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This review is from: Linksys WRT004ANT High-Gain Antenna 4-Pack
Pros: Actually works as promised. (And that's unusual considering today's often poorly designed consumer RF gear!)
These appear to be Co-linear dipole array antennas, tuned primarily for 5Ghz, but also create gain for 2.4Ghz.
When transmitting, they don't actually make your wifi stronger. They simply direct more of your signal power horizontally (and less vertically). The effect of this is that any receiving device on the same level as the wifi will see a stronger signal. Of course the downside is that if you have a multi-level house, the upstairs and downstairs signal will decrease.
The same is true for reception. The wifi will be more sensitive to devices on the same floor, since the gain pattern works both to and from.
So to realize the best benefit, use these when you need a better signal on the same floor as your router. If your home is multi floor, this may not be a good choice for whole home coverage.
High power wifi vs High gain antennas: In general, I prefer the high gain antenna as long as its used on a single floor. The reason is that the gain is realized both in transmit and receive modes. A high power wifi device, on the other hand, can certainly transmit a stronger signal, but unless its reception is more sensitive (better receiver or high gain antenna), the benefit won't be two way, and may not provide much improved performance (especially when communicating with lower powered devices like phones.) YMMV.
Cons: If you are concerned about WAF, check with the boss first. The antennas are big, and will remind you of windmill propellers. They look positively gianormous on the matching (blue trim) WRT1900AC router (although they should work well on any router that uses the same connector type). The antennas are styled to look kind of like airfoils - see pics.
Note: Some routers may use external antennas for only one band (2.4 or 5), and internal antennas for the other. Since these are designed for both frequencies, you may want to double check before shelling out the dough.
The price of these is high enough that you probably won't want to buy them unless you are relatively certain they will help you in your particular situation. Other options such as high power wifi devices or adding additional remote access points throughout your house could end up being roughly the same cost -- and have different pros and cons.
For example, in many situations, installing a wifi access point (and shutting the wireless on your router) may be better, since your router placement may not be ideal (ie, the center of your house) and an access point could be mounted like a smoke detector in the best possible spot. (Provided you can run a network cable from your router to the access point.)
Other Thoughts: How to not be disappointed. These are made for a very specific use case.
(1) Best for Ranch style houses, or other single level applications. These are high horizontal gain antennas. So while reception will improve on the same floor as your router, reception may actually get worse upstairs and downstairs.
(2) Keep antennas pointed straight up. Tilting the antennas will also tilt the gain pattern. You can experiment if you like, but straight up is designed work best, and that's what I found, too.
(3) The improvement on 5Ghz is more than the improvement for 2.4Ghz. The antennas are designed for both 2.4 and 5 ghz, but have higher horizontal gain on 5ghz. This is a well thought out design, since 5 ghz has more trouble with walls, so the bigger boost is helpful.
(4) Be willing to look at big antennas.
This review is from: Corsair Gaming VOID Stereo Gaming Headset
Pros: Works great. The best thing about this is the single 4 pole plug -- that means it can be used in a newer laptop or an ipod/ipad that uses single jack for both headphones and mic.
A nice thing about a non-usb headset is that you use the soundcard in your computer -- these often already have good noise canceling, dolby mixdown, automatic gain control, etc.
Being able to plug this into an iphone/ipad is a bonus. Can't do that with a USB headset. Also, this comes with a splitter so you can plug this into a desktop computer or a laptop that has separate headphone and mic jacks.
Sound quality is decent -- perhaps a bit boomy in the bass, so it doesn't qualify as audiophile, but on the whole, not bad.
The cloth pads really rock, and make this a very comformtable full size headset. The cable has a nice feel to it -- some decent thickness, but its soft to the touch. Its not very long, maybe 3-4 ft, so its really ideal for a laptop gamer. For a desktop user, its fine as long as your case is not too far away.
Cons: This headset comes in USB and wireless version, which seem to have even better ear pads, interesting rgb lighting, etc. Since this headset is just a direct plug in, there is no opportunity to have fancy electronic widgets. The best that it can muster is a (pretty decent) volume wheel that its not to hard to get used to. Also there is a mute (for the mic) button on the left earcup. Unfortunately its not too convenient, and not easy to tell if mute is on by feel. I noticed that when the mute is pressed, the mic is not competely muted. Not sure about that.
Keep in mind, that since you will be using the sound card in your computer, you might need to boost the mic sensitivity to get things set up properly.
The mic boom, as others have mentioned, doesn't stay bent unless you really bend it hard -- the manufacturer says go ahead and bend it, that is how its designed. So bend away.
Other Thoughts: For me, the headset is very comfortable -- love the velour pads. It does appear, though, that the more expensive versions of this headset have memory foam. This one doest'n seem to.
Back to my favorite thing about this headset -- the 4pole plug -- perfect for using with a laptop (most have single plug nowdays, and an iphone.) Rocks.
My least favorite thing is the mute button. Sorry...
This review is from: Seagate 2TB USB 3.0 Game Drive for Xbox STEA2000403
Pros: Works great. Tested on Xbox360, formats, saves etc just fine. It looks like the price similar to other 2TB portable drives, but with the added Xbox styling and logo, as well as a "promise" of sorts from Seagate that it is designed especially for Xbox.
Of course it can also be used as a "normal" external HDD for your laptop or PC, but you'll want to reformat the drive if you've been using it with your Xbox.
Other pro's include USB3.0 speed -- transfers to and from the PC averaged 117MB/s (big file), which is about as good as you are gonna get from a 5400 rpm sataIII drive, which is what is inside this thing.
If you're an Xbox fan-boy-girl you might just like to have this drive because of its cool Xbox styling, and just use it as a normal drive. That'll work just fine.
Cons: It seems there is a slight price premium for the Xbox styling and the promise that it has been designed for Xbox. Its a little unclear what this means (other than putting it in a green case with an Xbox logo). Perhaps there was some additional "magic" or testing that was done to ensure the drive would work consistently or well with Xbox devices. We may never know, but if you remember the days of trying to hack Xbox's to change or increase storage, and the frustration that accompanied, you might appreciate the super authorized nature of Seagate's offering.
Other Thoughts: As with all these drives, 2TB means 2,000,000,000,000 bytes of storage. According to my computer, this drive gives 2,000,396,742,656 bytes of available storage (NTFS formatted), so a bit extra space for good measure. Thanks Seagate!
(Sorry, couldn't resist. HDD makers get infinite grief about this, so I thought Seagate deserved a little hat tip for giving us a 2TB drive with MORE than 2 trillion bytes of capacity. 1.81TB naysayers can google "Why windows reports tebibytes as terabytes?" )
While the branding may add a bit to the price, I suspect that sale prices will be very similar to the best 2TB prices out there, so no complaint here.
By the way, if you do let it format on your Xbox, change your mind, and then want to use it with your PC, note that Xbox makes a bunch of partitions you'll want to delete before reformat.