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2x4
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best wifi adpter?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:29 pm

Hello - please post some suggestion for best USB wifi adapter.

Is ASUS USB-N13 N300 any good?

Thanks
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:30 pm

2x4 wrote:
Hello - please post some suggestion for best USB wifi adapter.

Is ASUS USB-N13 N300 any good?

Thanks


Are you limited to only a USB connection? If you have a spare PCIe slot on a motherboard I'd recommend a PCIe wifi adapter.
I use the ASUS PCE-AC68 and it has been a good performer and comes with a nice magnetic antenna array.
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:00 pm

Based on my experience, any USB adapter with reasonably good reviews will allow you to check your email in a pinch. But I agree with G8tor that you'd be much better off with something else.
 
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:15 pm

Depends on what OS you're running and whether you ever need it to operate in AP mode or not.

If all you're ever doing is connecting to existing APs under Windows, pretty much anything name brand will probably work reasonably well.

On Linux I find adapters based on MediaTek/Ralink chipsets to be better supported and more stable than Realtek.

If you need to run in AP mode (where your PC/laptop acts as a WiFi AP for other devices), I'd say Realtek for Windows and MediaTek for Linux. But make sure the specific chipset in your adapter supports operation in AP mode; some of them don't.

The larger USB adapters (and the ones with external antennas) generally have better range. The tiny "nano" size adapters that sit nearly flush with the USB port need a strong signal to perform decently; I'd only recommend those if you're using it as a replacement for a dead built-in laptop WiFi adapter, since you can just leave it plugged in all the time without it being in the way.

If this is a desktop system, I agree with the other posters who said you should look at PCIe.
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:16 pm

Anything, unless you care about bleeding-edge transfer speeds, in which case get one that matches your router's antenna configuration, so ff your router is a 3x3 MIMO, get an adapter that's 3x3 MIMO.

Unless you're streaming lots of raw video/photo data over the network (or streaming high-resolution games over WiFi) you probably don't need anything particularly fancy, in which case something like the Linksys WUSB6300 is cheap, good and widely available.
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:28 pm

2x4 wrote:
Hello - please post some suggestion for best USB wifi adapter.

Is ASUS USB-N13 N300 any good?

Thanks



I bought an off-the-shelf whatever-model at BB. The real difference in my coverage and speeds was spending more than $100 on a router. Her dinky USB adapter wasn't more than $45 or so, and the router Asus AC68U) pushes 240Gbps to anywhere in my 4-floor house. I love it. I swore I'd never go off the cord for my main machine, but I'm moving into a new room and cutting the cord.
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2x4
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:44 pm

i can also consider pci wifi - i have to build a simple, basic pc for my daughter and i need a decent wifi signal to be able to stream videos HD videos and do video chats with grandparents. no gaming.
Last edited by 2x4 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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2x4
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:47 pm

ASUS PCE‑AC68 looks pretty good but too expensive for the computer i am thinking of putting together. that's why i asked for a cheaper usb alternative.

any good budget PCI ones??
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:10 pm

Get the cheapest one you can find - for the usage you're talking about even a Wireless-N 150 adapter would do the job and the router and its distance from the PC will be the weakest link, not the network adapter in the PC.

Lousy Wireless-N 150 speeds will get you 30 Mbit/s. Unless your router is both new (last couple of years) and good quality, it won't be Wireless-AC and it won't be MIMO, so buying a fancy network adapter is pointless without a router upgrade anyway.

If you're building a basic PC from scratch, just get a motherboard with built-in wireless. It'll be Intel/Realtek/Atheros and they're all good enough. I have a crappy £80 windows 10 tablet for poking facebook and posting on TR from the sofa, and it gets 25Mbit/s in the opposite end of my flat to the router through two walls and I have to assume it's the cheapest adapter on the market. HD videos (Youtube/Netflix 1080p) need about 6-8Mbit/s so even the worst thing on the market is going to be overkill.

If the worst comes to the worst and the PC is just too far from the router for signal (even on the old, longer-range 2.4GHz channels) just buy a plug-in range extender or try a homeplug system instead.
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:57 pm

2x4 wrote:
ASUS PCE‑AC68 looks pretty good but too expensive for the computer i am thinking of putting together.

Did you already buy or salvage the motherboard? As other posters noted, if buying new you have options with onboard WiFi. An example: I recently rebuilt our HTPC around the MSI H110i Pro AC.
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2x4
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:59 am

mobo with wifi is the winner here. i havent bought any parts yet - will getting them in a week or so.

thanks all for your help
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:07 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
If the worst comes to the worst and the PC is just too far from the router for signal (even on the old, longer-range 2.4GHz channels) just buy a plug-in range extender or try a homeplug system instead.
All it might take is to detach the wifi antenna(s) and use an RP-SMA cable to position them in a better location to pick up the signal. Sitting down behind a metal box full of high speed electronics is frequently the worst possible location for reception.
 
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:50 pm

UberGerbil wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:
If the worst comes to the worst and the PC is just too far from the router for signal (even on the old, longer-range 2.4GHz channels) just buy a plug-in range extender or try a homeplug system instead.

All it might take is to detach the wifi antenna(s) and use an RP-SMA cable to position them in a better location to pick up the signal. Sitting down behind a metal box full of high speed electronics is frequently the worst possible location for reception.

In a similar vein, USB adapters with integrated antennas will sometimes benefit from being put on a short USB extension cable.
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:05 pm

just brew it! wrote:
UberGerbil wrote:
Chrispy_ wrote:
If the worst comes to the worst and the PC is just too far from the router for signal (even on the old, longer-range 2.4GHz channels) just buy a plug-in range extender or try a homeplug system instead.

