Network Cards

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Nightwolf, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Nightwolf

    Nightwolf Member

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    Looking for a cheapish but reliable wireless network card or usb have seen a few around was wondering if anyone has used any of these & their thoughts on it, it will only be used on a non gaming pc so basically facebook, emails general internet usage & download & uploads

    TP-LINK TL-WN721N USB

    TP-LINK TL-WN781N Card

    TP-LINK TL-WN821N 300Mbps USB

    D-Link DWA-525 Wireless N Card
     
  2. AC_Avatar100400

    AC_Avatar100400 Master Guru

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    Hay man i would say the TP-LINK TL-WN781N Card is the best option.
    I highly sugest it and have used it in work for many client pc builds.
    If you want a review and why its so good check here
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzFU0NCEtNo.
    Hope its okay to post a vid link :) enjoy.
     
  3. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    Whether you go with USB or a card depends on reception. A card is generally 'better', but a USB dongle you can place wherever gets you the best signal with the use of a USB extension cord.

    Wireless dongles can be a little tricky. Some which supposedly have good reception don't, and there also seems to be a big difference in the reliability of different wireless chipsets (Realtek, Atheros, Ralink etc). Atheros are a real pain to get drivers for, in most likelihood you will be stuck with an old driver. Realtek and Ralink update their drivers periodically. Out of the two, Ralink is probably the better one.

    A good chipset doesn't mean a good signal. TP-Link are quite decent signal wise, with the TL-WN821N probably being the best option out of those listed. Even though the wireless antenna is internal, it has a much better signal than some known brands even if they do have external antennas.

    Funnily enough, I have found the best adaptors signal wise can be found on Ebay.

    The Edup EP-1552 is pretty good value:
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/EDUP-EP-...SB_Wi_Fi_Adapters_Dongles&hash=item25766a35a7
    or
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/EDUP-EP-...69275798?pt=AU_Components&hash=item19d648c596

    I have no idea about those sellers, only that the product is quite reasonable. This is a product that you have to use an extension cable with (provided), as it's designed to be placed in the best signal location.
     
  4. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    AC_Avantar100400 is correct, if the router is nearby or doesn't have too many obstacles in the way. The issue when the router doesn't have good reception, or if there is some distance or obstacles in the way, is that the antennas are fixed at the back of the card. Sometimes this location can be very bad for signal. I should have said the USB options I suggested off Ebay are for where signal strength may be an issue.

    Remember even with 802.11N that does up to 300MBPS, it does choose a lower speed rate depending on signal. You don't really want to be running the card at say, 54MBPS because it does actually noticeably decrease performance (definitely not suitable for online gaming).
     

  5. tweakpower

    tweakpower Banned

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    Some of the USB cards tend to use CPU more, i would stay away from them, TP-LINK all the way, as suggested.
     
  6. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    The USB ones do, but it's negligible. The PCI-E cards may have access to networking and offloading efficiency things. With wireless you won't get the full transfer speed anyway, so computer 'stress' is minimal. If you were using Gigabit (or higher) ethernet then these would be very important!

    The issue with PCI-E cards is the aerial's are where they are, you can't move it half a metre to a better signal spot if required. Laptop's have the same issue though of course! In all likeliness if you are just web browsing you may just notice a bit of a delay on some pages if the signal is weak, but anything more than that (home networking, etc), the signal strength and quality is a definite consideration.
     
  7. Nightwolf

    Nightwolf Member

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    how are they on range ive just spent the day moving furniture all over the place & my gateway is now on the bottom floor & the pc's are now on the second floor
     
  8. tweakpower

    tweakpower Banned

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    To be honest, i would go with wired network for home/office env. Even when is just surfing in case, also, it have advantage over wireless for data transfer and local networking.

    Get a nice router or switch, and wire things trough wall installation. We have 8 PC's wired in LAN, and would never use wireless, few of them over 170m total (less then 100m to switch), but that's just me.

    And you can enable wireless for mobile devices or/and non static laptops, so it's win all the way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012

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