Wireless adapter options for a Desktop

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by silent ninja, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. silent ninja

    silent ninja
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    I've just been upgraded to Plusnet fibre. Speeds are good - 72mb - but I have old devices I'd like to upgrade. So starting with my All-in-One desktop (non upgradeab) which runs just fine on Win7 but is only on wireless G. I get 26mb download which I guess is good but can I boost it with an AC adapter? I'll be upgrading my router to an AC one.

    I download a lot on this machine so maximum speed, short of plugging in via LAN is required. Homeplugs are a no because this is actually located on different circuitry AFAI as it's technically a different house (merged).

    I was looking at USB dongles like this: Linksys AE6000 Wireless Mini USB Adapter AC Dual Band by Linksys Linksys AE6000 Wireless Mini USB Adapter AC Dual Band: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

    Thoughts and suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  2. mickevh

    mickevh
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    I suggest you start by checking which protocols your router avails. No point in buying an AC adapter (unless you want to future proof) if your routers is "only" N capable - your AC adapter will (probably) fall back to N mode (and looking at blurb accompanying the NIC you linked "only" single stream "N" at that.)

    Get the drill out and run in some UTP - you know you want to. :D
     
  3. silent ninja

    silent ninja
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    Drill lol no chance unfortunately

    I will be purchasing the Asus RT-AC66U so I'll have the hardware on that end. Not every device will be AC but I'm presuming I can run N devices concurrently?
     
  4. mickevh

    mickevh
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    There's usually no problem running multiple protocols concurrently, the newer ones are designed to be backwardly compatible with previous versions,

    Notice the number and size of the antennas on your new router - then compare that with the USB dongle. To get the best out of wi-fi you need decent antennas and for the highest speeds, plenty of them. The Linksys thing is offering the bear-est minimum specification AC - single, small antenna and fairly low speeds. Top AC speed is a "mere" 430mbps (and that will be in ideal RF signalling conditions, if signalling conditions are tough, it could be even worse.)

    For a desktop machine (ie one that doesn't move) and if speed really matters to you, I would not choose the USB dongle you are looking at (one one titchy antenna) I'd look for an internally fitted network adapter with an external antenna cluster - preferably on a fly lead so I've got some ability to experiment with the position and orientation. Whilst I'm not in anyway advocating any particular kit, if you look at ASUS site, you can see they offer such things, for example PCE-AC66 and PCE-AC68. (Of course you'll need to check your PC has an available/compatible PCI-Express slot inside - check the manual.)

    It's worth mentioning the AC uses 5GHz radio frequencies which doesn't penetrate stuff (walls, doors, air,) as well as the 2.4GHz radio used by B/G and much N. If the range and obstacles between your router and desktop are significant, you may not achieve the best "speeds" (and all the more reason to use NIC's with good antenna arrays.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  5. silent ninja

    silent ninja
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    Thanks. Unfortunately this desktop is an All in One which can't be upgraded internally. It's not my main computer (my laptop is) but I do most ofmy downloading via it and the kids tend to watch cartoons and movies on it (whilst I have things downloading) so a good speed would be useful.

    I think I will opt for this. It has better reviews (including on smallnet builder) and a better antenna. £30 is reasonable.
    Edimax EW-7822UAC AC1200 USB 3.0 Dual Band Adapter by Edimax Edimax EW-7822UAC AC1200 USB 3.0 Dual Band Adapter: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

    It will be going through one wall and one ceiling so I'm hoping 5ghz offers reasonable performance.
     

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