Hardware Need a wireless network card

the_randomizer

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The USB wireless adapter they give to tenants in this apartment complex are wholly unreliable and detestably inoperative. The way the infrastructure was set up is shady, bad cable management, placed in odd locations (congested routers in a small area). It's a mess and I need some recommendations for a good network card, as they tend to have a stronger signal, drop less frequently and are overall just better suited to my needs.

At first I thought it was only the router for our apartment, but only part of the problem. I ran on the same network using my Chromebook and noted that pages loaded faster, downloads were more consistent and didn't drop as frequently. In fact, with this adapter that the office gave me, I barely see more than two routers on the network, with the one I use disappearing from range very frequently. Just to give an example of how bad the signal is affecting speed, here are some ping test results.

About the routers first of all, they're actually professional-grade and high quality, the problem is they were improperly configured and all use the same channels and we, the tenants, can't change the settings. After running ping tests, I often get lag in excess of 2500 ms, which is horrific and makes it impossible for even the most basic browsing. When it doesn't show the ms, While a network card won't be a miraculous change, it will be a crap load better than the POS adapter they gave. It's a hand-me-down and is probably pretty dang old and on the verge of dying out.

Basic browsing is a chore, the wireless on my laptop and Chromebook work fine and don't have this lag, so that points to my adapter being the issue; conclusion, USB adapters are typically worse than cards. A download for a 40 MB file had an ETA of 2 hours, and that isn't hyperbole.


Here's the test, it's pretty bad:

C:\Users\PC>ping google.com

Pinging google.com [74.125.224.160] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 74.125.224.160: bytes=32 time=694ms TTL=55
Reply from 74.125.224.160: bytes=32 time=2435ms TTL=55
Reply from 74.125.224.160: bytes=32 time=2802ms TTL=55
Reply from 74.125.224.160: bytes=32 time=2400ms TTL=55

Ping statistics for 74.125.224.160:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 694ms, Maximum = 2802ms, Average = 2082ms

Also ran a tracert for google as a test to see how bad it really was

C:\Users\PC>tracert google.com

Tracing route to google.com [74.125.224.160]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 685 ms 13 ms 1501 ms 192.168.6.1
2 * * * Request timed out.
3 * * 2551 ms 10.8.201.37
4 2614 ms 3086 ms 2539 ms eth_3-3_prv02-rt02.veracitynetworks.com [97.75.190.166]
5 * 1541 ms 3062 ms 97.75.191.66
6 * * * Request timed out.
7 * * * Request timed out.
8 * * * Request timed out.
9 * * * Request timed out.
10 * * * Request timed out.
11 * * 3838 ms GOOGLE-INC.edge1.LosAngeles9.Level3.net [4.53.228.6]
12 23 ms 21 ms 21 ms 64.233.174.238
13 23 ms 23 ms 23 ms 72.14.236.11
14 23 ms 24 ms 42 ms lax02s01-in-f0.1e100.net [74.125.224.160]

Trace complete.

What are some good brands of cards?
 

the_randomizer

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Avoid Netgear and Belkin IMO

Ralink, Linksys, Cisco Systems and D-Link are my preferred brands.

though if your getting weak general signal maybe you should consider some sort of signal repeater to help boost it placed in the best place for signal possible.


They actually have those installed already (or so I was told by the IT "specialist") but they're not doing a very good job. So D-link, Cisco, Linksys are the way to go? Thanks! :P I don't know why people think USB adapters are better than cards; they're not. The fact that I can't even do basic browsing is downright pathetic. I can't even watch a 2 min video on YT without waiting ten minutes :rofl2:
 

Kouen Hasuki

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They actually have those installed already (or so I was told by the IT "specialist") but they're not doing a very good job. So D-link, Cisco, Linksys are the way to go? Thanks! :P I don't know why people think USB adapters are better than cards; they're not. The fact that I can't even do basic browsing is downright pathetic. I can't even watch a 2 min video on YT without waiting ten minutes :rofl2:


Good USB WiFi adapters are few n far between, I have 6 here and only 1 is solid... Irony is its a cheapo Chinese based on a Realtek chipset xD

