Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

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Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:16 am

Sure you can find noname generic PCI G cards on the cheap but they might as well have "2002" stamped on them.

The N cards are outdated, expensive, unsupported and, well just plain suck.

USB dongles are not the ideal interface and almost never have multiple antenna adapters, if any at all. There are quite a few shoddy ones as well.

Meanwhile laptops get constantly updated models that work great and have excellent, comprehensive drivers. The cynic in me says most are pretty good because they actually have to work, often being the primary/only interface used on most laptops.

You have to look around (e.g. not in stores or newegg etc) but you can buy the minicards by themselves dirt cheap. Fleabay is the typical place but there are plenty of other sources if you want to avoid that.

Herein lies the problem...they only fit into laptops.

Thought I'd share my new found solution after dealing with the underdeveloped shoddy mess that is desktop wifi cards: its pretty much perfect for wifi nuts like me.

Minicards are just pci-e x1 and usb header stuffed into one tiny slot 8)


PS, I may be a wifi nut, but I'm also a hardline extremist about running cat5 whenever possible, short single-home wifi lans are a bad excuse for lazy nerds!
(although its "ok" to have a couch/porch/whatever wifi in addition to your gigabit and long range private WWAN etc :P )
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:46 am

That's pretty cool, where did you get it?
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:34 pm

Fleabay for a little over 20 bucks for just the board, its made in taiwan or something.

Theres some weird stuff on there, I like how given a separate power supply and the right connections you could wire up a 5800 to an atom netbook...cpu limited indeed 8)
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:32 pm

A friend had a similar problem and he just used an old LinkSys WAP in bridge/repeater mode; with a longish ethernet cable, he could position it for good reception even without detaching the antennas (though he could've done that too, I guess).
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:43 pm

Yeah, I'm currently fighting this issue too. I'm trying to get the WiFi to work reliably on my daughter's PC, and coming up short. Tried two different WiFi NICs so far; even though the signal strength is very good, connectivity keeps coming and going at random.

I've got one more thing I am going to try (latest reference drivers for the Realtek WiFi chip), and then it's on to Plan C. Plan C will probably involve getting a second WiFi router, and setting the existing one up as a bridge like UberGerbil mentioned...
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:56 pm

just brew it! wrote:Yeah, I'm currently fighting this issue too. I'm trying to get the WiFi to work reliably on my daughter's PC, and coming up short. Tried two different WiFi NICs so far; even though the signal strength is very good, connectivity keeps coming and going at random.

I've got one more thing I am going to try (latest reference drivers for the Realtek WiFi chip), and then it's on to Plan C. Plan C will probably involve getting a second WiFi router, and setting the existing one up as a bridge like UberGerbil mentioned...

If it is just for home only, I would just bite the bullet and try powerline. My basement wifi connection drops so frequently I can't stream videos to the PS3 properly. My old circuits may put a damper on raw transfer rates, but at least the connection is stable.
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:49 pm

Yeah you can use some consumer routers with custom firmware, but its usually just a basic G connection (diversity != MIMO)
Very few of the newer high end models are open anymore, or are too close to the price of a basic mini x86 box doing the same duty.

My collection of linksys "pre-nerf" have been running various dd-wrt and tomato releases, and it did work well over the years.

If you live anywhere near apartments or denser neighborhoods, the G channels tend to be very crowded. Every fios or comcast install around here comes with a stock router+G AP, with the amazing default security of a short WEP key printed underneath the modem.

For my one place I wanted a nice long run on a 5ghz band, now I have two 3x3 cards talking to each other on an outdoor shot, its great and cost very little. Already had some antennas, rp-sma pigtails adapted them easily.
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:53 pm

I ran cat5e to every room in my house before the drywall went up (coax too lol), and even a jack hidden in top floor linen closet for an extra antennae. Sure I have N wireless, but us serious geeks need gigabit :P

I've had pretty good luck with DLink pci adaptors, and my DIR-655 router has been very reliable.
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:18 pm

Yep I have cat5 to every room, and I go to the trouble to install it anywhere I can.

Used to do it for a living when it was a mysterious art (and joe the electrician would pull the twisted pair so hard it couldn't do duplex, but his continuity tester didn't care so they only found out later the hard way) so I have no qualms about running it in walls I don't own too, my deposit is safe. Hell, I should get paid for some of the improvements I've done before!

But it doesn't cross streams and roads too well, not to mention weatherproofing/burying it sucks :P Two of the places I've put in LOS antennas are maybe in the max range of a quality run, but it would be a nightmare.
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:36 am

Bauxite wrote:Fleabay for a little over 20 bucks for just the board, its made in taiwan or something.

Theres some weird stuff on there, I like how given a separate power supply and the right connections you could wire up a 5800 to an atom netbook...cpu limited indeed 8)



Yeah I found that too... MP2W-6300H

But it doesn't seem too "crash hot" if the goal is to connect via USB, not PCIe.
Seems a bit cumbersome as an external USB wifi adapter, don't you think? :(
Last edited by jalyst on Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:36 am

This seemed to solve my problem:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833704045

Not the most elegant solution, but solved my girlfriends issue with her internet cutting in and out on her desktop. Though, this one might do you good too:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

Also, surprisingly I have had my seedbox online and pingable for about 10 days now using this shoddy one I had laying around:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6833150021

Though, I would not recommend this to anyone ><
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:46 am

Thanks but I'm only interested in a solution that converts the Ultimate-N 6300 into a USB adapter.
The one I linked to appears to do this, but it just looks a little bit messy.
Their website sux, hard to find if there's a slightly better option on there!
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:02 am

I guess I'm in the minority here, but my 2-year-old Netgear USB adapter plugged into the rear port cluster against the wall never loses its connection to the router 3 rooms away :-)
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:11 am

It's well substantiated (check reviews/discussions round the net) that USB adapters have fallen behind in recent yrs compared to adapters integrated into laptops etc.
This mPCIe Intel adapter will perform substantially better than any USB adapter, only problem is I don't want it for a laptop.
I want it for my HTPC build, & I don't want to consume a PCIe slot either :)

Placed an order (paypal) for the MP2W-6300H
http://www.bplus.com.tw/Adapter/MP2W_6300.html

$130AUD in total, $75 more than for e.g. a WUSB600N, which I can pick up locally.
I hope it's worth it for that premium!!?!

Their website sux, very hard to see if there's better options 4 people interested in interfacing via USB, not PCIe.
MP2W-6300H is the best option as far as I can tell, but I wouldn't be surprised if I've missed something.

I've emailed them & asked that they not post it until they've answered some of my questions.
It could be a while, C.N.Y at the moment.... :mad:
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:37 pm

I'm considering the MP2W-6300H based on this thread. How's it working for you? Any suggestions for other like products?
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:48 pm

I cant recall what exactly happend now, but I didn't end-up getting it.
Got a trendet 684UB instead....
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:53 pm

For a desktop, a wireless bridge like the TEW-680MB may be a better solution.
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Re: Desktop wireless is terrible, but laptops get great ones

Postposted on Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:01 pm

There was a reason I went with USB-based instead of eth, cant recall why now.
Here's all their 450mbps products...
http://www.trendnet.com/products/products.asp?cat=157
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