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-   -   range and speed of usb wireless adapter (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/networking/36515-range-speed-usb-wireless-adapter.html)

happynoobing September 24, 2010 06:36 AM

range and speed of usb wireless adapter
 
Here's my setup:

1) A desktop with a USB D-Link wireless N adapter
2) A laptop with its internal wireless adapter that I bought back in 2007

These two computers are placed next to each other (so I don't think the distance from the router has any effect in my comparisons), but my laptop gets 3 bars of signal while my desktop only gets 1~2 bars. After doing speed tests, my laptop has a 5~7 Mbps download speed but my desktop only gets 1~2 Mbps. Why is this?

Would replacing the USB adapter on my desktop with a PCI one help to solve this issue?

JMCD September 24, 2010 07:07 AM

I haven't had too much luck with USB adapters in general, they work, just not very well in most cases. I find the laptops I've owned have had great reception in comparison.

LarkStarr September 24, 2010 07:21 AM

USB adapters are weak in comparison to a "real" wireless unit. the antenna is internally contained in the USB device, whereas your laptop's antenna usually is in the screen bezel, which makes for better reception.

happynoobing September 24, 2010 07:33 AM

So, would using a PCI card on my desktop give me similar performance as my laptop?

enaberif September 24, 2010 08:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by happynoobing (Post 432363)
So, would using a PCI card on my desktop give me similar performance as my laptop?

Theoretically?

Yes.

grinder September 24, 2010 09:44 AM

to add to this, USB device performance generally scales with the performance of your CPU; therefore if your desktop is an old Celeron (for example) the PCI interface offered by an expansion card will inherently give you a performance boost. Couple this with the fact that you will get some antenna options with the card.

Another thing to consider when comparing the two is that a laptop may use a diversity antenna (left/right) for noise/signal-reflection cancellation. I would bet a USB stick wifi-adapter has a single antenna and lacks this feature.

happynoobing September 24, 2010 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by grinder (Post 432392)
to add to this, USB device performance generally scales with the performance of your CPU; therefore if your desktop is an old Celeron (for example) the PCI interface offered by an expansion card will inherently give you a performance boost. Couple this with the fact that you will get some antenna options with the card.

i got i5 quad core, maybe i should try the metal strainer modification first :P


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