Any good wireless network cards?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by the_randomizer, Mar 24, 2013.

Mar 24, 2013
  1. the_randomizer
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    Member the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Okay, so I made a huge-a** mistake on one component I bought along with my desktop, this abomination, the Asus USB-N13 http://tinyurl.com/bqrszj6 Trust me, don't buy it.

    Why is it an abomination? Simple, the failure rate at which it refuses to connect is 95% or so. Oh, this one takes the cake, the download speeds are a whopping 20 kbps! That's right, you can get wireless and dial up! Yes, wireless dial up, the dream of all apartment tenants and other potential buyers! Oh, and did I also mention that it drops connections randomly too?

    tl;dr don't get this, it's easily one of the worst pieces of s**t money can buy! Guaranteed!

    In all seriousness, this is the only Achilles Heel of my desktop, the wireless USB device, something I regret buying. The only reason I haven't RMA'd it yet was I wanted to test several things, to make sure it wasn't my internet at fault. I can't even surf a normal page without it losing the connection, I can't even download a 5 MB file without an ETA of 10 minutes showing up (and I have pictures capturing that very moment). In fact, it was so bad, I got as low as 1,200 bps (not bytes, but bits). This is but the icing on the cake, what really makes it shine is the fact it has trouble locating the apartment's router, which is <5 meters away from where I sit. It has to spend five minutes to find the router every time I start up or wake the desktop up from its sleep state.

    And to set the record straight, this USB device is better than the apartment-issued dongle, but that's not saying much.

    Honestly, I don't know why I've had such rotten luck with this sodding POS. I should have gotten a wireless network card instead, at least they can connect and not drop 9 outta 10 times. I ran ping tests and they resulted in >3500 ms and would rarely go < 500 ms, on top of 75% data packet loss in most tests I ran. The gateway address would show up, proving that I do "have" a connection, but the lag is horrific. So I not only am no longer able to send it in for credit (maybe), but I wrote a "nice" review about it on Newegg. I await their automated "apology" for the inconvenience.

    Any recommendations for a good network card that isn't super cheap but not overly expensive? Granted, I have other means of connecting (laptop, Wii U, etc), but this is ridiculous.

    Summary

    - Bought Asus USB wireless
    - USB dongle drops 95% of the time and refuses to connect to nearly every site without an error
    - Download/upload speeds rarely exceed 30 kbps if I'm lucky. This is not sufficient for any activity on the internet.
    - USB dongle is better than one issued by management, but not by much
     
  2. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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  3. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    If you think about it, you were trying to push internet over USB 2.0. :P

    Like Joe said, go for an internal card, it's what I always do.
     
  4. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Internal cards- either actual internal PCI or mini PCI or whatever passes for PCMCIA on the laptop are my main choice. This despite wandering into a stateside staples one day and being told "they are so old we do not stock them"...

    Still I do have to do USB devices and I keep a stock of them to avoid having to deal with the belkin and netgear dross (netgear make fine home use routers, their USB wireless I am not so sold on) that infests and is the only thing available in real world shops around here.

    My base assumption in all this is does it work in linux and more importantly can I crack wep with it. I have never cracked wep as anything more than following a guide on my own network but linux is always a perk and if you can crack wep with it then chances are it is good piece of kit in the first place. You then face the same issue as someone buying a graphics card though- there are only three companies but a lot of people that actually make things with the chips. There are a few more than that in networks though my previous requirements temper that a bit- http://www.aircrack-ng.org/doku.php?id=compatible_cards
    From here I usually say screw it and go with atheros and then say screw it a second time and go with something from TP-link.

    All this said I hate wireless and like wires and will often opt for ethernet over powerline instead, if I must do wireless then "is it hacker grade?" is the only question I usually find I need to ask.
     
  5. the_randomizer
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    Member the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Because I was an idiot for not having considering that in the first place? :P

    I should have, and now I wasted $15 on a stupid USB dongle. Why am I not surprised? Either way, Asus has a nice "friendly" review from me to read.

    Unfortunately, Ethernet is not an option for my desktop. The closest jacks are five meters away, so I'd need one heck of a cable, not to mention have it go underneath my roommate's door, which with all the opening and closing, would rub the CAT5 cable raw, exposing the copper wiring. There aren't any jacks in the living room, which is pretty stupid if you ask me. Getting a long cable isn't an issue, wiring it/cable managing is. I tried asking management if installing an extra Ethernet jack would be plausible, but thus far have not received a response.

    That Rosewill card will do just fine, but once again, I've wasted your guys' time with my trivial issues. Oy.

    Edit: Placed the apartment complex issued device in the front USB and it works better than the Asus...wow.
     
  6. trumpet-205

    Member trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Have you considered Ethernet over Powerline (Powerline network)?



    http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-PA2010KIT-Powerline-Adapter-Starter/dp/B00AWRUIY4

    Basically it uses apartment powerline circuit in place of majority length of Ethernet cable. It is going to be slower than straight Ethernet, but faster (and more consistent/far less ping time) than Wireless.

    To your frustration, I don't think your USB wireless card is the problem; I think your apartment wireless is the problem. While internal PCI wireless care would've been better (since they can use more power to connect), I seriously doubt it is going to magically improve the network condition. From your description it sounds like there is serious interference at your apartment.
     
  7. the_randomizer
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    Member the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    If my network is the problem, why do my 3DS, Wii U and Chrome netbook work faster and more reliable than my wireless USB? That right there tells me the device is a POS. Every other wireless device works fine. The Wii U for example, I can stream Netflix no problem, even on my 3DS, but the desktop USB device....nope. It works better now that it's in front, but still drops randomly while other people in my apartment still have a wireless connection. The connection doesn't drop for others, but it does for me.
     
  8. trumpet-205

    Member trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    So other hardware works fine? Alright let me ask you this, did you install the proper driver for that ASUS dongle?

    I briefly looked into that dongle and it appears there is two hardware version for that dongle, using two different wireless chipsets.

    For B1 version (apparently the latest hardware revision), Realtek RTL8192CU chipset,
    http://www.realtek.com/downloads/do...n=4&DownTypeID=3&GetDown=false&Downloads=true
     
  9. the_randomizer
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    Member the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Sure did. Installed the device properly and despite having done so, it drops/disconnected more than 90% of the time. I used the CD and everything and didn't do a damn thing. The download speeds are abysmal, pages take a millennium to load and I can't even surf pages. So, right now, I have an apartment-issued dongle, placed it in front and the device drivers installed automatically. So far, it's working stably, and made sure the "turn device off to save power" to make sure it doesn't turn off. However, when I placed the Asus device in front, no drivers were automatically installed, in fact, it tells me the device installation failed.

    Installing generic USB in front - Successfully installed default drivers
    Installing Asus N-13 W USB in front - Nothing, no power, no drivers.

    Again, it can't be the network if mine drops but continues to work perfectly for my roommates. I did notice a review that mentioned the two chipsets, but what's that got to do with mine?
     
  10. trumpet-205

    Member trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Check my above post, try that Realtek driver. Sometime chipset manufacturer provides better driver than dongle manufacturer.
     
  11. the_randomizer
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    Member the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    The Asus dongle uses a Realtek chipset? WTF? I'll give it a try. I don't even know which revision I have.

    Still, the fact I didn't have it in the front in the first place is an epic PEBKAC error on my part.



    Edit: Installed drivers, device did not initialize and failed to show a wireless signal.

    Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks,bollocks,bollocks,bollocks!

    I'm using the generic USB device instead! I need a wireless card!
     

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