Thread: Wireless USB Adapters: Good or Bad?

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  1. #1 Wireless USB Adapters: Good or Bad? 
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    I moved and wanted to get online as quickly as possible (since the office is full of random crap) so I bought a linksys wireless-G USB adapter. I set everything up and it took a few tries to finally connect to the access point and stay connected. It worked very well for about a day but I keep getting disconnected and I have to disconnect/reconnect a few times before it reconnects and stays connected... only to disconnect again a few hours later.

    Does anyone know if the USB adapters are a good option. I don't have a 2.0 port (I don't know what it is) so I don't know if that is part of the problem. It may just be that it's not picking up the signal, but I'm about 5 feet from the router and when it's connected it's a pretty solid connection. Does anyone know about this? I'm thinking of calling linksys when I get home... I may just take it back and get something else.
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  2. #2  
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    I haven't had any experience with linksys models, but I've been using belkin 802.11b adapter since they first came out. Your problem is most likely a line-of-sight related issue. IE, the antennas in usb adapters are very finicky, much easier in my experience to drop a connection from the slightest shift than any other models. Also, though they have decent signal reception, walls and whatnot wreak havoc. For example, if I use my laptop in my living room it has to be situated at exactly the right elevation and angle to get a usable signal...Move it 2" in any direction and I lose 30% of my signal strength and/or drop the connection. Other main problem is the instability of the usb connector itself - If you're on a laptop, you will bend or break the connector eventually.

    If you're on a laptop, I'd recommend placing it on a desk and moving it no further than what is needed to get a good signal. The other suggestion would be looking down a line between your card and the AP and removing anything in this line of sight that is there, especially metallic objects. Is the AP in another room outside your office? You might just have an unstable connection that's being dropped when people walk between your comp and the AP.
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  3. #3  
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    ok, well i have a linksys setup. one router and one wireless-G USB adapter.
    and this setup is running streaming radio 24/7 so it never disconnects. Your problem could be using USB 1.1 because it runs slower than the newer 2.0.
    Famous*
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  4. #4  
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    I somehow doubt its a 1.1vs2.0 issue. If his computer was physically rejecting the adapter, like dropping the connection between the adapter and the laptop itself, then it might factor in. In my experience, though, 2.0 devices generally run rock-solid, albeit slower, on 1.1 ports.

    If he was on a T3 line it might make a difference, but as for general broadband internet there is no appreciable difference between b and g or 1.1 and 2.0 - The bandwidth just isn't high enough to NEED one for full speed. 1.1, IIRC, is spec'd at ~11mbits, or about 1.2mbytes/sec, whereas 2.0 is 480mbits or ~90mbytes/sec. If he was surfing a lan with a true 100mbps or gigabit connection, the matter of 1.1vs2.0 would make a huge difference, but as for surfing the net the argument is basically futile.
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  5. #5  
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    Can it be a firewall issue? Temporary disable it and see how the connection is. They may be conflicting, had a similiar problem in the past.

    Linksys is your adopter, what are you using as the router? Go in to the gateway thing of your router and check the settings. This MAY be the address you need to type in for your router http://192.168.1.1/ If not a google search should reveal it.

    Move it 2" in any direction and I lose 30% of my signal strength and/or drop the connection.
    Really? My router is in my bedroom and my laptop internet connection is perfect when i go 4 floors down to the basement 90%. I'm using a PCI card and i used a usb one, same performance. I think performance is also witht he laptop? Cause if the SAME card was used for a different laptop, it can detect more networkds then it can on my laptop.

    If you do wish to get a PCI wireless card you may want to do a search on dealigg.com for a good deal on a cheap one.

    Has anyone heard of wireless a or n besides g or b? What are they?
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  6. #6  
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    Xillianix, you're probably running better because of a better network - Mines all 4 year old 802.11b hardware running in a house with ~10 layers of 180+ year old lead paint on its 6-layer thick walls. So many areas for improvement, but I just don't use the wireless enough to justify upgrading it.

    Any luck with your network yet Killa?
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  7. #7  
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    It's working a lot better now. I ended up calling linksys and they had me reinstall it and I'm using the windows configuration rather than the linksys one. I thought it was weird that they didn't have me running the linksys monitor.

    Anyways, it stays connected most of the time. It has disconnected once and web pages would not load one time also (but it still showed me being connected. Each time I just reconnected and it worked fine.
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