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Mini PCIe 802.11ac

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 29, 2013 10:58:56 AM

Hi everyone,

I've been wondering if anyone has any info on Mini PCIe AC WiFi adapters.

I currently have an ASUS UX32VD-DH71 Zenbook Prime, it comes with the Intel Centrino Advanced N 6235, which is riddled with stability problems.

I've done some research and I haven't been able to fall on any adapters that are currently available, but I see that some chipsets have been finalized.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

More about : mini pcie 802 11ac

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July 29, 2013 11:08:39 AM

Asrock and Dell are including them in their products. Wouldn't surprise me if vendors are getting first dibs before it trickles into open availability.

However here ya go http://www.seaboom.com/scripts/product.asp?PRDCODE=1052...

Keep in mind some vendors purposefully block wifi cards that aren't shipped with a machine from working due to them not being validated.

Edit - Also http://www.printsavings.com/Item.aspx?sku=0909343954OP&...
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July 29, 2013 12:42:50 PM

They work rather well but they have the usual limits of the 5ghz band. Basically if you're getting decent speeds for N out of your current stuff then you should get phenomenal speeds out of your AC. If you're getting so so speeds out of your N you'll get better speeds than your N out of AC but you're not going to be getting the massive increases they seem to suggest.

Forgot apple is also sending out products with them. Anandtech has a review using the MacBook with an AC adapter in it should you care to look it up.

I have a m14x with an ac adapter and frankly I prefer the killernic N adapter that originally came with it to the ac adapter because its far more reliable due to whatever magic bullshit the killernic people do to the firmware/software.
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February 8, 2014 7:43:10 PM

quicksand10 said:
Hi everyone,

I've been wondering if anyone has any info on Mini PCIe AC WiFi adapters.

I currently have an ASUS UX32VD-DH71 Zenbook Prime, it comes with the Intel Centrino Advanced N 6235, which is riddled with stability problems.

I've done some research and I haven't been able to fall on any adapters that are currently available, but I see that some chipsets have been finalized.

Can anyone shed some light on this?


I think I can help you out here. My laptop is the Samsung Series 5 NP550P5C 15.6" which is also fitted with Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235. Exactly the same as yours. To upgrade to Wireless AC (867 Mbps, up from 300 Mbps with the 6235), what you need is the Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 2x2 Mini PCIe Card (Manufacturer part no. 7260.HMWWB, which is exactly the same form factor as the original 6235 in your ASUS laptop and my Samsung laptop).

Link:- http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/wireless-product...

The 7260.HMWWB is amazingly cheap, costs about $20 - $25 / $30 in your currency. I will perform open heart surgery on the laptop next month (March 2014), and to properly take advantage of Wireless AC, you need a Wireless AC router like the D-Link DIR-868L Dual Band Wireless AC Router (which I will also purchase next month, i.e. March 2014).

Hope this has helped. Cheers.

PS - Available for $30 on Newegg.com. See http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... .
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February 9, 2014 10:49:38 PM

Hi CoolHipDude,

You are correct, the 7260.HMWG (or 7260.HMWWB) is the one you want for the ASUS UX32VD-DH71.

However, please note that the antenna sockets ARE NOT universal, so you may need to remove the existing connectors and solder the existing laptop antennas to the new Wifi-AC card. That is what I noticed when I opened up my Zenbook, hopefully your Samsung will be different (as the 6235 was manufactured in two variants, with two different antenna connector/socket sizes).

Good luck!
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March 2, 2014 9:07:05 PM

quicksand10 said:
Hi CoolHipDude,

You are correct, the 7260.HMWG (or 7260.HMWWB) is the one you want for the ASUS UX32VD-DH71.

However, please note that the antenna sockets ARE NOT universal, so you may need to remove the existing connectors and solder the existing laptop antennas to the new Wifi-AC card. That is what I noticed when I opened up my Zenbook, hopefully your Samsung will be different (as the 6235 was manufactured in two variants, with two different antenna connector/socket sizes).

Good luck!


=================================================================================

Quicksand10,

Still waiting on the Intel 7260.HMWWB PCIe mini card. Had ordered it from this online retailer on Thursday 20th February 2014, their site did say that it would take 1 to 2 weeks for it to come so this morning (Sunday 2nd March 2014) I cancelled it because I had enough of waiting and I then ordered it from a different online retailer instead because they already had 9 of the thing in stock so I should receive it by this Thursday (6th March).

Upgrading the wireless card in the Samsung laptop won't be a problem for me because I have done it before on my old HP laptop, upgrading the wireless adapter in the old HP laptop from wireless 802.11g to 802.11n which went off without a hitch and the HP was able to recognise and see the new card.

