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USB wifi adapter overheat?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Just got a new dual band wifi USB adapter today. My question is are these things built to last?? I've used it for about five hours now and the unit gets pretty warm. I've read things online that a lot of people have their units crap out after a couple of months. I just hope i'm not paying money for "disposable" wifi adapters.

I'm using a linksys brand... got a netgear this morning but the thing sucked really bad so i returned it for this unit and the speed is a lot more stable and faster on the linksys.
post #2 of 5
Some of the nicer ones will last, but in general yes they will overheat and stop working. Some will do it in the short term (overheat from 20 min of sustained bi-directional traffic, stop working, will work again just fine if you unplug it and let it cool off) and others will simply degrade over time to the point they are no longer functional. Either way, it's an easy, cheap, but poor replacement for a proper NIC.
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Arcane
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
That's pretty lame news..... Why do the wifi cards in our laptop last almost forever but these more expensive USB alternatives have such shietty lifespans??
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juneminuse;15153836 
That's pretty lame news..... Why do the wifi cards in our laptop last almost forever but these more expensive USB alternatives have such shietty lifespans??

Its all about the form factor and market.

What do i mean? Well lets start with form factor.

Modern laptops have built-in wifi, as an integrated part of their main PCB (much like the intel or realtek LAN chip in most PC mobos). They have plenty of room, and are directly cooled along with the rest of the PCB. They are likely even attached to the laptop's main heatspreader.

Even old laptops which required an external wifi adaptor via expansion card slot were far larger, and their form factor was flat and thin, with a metal casing, directly attached to the metal skeleton of the frame. That means more surface area and more cooling.


Problem? PC wifi adaptors are shaped and sized like old flash drives. They are far too small to begin with and compound the problem by being encased in thick, usually non-ventilated plastic. Since they sit outside the computer, they do not take advantage of the computer's cooling system in any sort of way. You might as well be putting a blanket around the thing.



Now.. what about the market bit i mentioned...

Well, laptops are designed to be portable. Theres no room for a wired internet line. Wifi is the primary, if not only intended means of connectivity for them. As such, their wifi has to be reliable and powerful, especially since it usually is not replaceable.

In a PC, wifi adapters are an afterthought, and an easily replaceable plug-an-play afterthought at that.


Hope that makes some sense.
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Makes sense... heres hoping to i will get 6 months out of this adapter... working flawlessly so far, but it is it's FIRST DAY.
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