All it might take is to detach the wifi antenna(s) and use an RP-SMA cable to position them in a better location to pick up the signal. Sitting down behind a metal box full of high speed electronics is frequently the worst possible location for reception.

In a similar vein, USB adapters with integrated antennas will sometimes benefit from being put on a short USB extension cable.

I'm finding with most (but not all) boards that include WiFi, that the included antenna is the desktop type with a 3ft cable - normally long enough to get it away from all the interference at the back of the PC. If the board comes with the screw in sticks like the one Ludi linked, then 'investing' $3.90 in a couple of these is going to kill two birds with one stone, both adding the extension cable and providing a desktop mount. I'd never duct-tape antennae under my desk, but if I did, I'd tell you that they keep falling off and it's a silly idea :oops:

Image
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:34 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
I'm finding with most (but not all) boards that include WiFi, that the included antenna is the desktop type with a 3ft cable - normally long enough to get it away from all the interference at the back of the PC.

In the US market, that usually happens somewhere around a board sale price of $150. Given the OP's indicated price sensitivity he probably will end up with the chopsticks. Although those can work well enough if you remember to angle them out instead of just leaving them folded against the back of the port cluster.
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:57 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
I'd never duct-tape antennae under my desk, but if I did, I'd tell you that they keep falling off and it's a silly idea :oops:

For wooden desks, my SOP with wireless mice is to use a USB extension cable and tape the mouse receiver to the underside of the desk directly beneath the mouse pad. Makes for smoother mouse operation than having the receiver plugged directly into the PC.
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:13 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
I'd never duct-tape antennae under my desk, but if I did, I'd tell you that they keep falling off and it's a silly idea :oops:


As much as it pains me to recommend against using duct tape you'll have better results using something like this stuff from 3M.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004Z4BU/

Surprisingly strong stuff. Perhaps too much so depending on the finish on your desk. I had used it to tape down the receiver for my old keyboard, and when I ripped it off while replacing the keyboard a chunk of the lamination on the desk surface came with it.
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:22 pm

Redocbew wrote:
As much as it pains me to recommend against using duct tape you'll have better results using something like this stuff from 3M.

Stick (heh) with EB Green. Good friend of mine tended the teakettle on a 637-class boat and EB Green was the default answer to most casualties.

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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:22 pm

Well the switch to a glass coffee table killed the hypothetical, totally-not-something-so-stupid-I-would-try tape situation so I drilled through a drywall to run cat5e.

After all, I'd never even consider using tape, that's just so lazy and low-tech. I'm sure if I needed to do that I'd staple it or use something more robust.

Hypothetically, how do you get old tape glue residue out of unvarnished birch?
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:43 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Well the switch to a glass coffee table killed the hypothetical, totally-not-something-so-stupid-I-would-try tape situation so I drilled through a drywall to run cat5e.

After all, I'd never even consider using tape, that's just so lazy and low-tech. I'm sure if I needed to do that I'd staple it or use something more robust.

Hypothetically, how do you get old tape glue residue out of unvarnished birch?


Could try wood alcohol aka methyl alcohol aka methanol, or Rubbing alcohol aka isopropyl alcohol might work, with a small soft brass bristle brush - hypothetically ;)
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:15 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Hypothetically, how do you get old tape glue residue out of unvarnished birch?


I'd hit it with some Goo Gone first to see if that'll un-stick it. If that doesn't work, and it's solid birch and not birch-plywood you could try making a sanding block using a 120-ish grit sandpaper wrapped around something handheld and flat. If you're careful you should be able to remove the goo without putting a dent in the wood. If the surface was finished that'd be a bit more difficult, but so long as you sand in the direction of the grain you'll probably be alright. If it is birch-ply you might still be able to get away with some sanding, you'll just have to be careful the friction from sanding doesn't activate the glue holding the sheets together.

Of course, I haven't goofed and come across any of those pitfalls myself. That'd be ridiculous.
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:59 pm

I got one of these because it's one of the only ones that does bluetooth as well. It's only n and the throughput is nothing to brag about but it gets the job done for 13 bucks.
Edimax EW-7611ULB 2-in-1 N150 Wi-Fi & Bluetooth 4.0 Nano USB Adapter

If you're serious about performance and have a spare PCIe slot, this is what I use in my main rig. I've yet to hit its throughput limit but suffice to say it is fast as hell. Also has bluetooth!
ASUS PCE-AC55BT B1 AC1200 Dual-Band PCIe Wi-Fi Adapter Featuring Bluetooth 4.2
^do note that in order to use the bluetooth functionality of this card you must connect it to one of the USB2.0 headers on your motherboard. I don't know why the hell they made it like that.
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:17 am

homerdog wrote:
^do note that in order to use the bluetooth functionality of this card you must connect it to one of the USB2.0 headers on your motherboard. I don't know why the hell they made it like that.

USB Bluetooth chip was probably cheaper than a PCIe switch (to allow 2 devices to share the same PCIe connection) + PCIe Bluetooth chip.
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:27 am

Redocbew wrote:
Of course, I haven't goofed and come across any of those pitfalls myself. That'd be ridiculous.

Pffft, obviously not. That would be ridiculous! :roll:
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Re: best wifi adpter?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:15 am

just brew it! wrote:
USB Bluetooth chip was probably cheaper than a PCIe switch (to allow 2 devices to share the same PCIe connection) + PCIe Bluetooth chip.

Yeah, if you look at the pictures, the PCIe card is obviously hosting a laptop M.2 card with the dual PCIe/USB connectivity option, and cheap laptop cards often use the USB option for cost savings since mobile chipsets have a million USB connections anyway. Presumably they're just using the PCIe slot for power and ground.
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