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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Network
Written by Hank Tolman   
Monday, 03 October 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Rosewill Wireless-N WiFi Adapter RNX-N180UBE
Closer Look: Rosewill RNX-N180UBE
RNX-N180UBE Detailed Features
Features and Specifications
Testing and Results
Close Proximity Test
Obstructed Distance Test
HTPC Obstructed Test
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

RNX-N180UBE Final Thoughts

With the rapid increase in the amount of wireless devices we use, it is very common to to use a wireless netowrk in your home. Add to that the availability of streaming and shared content amongst your various devices and the need for a fast wireless network starts to grow. Wireless G networks have been common for a long time now, offering bandwidths up to 56Mb/s. Now that the number of wireless N devices is multiplying and their costs are going down, it's easy to double or even triple that bandwidth. Wireless N networks can theoretically offer speeds up to 1000Mb/s, although the theoretical maximum of devices readily available now only reaches about 450Mb/s. 300Mb/s is pretty common now, and it is the maximum for all of the devices we tested in this article.

Of course, those theoretical maximums are just that, theoretical. As we saw in the testing, even in close proximity and under ideal conditions, none of the adapters were able to achieve much higher than 150Mb/s. Still, that's nearly three times the maximum that you could ever hope to reach with a wireless G device. In our tests, the Rosewill RNX-N180UBE Wireless N Adapter performed on par with, and often better than similar adapters that are found built in to laptops and other systems. For it's price, the Rosewill RNX-N180UBE is definitely worth it if you have a device that doesn't come with an adapter already installed. Whether it be a laptop or a desktop computer, if you want to start using a wireless network in your home, the RNX-N180UBE is a good choice. That being said, if your device already has an adapter, I wouldn't recommend buying the RNX-N180UBE as a replacement. While the data transfer rates and latency was better than that of the adapter in my laptop, it wasn't hugely so. To replace a G or B adapter, it would be great, but not to replace another wireless N adapter.

Rosewill RNX-N180UBE Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

The Rosewill RNX-N180UBE wireless adapter performed well enough against the competition we brought against it. Compared to the other Rosewill adapter, the RNX-N100, the RNX-N180UBE really shined. It outperformed the earlier version Rosewill adapter in every single test. The RNX-N180UBE also outperformed the built in Atheros AR9285 in my laptop in every test other than the close range, unobstructed tests. This is probably due in part to the setup with the base station and the seven inch antenna. The RNX-N180UBE did very well in the latency tests, performing better than any other adapter we tested.

The Rosewill RNX-N180UBE stands on a USB base, or it can be plugged directly into a USB port. I like the look of the adapter much better when it is plugged into the base, as it takes up quite a bit of space plugged directly into a laptop or the front of a computer. Also, Rosewill suggests using the USB base for better performance. Even without the base, I can't complain much about the appearance of the RNX-N180UBE. It doesn't really stand out in a crowd of wireless adapters, although the antenna sets it apart somewhat. Overall, I'd say the RNX-N180UBE is pretty average in its appearance.

I can say for certain that the Rosewill RNX-N180UBE is very well constructed. After testing, I had the device sitting on my desk. My three year old daughter thought it looked a lot like a magic wand apparently, because I found her running around the house with it. She would tap things with it and say "bopity-boo". She dropped it no less than five times, stepped on it, kicked it around, and the dog even got ahold of it once. After all of that, the device still functioned perfectly and didn't take too much damage from the abuse. Overall, I'd say that's pretty impressive.

The RNX-N180UBE is pretty standard in it's functionality. It supports 802.11b/g/n with maximum download rates up to 300Mb/s and upload rates up to 150Mb/s. The antenna is exactly average in it's decibal rating at 5dB. It runs on a 2.4GHz frequency band only, it has 11 channels at either 20 or 40 MHz. As far as a wireless adapter goes, it tows the line, offering everything you would expect and pretty much nothing you don't. To give it a little more functionality, Rosewill could add a 5GHz band, or offer up to 450Mb/s, but that would also come at an increased price.

As of October 2011, the Rosewill RNX-N180UBE Wireless Adapter cost $19.99 at Newegg. That's very inexpensive, and near the bottom of the price barrel for any wireless N adapter. There are a few less expensive than that, but not many. The performance that the RNX-N180UBE posted during testing proves it to be well worth that price.

If you are in the market for a wireless N adapter to upgrade the G or B adapter that you have, or to start off fresh with a wireless network, the RNX-N180UBE would be a great choice. If you already have a wireless N adapter, this won't likely be a noticeable upgrade for you.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval

+ Very inexpensive
+ 7.5" 5dB Antenna
+ Up to 300Mb/s download speeds
+ Good performance compared to other adapters


- No 5GHz Band
- No 450Mb/s speeds


  • Performance: 8.50
  • Appearance: 8.00
  • Construction: 9.00
  • Functionality: 8.00
  • Value: 9.00

Final Score: 8.5 out of 10.

Recommended: Benchmark Reviews Seal of Approval.

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# Long winded articleMatt 2011-10-20 00:54
It's truly amazing how the folks whom write articles like this love to repeat themselves with product specs and info.
Even the conclusion who much of the same info from the main part of the article.
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# RE: Long winded articleDavid Ramsey 2011-10-20 07:59
That's because many readers don't read the main part of the article; rather, they read the introduction and the conclusion.
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# Compare against more popular adapters?WhyNot 2011-10-20 03:36
I'd rather see this adapter compared to more common/well known brands such as Linksys, Netgear and Belkin in adition to the 2 tested. That's another sticking point...just 2 other products, one of which by the same manufacturer? Not a great sampling at all and far below what I've come to expect from BMR.
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# RE: Rosewill Wireless-N WiFi Adapter RNX-N180UBEThe Techno Alien 2011-10-20 13:11
I hope it works good with Back|Track 5.
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# N180UBE vs UAWIFI UA3TrackJACK 2012-07-17 00:47
Received the adapter today. Purchased from amazon, pretty cheap ONLY 18 bucks + shipping, I like most about it, fast, almost no drops but when compared to my cars wifi adapter UA3 the range is totally different from the UA3. UAWIFI gets at least double distance plus its much more stable. Still not a good idea to compare 20$ card to 100$ but the UA3 at the moment is the best for me.
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