Desktop wireless adapter?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Intel_Hydralisk, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. Intel_Hydralisk

    Intel_Hydralisk [H]ardness Supreme

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    I've gone through 4 or more PCI-E wireless adapters for my rig(s) at this point. They've all been pretty bad in general both in quality and strength. One of them was particularly bad to the point where it started crashing Windows. I've also dabbled with USB adapters but they're even worse.

    Why is it that... no matter what, my laptop seems to always have better wireless? Am I missing something? I've now ordered a wireless hub and will connect my desktop via ethernet to that. Hopefully that works better...
     
  2. Dangman

    Dangman Ninja Editor SuperMod

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    In regards to quality, different chipsets I'd imagine. More than likely your laptop has some form of Intel wireless NIC. Intel NICs (both wired and wireless) tend to be a bit more reliable than their competitors.

    In regards to the signal strength, your laptop has two large wireless antennas, one on each of the the laptop's screen. Those large antennas gives you better signal strengths than the small antennas you often see with desktop wireless adapters.

    IIRC, some people have actually just ended up buying Intel mini-PCI-E wireless NICs and combining them with a Mini-PCI-E to PCI-E card to get good wireless connections. Then again, Intel does sell PCI-E wireless NICs now:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106192
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106135

    Or it could be the desktop gods saying you shouldn't have wireless :D
     
  3. PliotronX

    PliotronX 2[H]4U

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    +1

    WiFi only makes sense for mobile devices. For desktops, you should exhaust all other options before WiFi. It is slower, less consistent, liable to interference, less secure even with encryption, etc.. Yeah, I hate 802.11..

    Anyhow, powerline networking has gotten somewhere interesting. If running CAT5 is unattractive to you, check these new models coming out soon.
     
  4. Skripka

    Skripka [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Just pull ethernet.

    Powerline always sounds a hell of a lot better in theory than it ever works in practice IRL.
     
  5. plugwash

    plugwash [H]ard|Gawd

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    As well as any quality issues you also have to consider the antenna situation.

    Laptops usually put the antenna in the back of the screen, this allows the antenna to be physically large and relatively unubstructed. Desktops often have an antenna sticking out the back with the metal case of the computer often acting as a major signal obstruction.

    Those intel adaptors seem to have an external antenna so your results are going to depend on how you site it. If you leave it in a heap with the metal box of your PC on one side, a solid wall on the other and cables everywhere don't expect great results.
     
  6. Intel_Hydralisk

    Intel_Hydralisk [H]ardness Supreme

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    For what it's worth, I set up my wireless hub last night (some standard $50 netgear one...). I'm getting the full 60 mbps from my ISP (vs. 3 mbps I was getting earlier) from a router that's on the other side of the house. It was less of an issue at my apartment because the distance wasn't quite so large. Homeowner problems... We'll see how the quality is (drops, spikes, etc.).
     
  7. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    I use a Linksys WUSB6300 adapter connected to the top USB 3.0 port on my PC and it works great. I get none of the dropped connections a lot of the reviews talk about with this product when connected using 802.11n. I was really impressed that I was getting my full connection speed with this adapter downloading at 3-4 MB/s over Steam, when my experience with these types of adapters in the past has been less than satisfactory. The connection and latency with this adapter has been so good that I dropped the ethernet cord for even when playing games online. And my PC is nearly 50 feet from my wireless router.
     
  8. Eadar

    Eadar n00b

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    I had wireless on my desktop for awhile and got tired of it dropping or just getting a bad signal. The modem from comast is on the other side of the house so I got the Linksys PLSK400 kit and I have no problems. I can be playing Wildstar and watching netflix on my ps3 which runs off it also with no issues.
     
  9. the_servicer

    the_servicer [H]ard|Gawd

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    Did you only try it with Windows, or Linux too?
     
  10. fantabulous

    fantabulous Limp Gawd

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  11. the_servicer

    the_servicer [H]ard|Gawd

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    I am thinking of buying the Intel 7260 and using it in a ThinkCentre M73 (SFF desktop) for use with Linux. Can I expect it to work?

    What makes it a little bit confusing is the fact that Intel has multiple products under the name, "7260".

    Edit: I believe the one I am talking about is the one Dangman indicated in his first Newegg link back in July.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014