|Rosewill Wireless-N WiFi Adapter RNX-N180UBE|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Monday, 03 October 2011|
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Rosewill Wireless-N WiFi Adapter RNX-N180UBE
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by Rosewill.
The world is becoming increasingly wireless. Almost everyone has a smartphone now, which can be connected to a wireless network just like any number of mobile devices, tablets, netbooks, and laptops. Businesses, schools, and even government offices are beginning to transition to wireless networks. Why then, do many of us still rely on wired networks in our home, especially when the price of converting your home network into a wireless network is becoming increasingly more affordable? It is true that, until 802.11n networking was available, a cable was significantly faster and more reliable. The difference between Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) rates at 1000Mb/s and 802.11g rates at 54Mb/s was significant. With the capability to transfer data at up to 600Mb/s, 802.11n closes that gap quite a bit. Wireless N devices are becoming very affordable now. In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at a very affordable wireless network adapter, the Rosewill RNX 180UBE Wireless N Adapter. We are going to attempt to find the best conditions possible for maximum transfer rates with minimal latency. We are also going to put the Rosewill RNX 180UBE Adapter in a variety of places to simulate where you might actually be using it.
Anyone who has shopped at NewEgg.com has probably seen the brand name Rosewill on many occasions. Rosewill is a full-spectrum manufacturer that produces products in nearly every category of electronics and computer hardware, as well as many other categories. Rosewill products tend to be very inexpensive. Where wireless network adapters are concerned, you can pick one up for just about any price. We will take a look here at whether or not an inexpensive solution can increase performance. We also want to see the difference between wireless g and wireless n and, of course, whether or not it is worth it to give up the LAN cables and make the switch to a completely wireless home network.
While wireless n technology allows for transfer rates of up to 600Mb/s, not all adapters are created equal. You'll be hard pressed to find an adapter that offers more than 450Mb/s speeds. The Rosewill RNX N180UBE Wireless N Adapter is rated for transfer rates of up to 300Mb/s, which is pretty average. It is important while discussing these rates that they are theoretical maximums. Because the data is being transferred wirelessly, just about everything can cause interference. Obviously walls, furniture, and other household items will have an effect on the transfer rates. The effect will be even greater if the adapter is on a different floor than the router. Distance has a large effect on transfer rates as well. All of those are very likely candidates for why transfer speeds over a wireless network are lower than the theoretical maximums, but there are other candidates as well. Unassuming inhibitors like air pressure, humidity, atmospheric particles, and a host of other things can affect speeds as well. For that reason, it is nearly impossible to collect a series of similar results during wireless testing. Instead, what we will be looking for is the maximum rate attained under varying conditions.
The real idea here is going to be comparing transfer rates between different types of wireless adapters and through the different wireless technologies. I have to admit that I just upgraded my home network to Wireless N quite recently. I was happy with my Wireless G router and, in all reality, I don't find myself transferring files from one device in my home to another all that often. Since an internet connection boasted download speeds of over 54Mb/s is unlikely (and impossible where I live), I didn't see the need for a faster network. Then I discovered an application on my TV that allowed it to connect to the other devices on the network and stream media directly from those devices. Suddenly, a faster network became a priority. For me personally, I want to see how the Rosewill RNX-N180UBE Wireless N Adapter compares with the Wireless N adapters that came included with my laptop and HTPC. While my HTCP remains stationary in my entertainment center, my laptop journeys all over the house and even into the garage and backyard at times. It could be worth it to plug the RNX-N180UBE into either of those machines to improve connectivity.