I'm guessing maybe they have too many repeaters and the signals are getting clogged maybe and the WiFi adapter you was "issued" is having issues focusing or they are "daisy chaining" em and you may be jumping through 3 repeaters before hitting the actual router which would not do well for your net quality if when you get the PCI Card try and see how many AP's are near if they set em up as individual AP's that link to each other you could find one that has good signal but has less hoops to jump through before hitting the main router itself
 
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Another World

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the_randomizer

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Good USB WiFi adapters are few n far between, I have 6 here and only 1 is solid... Irony is its a cheapo Chinese based on a Realtek chipset xD

I'm guessing maybe they have too many repeaters and the signals are getting clogged maybe and the WiFi adapter you was "issued" is having issues focusing or they are "daisy chaining" em and you may be jumping through 3 repeaters before hitting the actual router which would not do well for your net quality if when you get the PCI Card try and see how many AP's are near if they set em up as individual AP's that link to each other you could find one that has good signal but has less hoops to jump through before hitting the main router itself



the thing is, I have no idea how this network was set up, all I know is that it was done very poorly on the IT specialist's side. The management is also not very well-versed in how the internet works, how networks work, much less how to set one up properly. I know signal boosters are installed, and routers are set up in several apartments in a concentrated area all using the same channels. The fact of the matter is, the adapter's signal is week, which I found out since when I had my laptop in the living room, I would get less issues with dropping. In fact, even my Chromebook drops less and has an easier time picking up signals than my adapter does. Sad huh? Hence, a wireless card would provide a better signal. I get four to five bars, but the browsing and downloading shouldn't take an eternity.

i've had awesome luck with a usb adapter brand called air link 101. netgear is crap, they have serious driver issues. i've installed a few d-link adapters and they work pretty well. make sure you get an adapter with 2 antennas, those tiny adapters usually only have 1.

http://www.meritline.com/airlink101-awll6077v2-golden-300n-usb-adapter---p-38768.aspx


-another world

I believe the one they issued is a netgear one, which from what I hear isn't that great of a brand. I also tried an Asus model when I built my desktop back in March, that too was a piece of crap and never installed drivers properly, never connected at all. I've never had issues with network cards when I was living at home, so I'm biased towards them. How much are the double-antennae ones?

Using my Chromebook and browsing is so much faster on wireless. I'm just baffled how a different computer, with built-in WiFi on the same network, in the same room can get better browsing speed and downloads when an apartment issued adapter fails. Oh, the irony. :rofl2: I have no doubts a wireless card will help a lot.

Thank you both for your feedback and patience :P This is really an inconvenience, have such a shoddy adapter.
 

Another World

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usually a generic card with 2 antennas will cost around $15-25. a name brand can go up to $80. it will say on the box if it has 2. i found that 2 are much more stable and provide better download speeds. i tried a few of those tiny usb adapters, they are great for traveling but their single antenna provides poor wifi range and slow speeds.

-another world
 
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Kouen Hasuki

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usually a generic card with 2 antennas will cost around $15-25. a name brand can go up to $80. it will say on the box if it has 2. i found that 2 are much more stable and provide better download speeds. i tried a few of those tiny usb adapters, they are great for traveling but their single antenna provides poor wifi range and slow speeds.

-another world


Aye im with ya on that one, if ya wanna go extreme get a dual / triple antenna one and get high gain antenna's for it xD
 
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the_randomizer

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usually a generic card with 2 antennas will cost around $15-25. a name brand can go up to $80. it will say on the box if it has 2. i found that 2 are much more stable and provide better download speeds. i tried a few of those tiny usb adapters, they are great for traveling but their single antenna provides poor wifi range and slow speeds.

-another world


Would Amazon or Newegg be good places to check? I have a feeling my adapter has been handed down so many times (used for so long by other tenants), it's on the verge of dying out, as I can serf perfectly fine on my Chromebook as we speak :D


Aye im with ya on that one, if ya wanna go extreme get a dual / triple antenna one and get high gain antenna's for it xD

I'll likely need to at this point, now to make sure it will fit in my motherboard next to my GPU (GTX 660), I'm sure there's room though. The adapter's a real POS and can't pick up a signal worth beans. Thanks again!
 

