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TP Link USB Wireless Adapter running slowly and disconnecting?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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July 23, 2012 11:20:52 AM

Hello
I have a TP Link TL-WN722N 150mbps USB wireless adapter I use with my desktop. I've had it for about 6 months and it has been mostly fine with a few little problems. I recently went away for a few weeks and when I returned I found that my wireless adapter is running very slowly and disconecting from the router. It is an adapter problem as no one else in my house is having the same issues. When the adapter does run slowly the only way to speed it up is to unplug it and plug it in again. This puts it back to a bearable speed but usually this drops within 30 minutes. Any one have any ideas?
July 23, 2012 3:48:31 PM

Obviously a problem like this could be the result of many things, including radio interference, electrical noise from your desktop/laptop, a change in orientation/placement of the adapter or host computer, etc. So no matter what ideas are offered, it’s always a bit of a guessing game.

That said, wireless USB adapters are notorious for having overheating problems. And heat is the enemy of wireless. And the heat will increase w/ greater network activity. It may appear to work fine when brand new, but over time it eventually succumbs to the continual excessive heat.

That’s one of the reasons I generally stay away from wireless USB adapters. The form factor just doesn’t lend itself well to wireless, both because it’s hard to manage the heat build-up, and the lack of room for a quality antenna. Yeah, it’s convenient, but what good is the convenience if it doesn’t work reliably. Of course, some models may be worse than others.

Looking at your model in particular, I wouldn’t expect as many problems given its unusually large footprint for a wireless USB adapter. And it even has an external antenna (nice). But still, they always make me a bit leery.

What you might do (if only to prove/disprove heat is the problem) is try to place a fan on the adapter while in use. Or maybe run it off a USB cable and placed on a bag of ice wrapped in a towel. Whatever it takes to keep it cool. See what happens.
!