However, I did get the next best thing which was a D-Link DWA-182 Wireless AC Dual Band USB Adapter.

Actually I purchased it as part of a D-Link DIR-868L Wireless AC Gigabit Router / D-Link DWA-182 Wireless AC Dual Band USB Adapter Network Bundle, which worked out cheaper for me than buying them separately and thus saving me some money, and I also purchased a second DIR-868L router as well because we live in a two-floor semi-detached house and I wanted a DIR-868L router on each floor - the signal from the DIR-868L router (primary) downstairs won't be strong if I am on the first floor, and likewise, the signal from the DIR-868L router (secondary) on the first floor won't be strong if I am downstairs on the ground floor so it makes sense to have a DIR-868L on each floor and log into the strongest signal whereever you are. Ordered them last Wednesday (26th Feb.) and they arrived on Friday (28th Feb.).

(It now appears that I was maybe indeed correct in buying two DIR-868L routers instead of just one. My Samsung)
(Galaxy Note II phone was connected to the primary DIR-868L router on the ground floor at first, showing three )
(bars instead of four, but when I took the Note II with me to the first floor, the number of bars went down to one, )
(indicating poor signal, and by logging into the secondary DIR-868L router in mum's bedroom on the first floor, the )
(number of bars went from one up to four, indicating good signal. )

On Thursday (27th Feb.), I then started laying down these two white Wentronic 50 m Cat6 cables that I had purchased from Amazon (they arrived on Monday 24th Feb.), one cable went from the hall (the Virgin Media SuperHub fibre optic cable modem/router is sited in the hall) to the living room and the other cable also went from the hall upstairs along the stairs to mum's bedroom on the first floor, both secured by cable clips.

The reason for having one cable running from the hall to the living room is that we have the Panasonic TX-L37E30B LED television (which mum bought a few years ago as an upgrade from our old style CRT Philips tv which always gave us no end of problems, seizing up from time to time, and power-cyling the tv always fixed whatever it is that caused the tv to seize up), my Panasonic DMP-BD75 Blu-Ray player and my Humax HDR-FOX T2 1 Tb digital television recorder in the living room and they all have Ethernet ports.

After the two DIR-868L routers and the DWA-182 adapter arrived on Friday, I then tried setting up the first one (primary). First, I connected one end of the blue RJ-45 patch cable into the yellow WAN socket on the DIR-868L and connected the other end of the blue RJ-45 patch cable into the LAN port closest to the cable BNC socket on the Virgin Media SuperHub router.

On the back of the Virgin Media SuperHub router, from left to right, the SuperHub router has these four gigabit LAN ports, then the cable BNC socket for the coaxial cable from the Virgin Media box (in the hall) and the DC power socket on the right.

When the SuperHub router is in modem mode, the three leftmost LAN ports are disabled while the LAN port closest to the cable BNC socket remains active, and the router uses the IP address of 192.168.100.1 with 192.168.0.100 being reserved for the Samsung laptop in my bedroom on the first floor (I also have a 100 m grey Cat5e network patch cable which I assembled myself running from the hall up the stairs to my bedroom on the first floor, also secured by cable clips and cable ties), but when the SuperHub router is in router mode, all 4 gigabit LAN ports are active and the router uses the IP address of 192.168.0.1 (by factory default) with 192.168.0.2 being reserved for my Samsung laptop.

So the SuperHub router was in modem mode when I connected the other end of the blue RJ-45 patch cable into the remaining active LAN port on the SuperHub router, and plugged the 100 m grey network cable into the topmost LAN port on the primary DIR-868L router before switching the DIR-868L router on.

Which should have worked, right?

Wrong! What happened, was that when I switched the DIR-868L router on, the power light was orange at first before it changed to green, and the Internet light was orange first but it never became green. I couldn't get connected to the Internet. I tried and tried for many hours, researching and investigating the problem, but I just couldn't get anywhere and I was very bitterly disappointed - the DIR-868L routers seemed to be bit of a lemon and I was all for sending them back.

The Virgin Media SuperHub router does not have a "Bridge Mode" option which you have with the DIR-868L, but according to the posts on the Virgin Media support forum site, putting the Virgin Media SuperHub router in modem mode seems to have effectively put it in bridge mode so if I set up the DIR-868L router correctly, the Internet light should have became green and I would then be able to get connected to the Internet, but the Internet light still stayed orange and I still couldn't get through to the Internet.

I then came across this subject of Double NAT, which was completely new to me, and I wondered if the double NAT thing was somehow preventing the DIR-868L router from being able to get connected to the Internet correctly and properly.

