Hi gain N-lite adapter or Hi power N 300mbps adapter?

Discussion in 'Internet & Networking' started by karhoe, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Hi guys,

    I place my router downstairs in a corner whereas my PC is at the other end of the house upstairs.

    I have phobia of using cheap WiFI adapters such as Belkin 54G and Aztech so I decided to get a Level One Hi Gain adapter which work beautifully, giving me rock solid stable connection with 4/5 bars of signal.

    LevelOne Global - WUA-0624 150Mbps Wireless USB Adapter (4dBi)

    Now I have another PC upstairs I am thinking of getting another WiFi adapter, between these 2 choices

    1) Hi Power 5dbi 150mbps

    Welcome to TP-LINK

    2) Hi Gain 3dbi 300mbps adapter

    Welcome to TP-LINK

    I would love to get the 300mbps but I am held back for 2 reasons

    1) To use 300mbps, it requires channel bonding, means it runs on 40mhz mode - no big deal, router supports it, but I heard that we can use 40mhz only if there is no other devices around as 40mhz frequency sorts of book a substantial part of the 2.4ghz spectrum. FYI, I have my brother connected to the same network next door.

    How do I know if there is sufficient channel to run on 40mhz? What I understand is there is 11 channel on 2.4ghz, so on 40mhz mode, how many adjacent channels do I need that is unoccupied?

    2) It has 3dbi antenna, if the signal is weak enough, the speed will drop and it may be worst than the hi gain 150mbps adapter.

    I need high speed as I stream movies from my media center downstairs which is connected via LAN to the router. I do not want a HomePlug adapter as my router ports are full. With the existing 150mbps adapter, it is a little jerky at times.

    What do you guys reckon.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  2. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    If I'm not mistaken, you just need two open channels to run 40 MHz. So unless you are staying in a condo with many WiFi networks crowding the channels, you should have no problem running 40 MHz.

    Hmm.. I think hi-gain antennas also come with reduced angle of reception, but I could be wrong. But streaming videos shouldn't actually require so much bandwidth.

    A reasonably high-quality HD video of about 8 GB in size only requires a sustained throughput of 18-20 Mbps to stream properly. Even a full Blu-ray movie of about 40 GB will only require a sustained throughput of 90-110 Mbps to stream. So it's really not about the bandwidth.

    IMHO, if you really want to ensure flawless streaming, use LAN. On the other hand, it could be the player's fault.
  3. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Tried to stream HD - 8GB, it is really jerky at times.
  4. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Maybe this might shed a light

    Wireless Networking — What is channel bonding?

    It seems that there is only 3 channels that can be used for 40mhz operations, channel 1, 6 and 11 and I scanned my WiFi and there are AP's running on these 3 channels, so that means 40mhz won't work for me?

  5. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Well, I tried streaming a 2 GB HD video - it would still jerk, so I don't think it's a bandwidth issue.

    Come to think about it, I only managed to properly stream an SD video (encoded for the iPad) to the WD TV Live Hub. So the problem is likely due to the WD TV Live Hub...
  6. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hmm.. If you are using 2.4 GHz and those channels are "occupied", then yes, you won't be able to perform channel bonding.
  7. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Nevertheless I got myself a 300mbps adapter, seems to perform faster than the 150mbps adapter, ocasionally I get speed above 144mbps but that is only temporarily, it dropped back after that. Channel 1 5 and 11 are all occupied :wall:
  8. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    The connected speed should not be used to measure connection speed.

    Just do a manual file copy and calculate how much time it takes to transfer the file. Make sure the other device is connected to Gbit LAN to remove bottleneck.
  9. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Yeap noted.

    I got myself the 300mbps adapter. I was able to stream the HD movies smoothly but there are times when the signal drop so bad that it's like watching a slideshow whereas my previous 150mbps adapter will give a stable speed but not sufficient enough to stream HD smoothly.

    I downloaded monitoring softwares and I can see the graph fluctuate so violently that if it's the share index people will die of heart attack when using the 300mbps adapter.
  10. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    This is the reason why I gave up WLAN completely. They are unreliable and will never provide 100% connectivity.

    I'm not sure how to get channel bonding to work, but I always use channel 1, 6 or 11 only. Look for surrounding AP, and choose the least used channel. Avoid 2.4GHz devices near the router like cordless phones etc.

    I used to get random laggy performance even with normal SD content, performance is not consistent.

    Now I'm extremely happy with Gbit LAN. :mrgreen:
  11. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    I'm all for Gigabit LAN but laying out 20-30 metres of CAT6 isn't going to please my dad, I don't really fancy homeplugs.

    That's the shit thing, channel 1, 6, and 11 are most occupied in my housing area lol.
  12. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I don't think it's really a WiFi bandwidth issue. You don't really need 300 Mbps to stream HD videos. As mentioned earlier, you only need about 18-20 Mbps to stream an 8 GB HD video.

    If you try streaming to the WD TV Live Hub, you will notice that it plays fine but only for a while. Then it stalls as it buffers. So it's very likely to be a Live Hub issue than a WiFi issue.
  13. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    LOL! You have a very "connected" neighbourhood! :D

    Usually, such congestion is only common in condos, where there's close proximity of WiFi routers.
  14. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Hmm, frankly speaking it seems to be fine to me. Nevertheless Live Hub is a great device, my dad plans to get another TV to put in the bedroom and I suggested getting one with LAN port and this time I'll hook it up to the switch so that he can stream the same HD movies via DLNA :D
  15. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Yeah, LAN is definitely the best option IMHO.
  16. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Just curious how home plug works.

    If I have 2 PC that needs to be connected via homeplug, do I need 4 homeplugs or just 3?
  17. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I think you only need two. One to each computer. You should not need a router, if you only want to connect them directly to each other.
  18. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    I think there's 2 Homeplug unit per box.
  19. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    So if I have 2 PC that needs to be connected to the router via homeplug, I would need 4?
  20. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I think you will need 3 Homeplugs for that. One to the router and one to each PC.

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