Wireless network performance
First, let's take a look at the apartment that was used in our testing and how it is set up. You can see that the router is placed in the living room. With most wireless routers, the signal strength is not that high in places like the Kitchen and the Medium balcony.
Our testing was done using a fast 1 Gigabit Internet connection that is capable of uploads on the internet of up to 500 Mbps. We used an HP Spectre 13 laptop for all our measurements and several software tools.
To get a better idea of the performance offered by Tenda AC10, we compared it with two of its fiercest competitors: ASUS RT-AC1200G+ and TP-Link Archer C1200. We started by evaluating the 2.4 GHz wireless network and measured the signal strength provided in each room, using a tool named inSSIDer. As you can see below, Tenda AC10 delivered very good signal strength in all rooms, which is an encouraging start.
Then, we used SpeedTest to measure the speed of the internet connection, on the 2.4 GHz band. As you can see below, Tenda AC10 was faster than the competition in all rooms.
A similar picture was painted when comparing the upload speed obtained with SpeedTest.
Continuing our measurements on the 2.4 GHz wireless network, we used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network. Again, Tenda AC10 performed very well in all rooms.
The upload speed was also high in all rooms.
The wireless performance of the Tenda AC10 on the 2.4 GHz band is excellent, beating other AC1200 wireless routers in most rooms.
For the next set of measurements, we analyzed the performance of the 5GHz wireless frequency. We looked at the evolution of the signal strength, from room to room. Tenda AC10 delivered very good signal strength in many rooms, but not all.
Then, we ran SpeedTest to see how fast the internet connection is when using the 5GHz frequency. As you can see below, Tenda AC10 was very fast in the living room, which is the room where we placed the router. In other rooms, it performed worse than its competitors, and its maximum speed degraded much faster than that of other routers when we moved further away from the router.
When measuring the upload speed with SpeedTest, we noticed a similar picture, but not as dramatic as in the case of the download speed.
For the last measurements on the 5GHz wireless network, we used the PassMark Performance test to transfer data between two computers connected to the network. Again, Tenda AC10 was very fast in the room where it was placed. However, its download speed degraded quickly from room to room and, in the Medium balcony, we could barely transfer data over the wireless network.
The story repeated when we measured the upload speed while transferring data over the 5GHz WiFi.
The wireless performance offered by Tenda AC10 on the 5 GHz band is worse than what its competitors are capable of delivering.
Wired network performance
To test the quality of the wired Ethernet connection, we used a desktop PC, equipped with an Intel Core i5 4460 processor, running at 3.20GHz, 16GB of RAM and a very fast Samsung 850 Pro 512GB SSD, and a Lenovo IdeaCentre 610s mini PC.
We measured the speed of the internet connection when using a 1 Gbps Ethernet cable, using SpeedTest. Tenda AC10 delivered fast downloads while being slightly slower than its competitors. The reason why you see ASUS RT-AC1200G+ providing less than 200 Mbps for the upload is that, when we made the measures with that router, our internet connection was capped at 200 Mbps. Since that time, the limit went up to 500 Mbps.
For the next measurements, we ran a network transfer between the two computers, using the PassMark Performance test. This time, Tenda AC10 performed better, being on par with its competitors.
Tenda AC10 delivers real 1 Gbps Ethernet connections that deliver data transfers that are close to what is promised.
Tenda AC10 stands out by offering a mobile app for remote management. The app is named Tenda WiFi, and it is available for Android and iOS. We tested the Android version, and we got worried when we installed it. Tenda WiFi requires access to lots of confidential information it does not need to work: your device and app history, your SMS messages, your files and pictures, your camera, Bluetooth information, Device ID and call information. Such permissions should not be required by an app for managing your wireless router and network.
However, the app works well, and it is responsive and relatively easy to use. With it, you can control most of the features that the Tenda AC10 has to offer, including when you are not at home. However, you need to create a Tenda account to use it from anywhere on the internet. You also need to configure your router, so that it uses the same account too.
Another issue with the app, besides its excessive requirements for permissions, is that the Tenda account is not protected with two-step verification. Also, there is no online Tenda account that you can access in a web browser. We were not comfortable to find that we have to use a mobile app that requests access to a lot of personal data, using an online account that is protected only by a standard password, and with no possibility of seeing how our data is used.
Tenda AC10 also offers a few additional features, alongside plain networking:
- Guest Network - you can enable two guest networks: one for each wireless frequency. An important issue is that you cannot isolate guests from the rest of your network. But, you can set the maximum number of guests that you allow, and how long they get access to your WiFi.
- Parental Control - a basic service that allows you to set time limits for accessing the internet and a manual blacklist for websites that are banned for children. It is hard to maintain, and most users will not use it.
- WiFi Schedule - you can set a daily schedule for when the broadcasting of the wireless network is turned off.
- VPN Server - you can set the router to work as a VPN server, using the PPTP protocol.
- IPTV - a service for connecting set-top boxes to the router and the network, through a dedicated port
- DDNS - a service that allows you to connect to the router from the internet, even if your internet provider gives you a dynamic public IP address.
- Bandwidth Control - a basic feature for setting download and upload limits for each device in your network. While it is not difficult to configure, it is no match to the QoS (Quality of Service) feature that you find on routers from other brands.
Tenda AC10 offers a few extra features that are useful, including a mobile app for remote management. However, this app requires access to personal data it should not have access to, so you may want to think twice before using it.
What is your opinion about Tenda AC10 AC1200 wireless router?
Now you know our opinion about the Tenda AC10 wireless router and how it performed in our testing. If you already have this router at home, do not hesitate to share your experience in a comment below. Other readers will find it useful.