The problem with the Virgin Media SuperHub router, is that when the router is in modem mode, you have very few options. When you access the VM SH router configuration pages, you have 4 options - "Wireless Network Settings", "SuperHub Settings", "Device Connection Status" and "Advanced Settings".

When the VM SH router is in modem mode, only the "SuperHub Settings" option is available to you (and either the "Wireless Network Settings" or "Device Connection Status" or both may be also available to you as well, but I am not 100% sure), but the "Advanced Settings" option is not available to you, and when the VM SH router is in router mode, all 4 options are available to you but I couldn't find any "Bridge Mode" / "NAT Enable?" options in any of the available configuration pages. There is no way of telling whether the VM SH router is in bridge mode or not, and also no way of telling whether NAT has been enabled / disabled either.

I also tried putting the DIR-868L router into bridge mode, which ended up completely screwing up the router and I found that my Note II phone couldn't even connect to the DIR-868L router - the wireless got switched off without any warning at all. I couldn't even access the DIR-868L router configuration pages, and I had to hard-reset the DIR-868L.

After many fruitless hours, I just gave up and put the DIR-868L router back in the box it came in. I was all for sending both DIR-868L routers and maybe also the DWA-182 USB adapter back to whereever I purchased them from, and went to bed - I was dead tired after a long hard day.

A few hours later, while I was asleep (I get my best ideas when I am asleep), I had this flash. What if I put the VM SH router into router mode instead of modem mode?

I dug the DIR-868L router, power adapter and patch cable out of the box, switched the VM SH router into router mode, made sure that UPnP and DHCP were enabled on the SH router, disabled both UPnP and DHCP on the DIR-868L router, and also disabled the DNS Relay on the DIR-868L router as well which the user guide for the DIR-868L router never mentioned anything about in its pages on using the DIR-868L router with an existing router because I discovered from the posts on the D-Link support forum that the DNS Relay on the DIR-868L was also causing other people problems too.

Tried setting the DIR-868L router to IP 192.168.0.100 at first, but then Windows reported an IP clash two or three times whenever I switched the VM SH router back to modem mode because it had already reserved 192.168.0.100 for my Samsung laptop, so I switched the SH router back to router mode and the DIR-868L router to IP 192.168.0.200. No more IP clash error messages.

When connecting the DIR-868L router to the VM SH router in the hall downstairs, the 100 m grey network patch cable connecting my computer was plugged into the rightmost LAN port on the SH router, the one closest to the cable BNC socket, one end of the blue RJ-45 patch cable (which came with the DIR-868L router) was plugged into the topmost LAN socket on the DIR-868L router instead of the yellow WAN socket and the other end of the blue RJ-45 patch cable was plugged into the LAN port on the left of the one the grey network patch cable was plugged into, before I then plugged the DIR-868L adapter into the mains and switched the DIR-868L on. The VM SH router was still in router mode when I switched the DIR-868L router on.

The power light on the DIR-868L was orange for a while before going green, but the Internet light never came on at all. However, when I switched my Note II phone on, I found that the Note II was now able to connect to the Internet despite the Internet light on the DIR-868L remaining off. I also have this Smart TV adapter which I had connected to one of the HDMI sockets on the Panasonic TX-L37E30B television (with 4 HDMI sockets) because the TX-L37E30B doesn't have any Smart TV features, and I was able to get the smart tv adapter connected to the Internet wirelessly as well like my Note II.

The DIR-868L router now seemed to be working properly, so I then connected the downstairs white cable to the living room into the LAN port on the left of the one the blue RJ-45 patch cable was plugged into, and plugged the other end of the cable into the fifth LAN port on the D-Link DGS-105 5-port gigabit switch (which I ordered on Wednesday 26th February 2014, last Wednesday, and it arrived the following day [Thursday]), and connected the white cable running up to mum's bedroom into the leftmost LAN port on the SH router, the only remaining free LAN port on the router. The light for the fifth LAN port on the DGS-105 switch was green, indicating that the 4 LAN ports on the SH router were gigabit-speed, not Fast Ethernet-speed (100 Mbps). This was late Friday night / early Saturday (yesterday).

The three 3 m black network patch cables (1 for the Panasonic tv, 1 for the Panasonic blu-ray player and the third for the Humax digital tv recorder) arrived yesterday afternoon (Saturday) and I was then able to get the tv / blu-ray / Humax finally connected to the Internet which was long overdue, and it was interesting to see that the lights for the LAN ports the tv / blu-ray / Humax were orange while the light for the LAN port the white cable to the VM SH router in the hall was green, and that the lights for the LAN ports the tv / blu-ray / Humax were plugged into only came on whenever the tv or blu-ray were switched on (the Humax is always left switched on all the time).