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Would Amazon or Newegg be good places to check? I have a feeling my adapter has been handed down so many times (used for so long by other tenants), it's on the verge of dying out, as I can serf perfectly fine on my Chromebook as we speak :D


Can't worse than Worst Buy or Wallfart :P
 
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the_randomizer

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check this link: http://www.meritline.com/airlink101-awll6077v2-golden-300n-usb-adapter---p-38768.aspx

that is the updated version of what i'm still using with my xp box. i love it! i assume the updated version is still great, i see a lot of wonderful reviews, but you may want to research that on your own. i've ordered a lot of items from meritline, they are 100% safe and easy to return items to.

-another world
Still kinda wary about wireless adapters, but I'll do more research :P
Can't worse than Worst Buy or Wallfart :P
Ain't going there. I tried looking for wireless cards there, the Best Buy rep didn't know what he was talking about. I'm still laughing at the fact my netbook has a better wireless than my adapter!:rofl2:
 

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Laptop are using mini-PCIe wireless card (most of the time it is Intel chipset). USB wireless adapter will never beat PCIe based wireless card in terms of performance.

IIRC Airline 101 is using Realtek chipset, pretty much one of the chipset that is reliable wireless networking.
 
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Laptop are using mini-PCIe wireless card (most of the time it is Intel chipset). USB wireless adapter will never beat PCIe based wireless card in terms of performance.

IIRC Airline 101 is using Realtek chipset, pretty much one of the chipset that is reliable wireless networking.


Yeah, right now I'm using my laptop on my parent's connection, and it's glorious B-) I'm downloading a 10 GB game off of Steam at 3.5 megabytes per second, it's wonderful, I wish our complex had those speeds. I don't know what brand the apartment complex gave, but it ain't Realtek since it sucks pretty bad, I think it's Netgear, and as I mentioned, I tried an Asus one but to no avail, it was worse than the one I have now. That's good that the Airline 101 uses the Realtek chipset, but I'm still on the fence as I don't know if it will truly be better at picking up signals than the one I use. I'm not doubting anyone, I just don't want to feel like I've been gypped and have it drop faster than dead flies, if you know what I mean. Still wary and I would feel better if I had a PCIe card with antennae. I believe the adapter they gave me as a 10/100 mbps type. How fast is the Airline capable of? > 10/100 mbps and 802.11n?

My desktop is currently in the living room and the closest Ethernet port is about 15 feet away, so it's not entirely practical to move it as there really isn't room for the tower in the bedroom. Wireless would be more convenient. If at all costs, I want to avoid having to RMA or get a refund for it if it doesn't work any better, hence my desire to get a card.
 

Psionic Roshambo

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My best generic advice for picking any hardware, head over to newegg find a piece of hardware your interested in and read all of the reviews. Also head to youtube watch some reviews. Those two things combined have helped me buy hardware and save a bunch of money.
 
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My best generic advice for picking any hardware, head over to newegg find a piece of hardware your interested in and read all of the reviews. Also head to youtube watch some reviews. Those two things combined have helped me buy hardware and save a bunch of money.


Will do. I've always had good luck with Newegg.

Edit: Found ones with copious amounts of reviews

Asus PCE-N15
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320074

TP-LINK TL-WDN4800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704133

D-LINK DWA-552
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127219

Rosewill RNX-N250PCE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166073

There are more out there, but these had the highest amounts of reviews...kinda. Not sure how good Rosewill is though.
 
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Psionic Roshambo

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Will do. I've always had good luck with Newegg.

Edit: Found ones with copious amounts of reviews

Asus PCE-N15
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320074

TP-LINK TL-WDN4800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704133

D-LINK DWA-552
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127219

Rosewill RNX-N250PCE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833166073

There are more out there, but these had the highest amounts of reviews...kinda. Not sure how good Rosewill is though.



Using a TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND Wireless N router I just picked up from newegg a few weeks back (maybe 2 months total?) after I installed the latest firmware on day 1 I have yet to reboot it, the speed is amazing and runs much cooler than the garbage router the cable company provided me with.

Honestly for the price I paid for it.... I got a hell of a deal. I still haven't tested out the USB FTP server on it but if it works as well as every other feature I have used than it will work great.

Not the same piece of hardware of course but at least I can say the company can put out some good stuff at a fantastic price (I picked that router because it can run a few different custom firmwares but after using the official one I don't see the need.)


Edit: !!!!! Beware !!!! The TP Link wireless adapter you linked is PCI Express 1X If you have a spare PCI Express slot it is not an issue but if your looking for PCI check the difference before you buy!
 
