Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Connecting Eye-Fi card; need router or adapter?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
Share
April 20, 2013 11:14:56 AM

I come from 2 decades of experience in computing and I even have some IT background. However, I have ZERO experience in wireless networking and my understanding of computer networks is very basic at best.

I have a desktop workstation (see my system setup). Everything is wired. I'm connected to the net via a DSL modem and I want to keep it that way.

Here's the dilemma. I need to establish a wireless connection between my PC and this Eye-Fi card: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/896329-REG/Eye_Fi...

In System Requirements, it says that the card needs a WiFi 'router'. Does it really? I've seen videos on youtube of people connecting it to laptops and iPads, none of which have 'routers'. The transfer speeds were pretty poor though.

So, I have a 2-part question. Can someone verify that I can successfully connect this Eye-Fi card via a USB WiFi adapter, without messing up my current internet setup and without sharing the contents of my harddrives with the whole neighborhood?

If yes, which adapter would you recommend? Here are some more requirements that the adapter would have to meet.

WPA-PSK encryption, 802.11n standard @ 300 Mbps (if possible 600 Mbps). Range: up to 35 ft. (through air).
Since this is a desktop, I'm not looking for anything compact. It can have an antenna (or antennae). It can even be a small box which is connected via a USB cable. I must say that I would like to steer clear of anything that requires a separate power source. Since this is mostly a one-way connection, the reception is far more important to me. If some adapter can receive at 300 Mbps but transmit only at 150, it's fine by me.

Also of note; I have McAfee Total Protection suite installed. The adapter would have to get along with their firewall (which has served me well for over 8 years).

I must make clear that I am not looking to do any 'sharing'. Not my internet connection, not my files, nor my printers. I only want to connect my camera to the workstation, as reliably, securely and discretely as possible. This probably means that the Eye-Fi card would need to know how to operate in ad hoc mode. There's no mention of such capability anywhere. But is it even a 'capability'? I'd be glad to hear from someone who's been in a scenario similar to mine.


There possibly can be a different approach to this altogether. I have a spare gigabit PCI network adapter installed. It's currently unused but completely functional. If there's a good WiFi adapter that uses this type of connection, I suppose I could go for it. Again, I really want to avoid any type of 'routers' in my setup.

PS: I'm not trying to save any money.
a b F Wireless
April 20, 2013 11:32:19 AM

Eye-Fi. Love it!
I have the 8GB Pro X2

You can connect via a wifi router, an Ad Hoc network, or Direct mode.

From Eye-Fi:
Ad hoc
Direct mode
Router wifi

I use mine daily. Have put ~5,000 pics through it. (~10,000 if you count RAW+JPG+video)

Direct mode or an ad hoc network on your workstation would seem to be the key for you.
m
0
l
a b F Wireless
April 20, 2013 11:35:22 AM

On your workstation, set up the wifi adapter with WPA2, a strong password, and you're good to go. The card/camera will talk directly to the workstation.
m
0
l
Related resources
April 20, 2013 11:39:58 AM

I'm finally getting somewhere. Glad to hear from someone who actually uses this technology. I have a Nikon D800 and I shoot exclusively in RAW (compressed lossless). The files tend to be around 50MB. My concern is the transfer speed. The rate has to be at about 10-15 seconds per photo. It seems to be doable but I really need to get the right equipment and have it set up for optimal performance.

Can someone suggest which adapter I should get?
m
0
l
a b F Wireless
April 20, 2013 11:55:36 AM

-MZ- said:
I'm finally getting somewhere. Glad to hear from someone who actually uses this technology. I have a Nikon D800 and I shoot exclusively in RAW (compressed lossless). The files tend to be around 50MB. My concern is the transfer speed. The rate has to be at about 10-15 seconds per photo. It seems to be doable but I really need to get the right equipment and have it set up for optimal performance.

Can someone suggest which adapter I should get?


Yes, the transfer speed is an issue. It is significantly slower than through an SD card reader.
But...if you are shooting within range of the network...shooting multiple shots...the card is offloading while you are still shooting. You have exactly zero to do to see the next image on the PC.

Previously, it was :
take several shots, take the card out, transfer to the PC, put the card back in.
Don't like them, take more shots
wash rinse repeat

Now, it is:

Take several shots
review on PC
Take new shots as necessary.

As far as a specific USB wifi adapter....I haven't found one that doesn't work. The Eye-Fi transfers at 802.11n speeds, depending on distance and obstructions. Figure it this way...that's a tiny antenna, crammed into 1/2 of an SD card, encased inside the camera. It won't be great.
But I've found it much better than the alternative of taking the card out all the time. The last time my card was out of the camera was literally last year sometime.

