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the_13th

Wireless N Card vs USB stick?

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Okay, the middle of planning my next PC Build (after 4 years of saying Im going to do it..lol)

 

I have a Linksys WRT310N running the home network, fully secured of course. Looking around at the current Wireless Adapters on the market, they all really seem to have the same specs, atleast at face value. With the exception that some of the are DualBand Wireless N.

 

What I would prefer to purchase is an internal wireless n adapter. Im just checking if there is any that are more effective, more reliable, or faster etc... The new PC will be streaming media to the Xbox frequently so... Yeah

 

What I am wondering For this new machine I definately want Wireless N. Its going to be streaming media so I need it, preferably I would like a card so that I can keep that USB port free, are there any benefits either way?

 

Any specific reccomendations? They all seem to have 300Mbs even the cheaper ones... Im willing to pay more but only if its for performance, rather than brand

Edited by the_13th

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Can't say as to brand as I've not tested many, but a few points to begin with:

 

You'll never hit 300Mbps -- it's one of those meaningless numbers companies throw out to look better on the shelves. The highest speed I've seen point to point (although admittedly to laptops) is around 180Mbps. That's operating at 5GHz, at less than 5m away from the router with very little interference. I was using the WNDR3700, one of the very few consumer routers that has a high enough internal routing speed to make the most out of of a gigabit > wireless transaction. Most others seem to hit a ceiling of around 95Mbps. Now technically this should be enough for everything except 3D Blu-ray, but this is assuming perfect conditions and very little interference.

 

If you use 2.4GHz, things change dramatically. You'll get better range, but you'll see top speeds of somewhere between 50 and 95Mbps, depending on what wireless receiver you have. Take in mind all these figures are using multiple streams, and things will vary massively depending on distance from the router, interference and obstructions.

 

If you must go the USB path, you'll likely get the best speed by getting the same brand wireless receiver as your router. I can't talk on the PCI/PCI-e cards, I've not used them.

 

As to suitability for streaming media -- ultimately it comes down to whether or not you're in a high interference area, how many people will be using your wireless, and the type of media involved. If you're streaming music or DVD quality video, wireless should likely do fine. But for bullet proof, 1080p capable video with almost zero chance of drop out, I'd go gigabit Ethernet every time.

Edited by Craig Simms

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Just edited the OP :P

 

Using the Linksys WRM310N which to my knowledge is 2.4 but I could be wrong on that. I am half tempted to upgrade the damn thing to a Dual Band one, not so much for the dual band but because Im sick of having it seperate from the Modem :P

 

Truth be told at this stage my PC is less than 2meteres away but at a later date I would intend on moving it to another room.. Wont be steaming any Full HD at this stage, if ever.

 

Theres nothing else wireless in the house, no cordless phone etc... But I cant speak for the neighbours,m Im actually using a Wireless G USB device on my current PC, was a cheapie D-Link one, havent had any major issues except that media centre on the 360 doesnt like it

Edited by the_13th

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Sounds like you might be okay with a USB dongle then. The "other room" will of course be different depending on where it is, and the construction of your house.

 

Keep an eye out for the word "simultaneous" when you're hunting for a dual band ADSL2+ wireless modem/router. The Linksys WAG320N for example might be dual band, but you can only operate it in 2.4GHz or 5GHz.

 

In the consumer space the options are limited for simultaneous dual band ADSL2+ modem/routers -- off the top of my head there's the Netgear DGND3300 which has simultaneous dual band but doesn't have gigabit Ethernet, or Belkin's Play Max 7D4401au, which does have gigabit Ethernet but I would take pains to avoid.

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Thanks for the help then guys :) Appreciate it

 

No decition made, Ill just look at price and make a desicion...

 

The Linksys USB stick is only $57 at MSY, tempting.. But we'll see

Edited by the_13th

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i have a dlink xtreme wireless N card and connect @300mbit with full sig strength BUT:

i can only manage 5meg per second even with my router next to my rig, even with encryption off.

i googled slow wireless n speeds and got a shitload of people with the same problem even different card/router combo's.

so i gave up and ran a cable now getting 90 odd meg per second.

i have this router http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_p...oducts_id=12784

i hope you have better luck with N than i did.

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I decided to stop being so fussy, and just bought a damn cable :P

 

realistically the pc is so close I dont damn well need it... if/when I move the damn thing, Ill get one then

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