I then spent all afternoon updating the firmware on the tv from v. 1.39 to v. 1.59, the blu-ray from v. 1.220 to v. 1.221, and no firmware update was available for the Humax.

Then I set up the secondary DIR-868L router exactly the same way as the primary DIR-868L router downstairs - UPnP / DHCP / DNS Relay all disabled, and the secondary DIR-868L router set to IP 192.168.0.201, before I placed it in mum's bedroom and switched it on. I can now access the configuration pages for the VM SH router and the two DIR-868L routers all from my computer after bookmarking their config pages - 192.168.0.1 for the SH router, 192.168.0.200 for the downstairs DIR-868L router and 192.168.0.201 for the upstairs DIR-868L router, and I am also able to connect the laptop to the two routers wireless on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz without too much problem.

Finally, it came to setting up the DWA-182 Wireless AC Dual Band USB Adapter. Tried installing the drivers first (according to the quick install guide), then plugged the DWA-182 when prompted but the installation software still could not recognise and see the DWA-182, so I had to download the v. 1.01 drivers from the D-Link US site instead of the D-Link UK site (the UK site had links for the 1.01 and 1.02 drivers but they didn't quite work properly, resulting in files that were zero bytes and had to make do with the v. 1.01 drivers from the US site instead), unzip the 1.01 drivers and manually update the driver software which got the DWA-182 working properly, this blue light on the adapter coming on and flashing whenever data is sent or received. Was able to connect the DWA-182 to the secondary DIR-868L router, and discovered that the average connection speed was around the 500 Mbps mark, half of gigabit ethernet.

Everything was all done now, and we now have a working wireless AC network up and running. Normally, I have a medium pizza with one garlic pizza bread from either Domino's or Pizza Hut or Pizza Go Go, but I treated myself to a large quattro formaggi pizza with two garlic pizza breads from a pizza shop that I had only ever ordered burgers and spaghetti bolognaise from before last night (Sat) as a pat on the back for a job well done, because I was very very hungry and I hadn't eaten a single thing since breakfast yesterday.

Was dead exhausted, I still haven't quite recovered yet, and my legs feel as if they have run a marathon or two, I still have some cramp in both thighs, more so in the left than in the other. Looking to a few days' well earned rest.

However, the only bugbear is that I am unable to take advantage of the mydlink cloud service thing because the WAN ports on the two DIR-868L routers are not connected to anything and I still don't understand why the DIR-868L router couldn't quite connect to the Internet properly the first time round.

I think the problem might be fixed if I connect one of the Ethernet ports on the TP Link TD-W8980 N600 Wireless N Dual Band ADSL2+ Modem Router to the WAN port on the primary DIR-868L router downstairs and the RJ-11 socket on the TD-W8980 to the ADSL socket on the ADSL microfilter which is plugged into the phone socket in the hall and the TD-W8980 set to IP 192.168.1.1 by factory default instead of 192.168.0.1 (according to the TD-W8980 user guide) which shouldn't cause an IP clash with the VM SH router, but I don't know if that will work or not.

The wireless on the TD-W8980 will have to be left switched off, like with the VM SH router (because the VM SH router has crappy antennas and not everyone is fond of the VM SH router, the VM SH router being a re-branded Netgear cable modem), and I didn't want to cause any interference with the signals from the two DIR-868L routers.

My next big project is to add some network attached storage, so that I can move some stuff off the laptop and backup all my stuff in case I have a hard drive crash on the laptop.


CoolHipDude
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May 4, 2014 1:10:25 AM

Kraszmyl said:
Asrock and Dell are including them in their products. Wouldn't surprise me if vendors are getting first dibs before it trickles into open availability.

However here ya go http://www.seaboom.com/scripts/product.asp?PRDCODE=1052...

Keep in mind some vendors purposefully block wifi cards that aren't shipped with a machine from working due to them not being validated.

Edit - Also http://www.printsavings.com/Item.aspx?sku=0909343954OP&...


how to check if a laptop will support a replacement intel card? I know some manufacturers are known to "lock down" their wifi, is asus one of them? mine is running a horrid qualcomm chip, i want to replace it with an intel AC module
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June 12, 2014 11:00:54 AM

Hey I guess this might be late for ya but you really can't. That being said I will say Dell and Asus rarely lock down such things where as HP almost always does from my experience. I do not use Toshiba, Acer, Lenovo, and Apple enough to comment on theirs. My best suggestion would be to put your laptop model into google + ac and see if some one else has tried.
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