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Upgrading internal WLAN card

spyder viewer

Distinguished Member
I recently decided to upgrade my pci WLAN card. It was a few years old but worked well and matched my U.S. Robotics wireless g router. I have since gone to wireless n so decided to upgrade my HTPC. I had been having problems with spooling when watching iPlayer. I ended up buying one of these: TP Link TL-WN881ND 300Mbps Wireless N PCI Express Adapter: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories. I could have bought cheaper, but was beguiled by the promise of 300Mbps as opposed to 150Mbps.

It was very difficult for me to confirm the overall performance of the card after fitting so I just carried out some simple benchmarks.

Activity before/after
Copy file to or from networked ethernet drive 2MBps/5MBps
View iPlayer unwatchable/perfect even in HD mode!

As to the 150/300 value: when I compare the transfer speed with my netbook (wireless n) and the new card 72 Mbps vs 150Mbps

If anybody wants some more tests, let me know.

Just one niggle: it says here http://uk.tp-link.com/products/details/?categoryid=240&model=TL-WN881ND#fea that it has full and half-height backplates. Mine came with full height only as commented by another amazon purchaser. Apparently Amazon made good though.
 
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xyzbird

Established Member
If you click on your Internet Access icon bottom right of screen, click Open Network & Sharing Centre and click on Connections, speed will be shown. I have a similar TP-Link adapter - TL-WDN4800 which has 3 aerials and dual band which TP-Link claim does 480 Mbps but only 300 is indicated. I suppose it's down to the modem router as to the maximum speed.

My laptop achieves 150 Mbps on the same system and that uses an Intel Centrino 6235 dual band adapter.

Working at 5 GHz has some advantage in that there is seemingly much less congestion at least at the moment until others start using it locally.
 
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spyder viewer

Distinguished Member
Yes, I tried that but not before I changed the network card. If I do that check and compare my netbook and htpc, the results are 72Mbps and 150Mbps. I think it's to do with being dual-band. It sends and receives on different frequencies. Mine is single frequency so it's 150+150=300Mbps. Experts will put me straight if I'm wrong!

I did look at your card but £30 (I had in mind spending about £7 initially)!
 

xyzbird

Established Member
My PC set up only ever transmits/receives at either 2.4 or 5 GHz - only one or the other can be selected.

The modem router does both I think alternately. I have other equipment working at 2.4 GHz at the same time.
 
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