Linksys WUSB300N and WRT300N connection

I have a WRT300N setup for home network in 7200 sq. ft. house with three levels. The router is located in the geographical center and set to auto-channel, MIMO running named non-broadcast SSID with MAC address filtering, no WEP or WPA. The two nearest neighbor PC's have WUSB300N adapters to allow for direction movement of the antennas for max signal strength (5 bars in Vista and XP SP3). For one PC, all communication (current drivers, Windows Zero config) the USB adapter worked very well for 17 months of daily usage. Yesterday, on booting up, the adapter could not communicate with the router. All attempts at "repair connection" failed and no other software or hardware changes occurred, beyond Windows XP auto-update. No new interferences occurred with router like furniture movement, cordless phones, etc.

Another PC in a different room running the WUSB300N adapter (new) under Vista expereinced the same issue. I returned the new adapter for another with the same results. I swapped the adapters between XP and Vist machines with same result. Are the Linksys USB adapters flawed? Anyone have a suggestion why the WUSB300N lost communication and can't be restored? My PCI Linksys WMP300Ns don't have the problem. Can the auto-channel select on the router suddenly change channels while the adapter remains the same? I assumed the router and adapter communicated by auto-channel broadcast to eliminate interference.

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  1. In my experience PCI wireless cards work better than USB. If you have laptops, then best look at PCMCIA-type cards.

    Do not use auto channel select or the router keeps shifting around as other wireless signals appear in the neighbourhood.
  2. Thanks Fihart for the comment. Could you elaborate on why PCI cards with limited antenna orientation work better than the USB adapter with 3 ft of USB cable to allow for better positioning?

    I use auto-channel select because my network is the only one present. The nearest neighbor is 1/4 mile and the nearest WiFi network is close to one mile. Without a high gain directional antenna, I doubt either can cover the distance with a signal strong enough to interfer. My house is rural, surrounded by woods, river and lots of land and half the house is below ground which blocks the transmission of my network. The router is sheilded from Wardriving by earth, so I don't need WEP or WPA encryption to slow speed.

    In your experience, does the WUSB300N require a manual selection of channel? And does the WRT300N work better if one channel is selected to match the USB adapter?
  3. Not sure why PCI is better -- may be because they can draw a higher voltage/wattage via the PCI bus than USB is capable of. Perhaps the stick antenna is better.

    The general wisdom is that auto channel select is more of a nuisance than a benefit.

    In your situation I would spend some time comparing performance on each channel -- as the different channels work better or worse in different environs.
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