Wireless Adapter Traps

Ok so you go to the store and you’re looking around for an awesome deal on a Wireless-N adapter, and you find one for only $14!  ”How can this be!?“ you might ask yourself?  Well, let me explain something to you before you end up with the same situation I find myself in right now.

Ok so my story goes a little differently than that, but it’s basically the same thing.  My wife needed a new wireless adapter for her computer because the one she had was pathetically bad.

So, me being the tech nerd that I am, decided

why not buy a Wireless-N adapter so when I upgrade my router in the next year or so she’ll already be ready for it?

So I went and got her a DLink DWA-125.  Not only that but the price tag on the sucker was only like $14, which I thought was amazing.  Not until I upgraded my router did I realize the error of my ways.  It’s in the bands people, the bands will get you every time.

So I bought the adapter because it’s Wireless-N.  And it is, don’t get me wrong.  However, the bands it operates on are… well.. I should say… the band it operates on, is 2.4 GHz.  You might be thinking, “what’s the big deal Joe? Just connect to your router and go with it man.”  Here’s the problem. When you connect a device that runs G to a network that already has a device running on N, a couple things could happen.

You could be dropped to Wireless-G, and both adapters would run there.  Which kind of defeats the purpose of buying the N adapter, don’t you think?

Or… Your network could go crazy and let the adapters battle it out, which is what happened to me.  Who won you might ask?  No one, because every time one of the adapters would lose connection, it would just try to get it back, which would essentially kick the other one off, etc. etc.

So be aware when purchasing N adapters.  If you’re like me and you have G devices that you still need to use, then you better get an N adapter that runs on a 5GHz band. How do you know if your router can handle this set up?  Well… that’s a different story.