Add to that the 'endless' function...set a threshold (mine is at 80%), and the card automatically overwrites the oldest files it has already uploaded when it reaches that level of data. NOTE: if you're going to do a few 4GB videos, it is advisable to delete all the old files, and not rely on the automatic overwrite function.
m
0
l
April 20, 2013 12:12:34 PM

I don't shoot tethered, so right now I am in a situation you were yourself in prior to switching to Eye-Fi. I shoot a lot in my studio and transferring the photos to the computer is very unpleasant and time-consuming. If the Eye-Fi can keep up with my shooting (which is not very fast) then I'm golden. But again, I do need to get the right stuff. There's soooooo much crap out there. It's not an issue of "whether it works or not" but rather "how fast it works". Most of these adapters seem to be unrealistically cheap. I wouldn't be throwing away that much money in any case, however, time wasted on a bad product is an issue for me. Not to mention the frustration as by nature I'm allergic to wireless networks. I wish Eye-Fi had Bluetooth connectivity.

PS: I don't shoot videos.
m
0
l
a b F Wireless
April 20, 2013 12:25:13 PM

Currently, I'm connecting through my routers n interface, but if I'm on the road...either the laptops builtin WiFi (ad Hoc) or the other laptop USB Netgear 802.11n USB dongle. There's not a lot of difference (IMHO) between different USB wifi dongles.

50MB RAW files will be slow, but easier and probably faster than moving the SD card around.
And if you want instant visual verification, you can port the JPG directly to a laptop or tablet, while the RAW transfers in the background.
You can designate a different location for each type of file, JPG/RAW/video.
m
0
l
April 20, 2013 1:04:03 PM

Thank you so much for all that valuable info. It looks like I'll probably just have to buy any USB adapter that seems to be right for me. I'm quite aware of the RAW+JPEG workflow. Though not right now, but in the future it may become useful.
There's one more thing I'd like to have some light shed upon. What exactly is the "direct mode"? And how is it different from ad hoc? I've heard about it before, only because I was told that my camera previously had an issue with operating in this specific mode. They claim that it's been fixed but what is it anyway? "Direct" sounds fast. "Direct mode" sounds like something that would bypass all the BS. I DO need all the speed I can get, so I'm definitely interested. Do you know if it's better than ad hoc? What about the encryption? Is the connection secure in "direct mode"?
m
0
l
a b F Wireless
April 20, 2013 3:06:44 PM

Direct mode - the card is the host
Ad hoc - the PC is the host

No difference in speed or security. 802.11n speed, WPA2 security.

Real world speed info:
I just did a test with my Fuji HS10
5 shot burst, RAW+JPG. 10 files total
Card talking to the WiFi router (802.11n), and then to two different folders the PC. Everything in the same room.
RAW files approx 15.1MB each

55 seconds, once the camera was done processing. Each RAW file approx 9 seconds.
Slower than the USB card reader transfer speed.
Faster than taking the card out of the camera, plugging it into the PC, transferring, putting it back into the camera.
And way more convenient.
m
0
l
April 20, 2013 7:34:43 PM

Thank you for that data.
There's no comparing the transfer speed with a dedicated card reader, of course. However, I know for a fact that the 16GB version (the one I have) can go faster than those numbers. Also, the card supposedly does not start the transfer immediately. There's always some sort of delay. But once it starts, a proper speed is sustained, so a "5 shot burst" is not a good performance indicator in my scenario.
Connecting via a WiFi router (like in your test) has a major drawback if the Eye-Fi card is not the only device. I know from other people's tests that if, for example, you're connected to a shared network (internet, other machines, printers), the card's transfer speed is reduced significantly.
I'll connect MY card via ad hoc or direct mode and it'll be the only WiFi device in the immediate vicinity, with nothing else to compete for the bandwidth.
m
0
l

Best solution

a b F Wireless
April 20, 2013 7:41:59 PM

-MZ- said:
Thank you for that data.
There's no comparing the transfer speed with a dedicated card reader, of course. However, I know for a fact that the 16GB version (the one I have) can go faster than those numbers. Also, the card supposedly does not start the transfer immediately. There's always some sort of delay. But once it starts, a proper speed is sustained, so a "5 shot burst" is not a good performance indicator in my scenario.
Connecting via a WiFi router (like in your test) has a major drawback if the Eye-Fi card is not the only device. I know from other people's tests that if, for example, you're connected to a shared network (internet, other machines, printers), it seriously inhibits Eye-Fi's performance.
I'll connect MY card via ad hoc or direct mode and it'll be the only WiFi device in the immediate vicinity, with nothing else to compete for the bandwidth.


Right. There is a delay while the card negotiates the initial comm. And a single 50MB file will likely be faster than 8-10 smaller files of 50MB total.
But on my current network, the only WiFi connected thing is the card. Everything else is hardwired.

Overall, I would never go back to not using it or similar technology. Eventually, more cameras will have it built in.
Share
April 20, 2013 7:56:47 PM

The first part of my initial inquiry has been answered, very thoroughly, I might add. What's left is to go out and buy a USB adapter with the right specs.

PS: The Nikon D800 camera was designed with Eye-Fi in mind. There are even dedicated icons on the (big) LCD screen to tell you what the Eye-Fi is currently doing. In fact, I found out about the technology from the camera's manual. If it interests you, the PDF version is online and free to d/l.
m
0
l
!