Question Wifi adapters. Which do you all prefer?

Aug 27, 2018
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I get that ethernet cables are the way to go in terms of speed and connectivity, but im not big on all the cables, especially when my wifi isn't located in the same room as my pc. So im asking, which wifi adapters would you all recommend? I was thinking about getting a PCIe wifi adapter but ive also hear usb can be pretty good too. PCIe tends to be my go to for a lot of things because its a more direct connection but im curious about USB because its more simple and takes up little space.
 
The best units tend to be the PCI units that have antennas extended away from the case. The antenna being close to the case is the main downside of pci cards. USB cards you can use a $3 cable to extend them from the case. Problem with USB is you have to do a lot of research. Most are meant for portable devices where size and battery power are as big a concern as performance. It gets tricky to tell if the radios put out full power or not. USB does tend to be easier to install

Wifi works fine for pretty much all application other than games. Games tolerate almost no changes in the latency and wifi by its design will get latency spikes because of interference. Other applications you will not even see these spikes but online games they tend to have a large affect on the game play
 
Aug 27, 2018
6
2
15
0
The best units tend to be the PCI units that have antennas extended away from the case. The antenna being close to the case is the main downside of pci cards. USB cards you can use a $3 cable to extend them from the case. Problem with USB is you have to do a lot of research. Most are meant for portable devices where size and battery power are as big a concern as performance. It gets tricky to tell if the radios put out full power or not. USB does tend to be easier to install

Wifi works fine for pretty much all application other than games. Games tolerate almost no changes in the latency and wifi by its design will get latency spikes because of interference. Other applications you will not even see these spikes but online games they tend to have a large affect on the game play
Alright, I was thinking about getting the
ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100. It has an extender for the antennas
 
That is one of the better units but be careful about chasing big numbers. First your router must support the same modes and a number of things this card is using are not part of the official standards. Also many you get diminishing returns. Transmitting 2 overlapping signals instead of 1 ie 2x2 mimo give a fairly large increase in speed in real world installs. Going to 3x3 and 4x4 gives less in each.

That cards to get the high speeds is using QAM1024 which is not in the current standard. They claim 1000 on 2.4g but it only works if you put the end device on top of the router and even then it has issues. So that drops it a more standard 4x4 mimo but they also attempt to support 256-qam on 2.4g which is not part of any standard. This is how they get 800,. If you use the standard the fastest you can get on 4x4 mimo is 600 on the 2.4g band.

Of course nobody gets anywhere close to any of these magic numbers in real world installs.

Just be careful when you buy stuff that you really can use what you are buying. Many times a simpler card will perform exactly the same depending on what your router supports.
 

doolittle

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True story, several years ago we upgraded our ISP plan and was trying to get the family on better wifi speeds - unfortunately in my townhouse community we are close to town and the wifi is very crowded (over 400 APs visible in wifi scanner!) and had big problems getting a stable wifi connection in just about every device.

Tried expensive adapters like that Asus in the $100+ range (was not AC3100 at the time, I think it was 1900) but also didn't work, also tried upgraded routers with matching speeds to no avail.

In researching I came across an article, Review: Ubiquiti UniFi made me realize how terrible consumer Wi-Fi gear is @ ars

Said "why not" and gave the AP-AC-LR a try, was $120 at the time - once I disabled my router wifi and fired it up, located near the center of the house - I now get 5ghz full bars in the entire townhouse (save the farthest room, drops 1 bar) and also get 1/2 strength in the backyard. Rock-solid stability @ AC1200 max, with over 2 dozen active devices with the help of extended family visiting to test it out.

A side effect, the cheap budget adapters and old laptops now work very well!

Both of my sons PCs are now using an AC1200 adapter similar to this one with a weighed desktop usb3 cable, the StarTech 5 ft Desktop SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Extension Cable. The adapters report a 400mbps connection and real world speeds that max out around 40MB/s (320mbps). Could not be happier, no problems playing FPS games with them at all.
 

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