buffalo AirStation 1300 Gigabit Dual Band Media Bridge review

802.11ac capabilities and 2.4GHz and 5GHZ support in this media bridge

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It's a perplexing situation testing an unratified standard in draft format, especially when no laptop or desktop cards for the standard even exist yet.

This forces testing to be run between two routers - in this case we have the Buffalo AirStation 1300 Gigabit Dual Band Media Bridge and the Buffalo AirStation 1750. While it's fine functionally, it unfortunately means there's no way of diagnosing connection speeds.

But since this is specifically designed to work in tandem with the Buffalo AirStation 1750, we're holding our hands up on this area and leaving it to Buffalo to do the work.

Buffalo AirStation 1300 Gigabit Dual Band Media Bridge review

It also means we're not able to run the same location test that we run on most of our other routers. While we can test same-room functionality, we're not using the same mid-distance test, which is one room away with a solid wall in between, and we're also unable to run long-distance tests. It's simply another sign of the lack of flexibility that the current technology imposes.

Under 802.11ac 5GHz conditions, at best we gained average transfer speeds of 30MB/s both upstream and downstream, which is damn fast, but still only around 50 per cent better than average-performance 2.4GHz and 5GHz routers, where you'd expect low 20MB/s speeds.

More of a problem for the Buffalo Media Bridge D1300 is that it trails the top performing Western Digital My Net N900 Central, which managed mid-30MB/s speeds at 5GHz with a 450Mbps connection.

Buffalo AirStation 1300 Gigabit Dual Band Media Bridge review

Tantalisingly, we saw spikes into the 50MB/s and 40MB/s levels, but only momentarily and these levels couldn't be reproduced or sustained. But this is likely a glimpse at what the technology could be capable of.

Moving a solid wall away did see a slight drop in speed to 27MB/s on the up and downstream, which represents a better performance at the middle range and shows that the technology will offer better performance in more trying situations.

At 2.4GHz speed was very good, averaging 21MB/s downstream with peaks hitting 24MB/s upstream. Against 2.4GHz 300Mbps kit this is a strong performance, matching the best we've seen. But it still doesn't match the 300Mbps 5GHz kit we've tested, such as the Asus EA-N66 or the exceptional Western Digital N900 range.