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the_randomizer

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Using a TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND Wireless N router I just picked up from newegg a few weeks back (maybe 2 months total?) after I installed the latest firmware on day 1 I have yet to reboot it, the speed is amazing and runs much cooler than the garbage router the cable company provided me with.

Honestly for the price I paid for it.... I got a hell of a deal. I still haven't tested out the USB FTP server on it but if it works as well as every other feature I have used than it will work great.

Not the same piece of hardware of course but at least I can say the company can put out some good stuff at a fantastic price (I picked that router because it can run a few different custom firmwares but after using the official one I don't see the need.)


Edit: !!!!! Beware !!!! The TP Link wireless adapter you linked is PCI Express 1X If you have a spare PCI Express slot it is not an issue but if you're looking for PCI check the difference before you buy!


I will look at the slots my motherboard. And while there is a rule saying tenants can't have personal routers, nothing in the contract ever states that, so people can have them if they want to, but it's a pain to set up with my crap network. I don't need a router, just a wireless card is all :P I'll be sure to look to see if what I get is PCI-e or PCI. How does the TP-link card itself fare? Would that be a good one to get or would that Rosewill card be good for my wireless card needs?

That TP one got great reviews on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WDN4800-Wireless-Express-Adapter/product-
reviews/B007GMPZ0A

I believe the adapter I have is 10/100 mbps wireless 802.11g
 

Psionic Roshambo

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I will look at the slots my motherboard. And while there is a rule saying tenants can't have personal routers, nothing in the contract ever states that, so people can have them if they want to, but it's a pain to set up with my crap network. I don't need a router, just a wireless card is all :P I'll be sure to look to see if what I get is PCI-e or PCI. How does the TP-link card itself fare? Would that be a good one to get or would that Rosewill card be good for my wireless card needs?

That TP one got great reviews on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WDN4800-Wireless-Express-Adapter/product-reviews/B007GMPZ0A


I don't have the card, but I have a router from the same company and its newish so right now they seem to be putting out quality equipment so I would recommend TP Link. They might have the same card in PCI if you need it in PCI flavor.

I would also advise you to try for something with 3 antennae as if they are set up correctly they can help with bad signal.

Have you thought about buying just a router and using it as a network card over LAN cable? I only ask because the price difference is so small and the flexibility they offer for things you may want to do in the future.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704038&Tpk=TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND&IsVirtualParent=1

It is super cheap and I can personally vouch for it being fantastic.

Edit: Another benefit depending on your wireless's network physical layout..... Like is the router above you? or how many walls or floors are in the way. With an external router operating as a bridge you can move it around while leaving your PC in one place to get the best signal. If you get a wireless card your stuck with it's placement.

Not a huge deal just something to think about.
 
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I don't have the card, but I have a router from the same company and its newish so right now they seem to be putting out quality equipment so I would recommend TP Link. They might have the same card in PCI if you need it in PCI flavor.

I would also advise you to try for something with 3 antennae as if they are set up correctly they can help with bad signal.

Have you thought about buying just a router and using it as a network card over LAN cable? I only ask because the price difference is so small and the flexibility they offer for things you may want to do in the future.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833704038&Tpk=TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND&IsVirtualParent=1

It is super cheap and I can personally vouch for it being fantastic.

Edit: Another benefit depending on your wireless's network physical layout..... Like is the router above you? or how many walls or floors are in the way. With an external router operating as a bridge you can move it around while leaving your PC in one place to get the best signal. If you get a wireless card your stuck with it's placement.

Not a huge deal just something to think about.



Again, it would be a pain to set up a router since where I have my desktop isn't readily accessible to Ethernet jacks and would require a mess of RJ-45/CAT5 cables going under the door and along the walls. I don't know how the landlord would like that, to be honest. A card would be less clutter and the one has three antennae, so that would provide a massive signal boost :P

That is to say I don't appreciate the feedback because I do :D It's just with the way my PC is set up (location) a router isn't too practical and would require one helluva change. I hope I didn't sound ungrateful. The way the network was set up was horribly botched by the so-called "specialists" badly located routers, badly placed signal boosters, etc. Very very convoluted. Having a router would likely exacerbate the issue.
 
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