comparing wireless router speeds

Using the same dual-band wireless card on the same PC, I am getting surprising differences in wireless speed between two different wireless networks. See below.

Router #1 is an old single-band (2.4 Ghz) Linksys WRT54GL router configured as an access point (DHCP disabled) and plugged into Router #2, a new dual-band (2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz) Netgear WNDR3700. The PC (PREFECT) has a static IP from the Netgear router.

Here’s results from various online speed tests.

Linksys WRT54GL, 2.5 Ghz 802.11b connection:

Netgear WNDR3700, 5 GHZ 802.11n connection:

(I am paying Charter for a 12 Mbps connection)

The bottom line seems to be that the older router can give me better throughput than the old one. Before I pack up the new one and send it back, some speculation as to why?

Some thoughts might be – I’m biasing the test somehow by using the Linksys as a AP rather than a full router. Also, the fact that they are on different bands might be a factor – I could try running the same test but with the Netgear’s 2.4GHz radio instead of the 5 Ghz radio. There also could be some cache in Windows that is biasing the results (I tried to do tests in different orders, but I wasn’t diligent about this). Other thoughts?

UPDATE: here’s the results for the Netgear on the 2.5 GHz radio, using 802.11g.

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