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USB Network Adapters

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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November 24, 2012 8:01:12 PM

I recently upgraded to BT Infinity which runs on 802.11n radiowave. However i have an old laptop which has an old network adapter which only supports 802.11b preamble wave.

FYI: My laptop is a Medion MAM2110 Notebook PC, with Vista Home Premium

I'm getting 0.2mb/s wireless which is pretty annoying.
When wired i get 24mb/s (but it doesn't seem like that).
The others in my household with brand new laptops get 28mb/s when wireless, and 67mb/s wired.
As you can see i'm getting less wired than they get wireless.

Would a USB network adapter solve my issue and get me faster connection?
And if so, which would you recommend?

Thanks in advance, Mark.

More about : usb network adapters

a b D Laptop
a c 203 F Wireless
November 24, 2012 10:28:31 PM

Yup, a USB network adapter would work well -- I like the TP LinkTL-WN722N -- I've used a dozen of them for client installs and they have all worked great for a very inexpensive price. Much better than PCIe adapters or a number of other USB adapters that I have tried.

If you use N only and AES encryption, you will get full N speeds.
November 24, 2012 11:01:35 PM

Thanks for the response :) 
I looked up that adapter, looks good, although big/chunky, but I don't mind.
You think it will be a good choice, because I want to make a decision pretty soon. :) 

Thank again.
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a b D Laptop
a c 203 F Wireless
November 25, 2012 12:20:15 AM

Yes, it is a bit clunky with the large antenna, but it is a really good adapter that I have used on many machines. It is better than any internal card I've used and is the best "small" USB adapter -- you should see the big ones. :)  If your wireless signal is really strong, then you don't need that large an antenna, but it comes in handy when signal strength is lower.

The really important part is to use N only and WPA2 with AES encryption -- anything less limits N to only 54Mbps, and ends you up with just G speeds anyway.
a b F Wireless
November 25, 2012 12:33:02 AM

I also like that adapter and is very cheap and works well. The only adapter I like better is a dual band card made by alfa that is not available for now and is being replaced by a new one. Those cards are huge in comparison to this one. ... Note the only reason I prefer the alfa is because they work well with wireless sniffers. For general use the tplink card is cheaper and works just as well
November 25, 2012 8:38:09 AM

Grateful for the replies :) 
I will probably get that one then, i'm sure it's on AES encryption. How do i know if it's N only?
a b F Wireless
November 25, 2012 10:52:02 AM

AES only runs on WPA2 and N so thats a good sign. You normally want to force the N only option from the router.
November 25, 2012 1:20:06 PM

Any ideas how? I haven't looked yet (so i don't know if it's simple or not)
a b F Wireless
November 25, 2012 2:29:07 PM

From a quick look for the manual for your router it appears BT wants everyone to think the router is a magic box you just plug in and it works.

I would suspect there is a tab someplace that tells it to use WPA2 encryption or to use AES. Either of this will force it to run in the mode you need. Be nice if they showed what the screens look like and what all the options were.

The other option is to just try it and see what happens. If the network properties on your nic card stay with AES then you are good to go. If it would ever change then you need to hunt the option down.

The problem with many routers is they tend to be too user friendly lately and they hide all the technical details. But it keeps people happy to "think" they are running the best and fastest setting when they really are not.
a b D Laptop
a c 203 F Wireless
November 25, 2012 2:29:36 PM

M4rkyboy1 said:
Any ideas how? I haven't looked yet (so i don't know if it's simple or not)
LOL, yes I'm sure that we both have pretty good ideas and it is quite easy. Best to look at your router guide for specifics, but all you have to do is open the configuration pages and go to wireless. In the wireless radio area select N only and then in the security section select WPA2 personal and AES for the encryption type. Enter a security pass phrase and write it down because you will need it for all the devices that will log on.

When you have done that, start up your laptop with the N adapter installed and the available wireless connections will show up in the Windows system tray (lower right corner), select your wireless network and enter the security key and choose to connect automatically.

You may need to open the laptop network control panel, select change adapter settings, pick the wireless adapter and click wireless properties, then hit the security tab and make the correct entries.
!