Bad laptop connection; need a good USB network dongle

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Bad laptop connection; need a good USB network dongle

Postposted on Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:43 pm

My wife has one of the new Dell XPS 12 convertibles. She loves almost everything about it except that it won't hold a network connection. My PC is on the 'net just fine, but the XPS 12 has no connection whatsoever. The XPS 12 follows in a long line of laptops that have craptastic reception, which is odd since the XPS 12 has the same Intel chip that I have in my desktop system.

I don't see any obvious antenna port on the XPS 12, so I'm thinking a USB network card with a nice antenna is the way to go. Is this a good idea? Any recommendations on what to get?
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Re: Bad laptop connection; need a good USB network dongle

Postposted on Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:50 pm

Dell forums thread on bad wifi on XPS 12 http://en.community.dell.com/support-fo ... 99618.aspx

They mention that page 15 of the manual shows how to replace the wifi card. I wonder if the card is limited to the same model from Dell, or whether you can replace it with a different model internal card?
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Re: Bad laptop connection; need a good USB network dongle

Postposted on Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:16 pm

Interesting. That thread is for the older version of the laptop. The newer version, which my wife has, has the same wireless chip that I'm running. Judging by the other posters in that thread who had continued problems even after replacing the card, I really think it's the lack of a good antenna that's making it hard for her to get a reliable signal.
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Re: Bad laptop connection; need a good USB network dongle

Postposted on Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:29 pm

Shame. I was just about to suggest replacing the wifi card, but it sounds like that won't solve your issues. A friend just installed an intel 802.11ac card in his hp envy and seems to be happy with it.

But yeah, sounds as if you would be better off with an external dongle. Unfortunately, not very familiar with them.
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Re: Bad laptop connection; need a good USB network dongle

Postposted on Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:47 am

It's frustrating that there's so little guidance when it comes to a basic component like a wireless card. Aside from C|Net and other dubiously reliable sources, there are no reviews of any wireless adapters that I can find. The best I can do is user reviews on Newegg, which at least lets you know which companies can launch the biggest marketing campaigns, and if they cared enough to do that, maybe they also cared enough to make a good product. This is like researching tires for your car, only to realize that no one reviews tires officially.

I'll have to pick something, but darn...
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Re: Bad laptop connection; need a good USB network dongle

Postposted on Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:59 am

SmallNetBuilder does some reviews of wireless adaptors:
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless ... er-roundup
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