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TP-Link Archer T2UH AC600 High Gain Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggs Excellent Adapter for Desktop Use 07/12/2015

This review is from: TP-Link Archer T2UH AC600 High Gain Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter

Pros: This a adapter works as advertized when the most recent driver is installed from TP-Link's website. I found this adapter was faster and connected to 5GHz 802.11ac better than my onboard Intel 7260 adapter, despite having one less antenna.

I've used the button-sized nano USB wireless adapters before and they work just OK on a desktop computer as long as you plug them into a front panel USB port. This adapter, by contrast, is far larger and the antenna can be maneuvered to get the best signal.

I see this adapter as a perfect match for someone who wants to add/upgrade wireless capabilities to a desktop computer but isn't comfortable enough to open up the case and install an expansion card. The large antenna on this adapter allows it to get a good signal while plugged into the rear I/O panel of a tower.

For my own testing, this adapter connected at 433 Mbps link speed and was able to transfer files to my home server at about 25 MB/s.

Cons: As said before, the adapter is far too bulky for portable use with a laptop. It would be better to get one of the nano adapters for a notebook computer which doesn't have the risk of snagging on anything and damaging the USB port.

Other Thoughts: It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Be sure to install drivers for this adapter!

When plugged in for the first time, Windows will install it with a default system driver and it appears to work correctly. However, with the Windows generic driver being used the adapter only works at 802.11g speed and can only connect to 2.4GHz radio signals. That's quite a downgrade!

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TP-LINK Archer T8E AC1750 Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b PCI Express Up to 1.3Gbps Wireless Data Rates
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: For comparison, I have a motherboard with a mini-PCIe 802.11ac adapter (Intel 7260) and two antennas. I typically get 4/5 bars from my AC router with a negotiated link speed of 390 Mbps.

With the TP-Link Archer T8E in the same computer, I'm only able to get 2/5 bars reception even though it has one more antenna. However, it connects at a much better 585 Mbps link speed.

So what's better: a solid signal or faster link speed? I put it to the test by transferring a 2 GB folder with miscellaneous sized files to my home server and measured the speed. My original Wi-Fi card averaged about 7 MB/s and took about 5.5 minutes to complete the copy. The TP-Link Archer T8E was much faster at about 20 MB/s and took only 3 minutes to copy.

This card is fast, but I have to question the quality of the signal. Running a ping to my router gives me 5ms ping time while my original Wi-Fi card is only 1-2ms. I haven't detected any packet loss or experienced any problems connecting, but my computer is only one room away from my router. Further distances might be too much for this card to handle.

Cons: I would love to have my cake and eat it too. I want a strong signal AND faster link speed. Is that too much to ask?

Other Thoughts: This PCIe card has a Broadcom BCM4360 chip. I was unable to find a driver on the Broadcom website, so I downloaded and used the latest driver from the TP-Link website for this review.

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Seagate Expansion 2TB USB 3.0 2.5
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Fantasic Portable Drive 05/09/2015

This review is from: Seagate Expansion 2TB USB 3.0 2.5" Portable External Hard Drive STEA2000400

Pros: There's absolutely nothing to complain about with this portable drive. It's thinner than my other 2TB portable USB drive by a substantial margin. This "Seagate" enclosure contains a 2.5" 9mm Samsung Spinpoint M9T ST2000LM003 drive which explains a lot. Earlier large capacity 2.5" drives were of the 12.5mm or 15mm variety. This portable drive is sleek, light weight, and quiet. Oh, and I might add it's pretty darn fast for a platter drive over USB 3.0.

If you do your research, or trust mine, then you'll find that the Spinpoint M drives are favorably reviewed. My own benchmarks match the reviews. According to ATTO, I'm getting a little over 140 MB/s in sequential read and write speeds with this little guy. In a real-world scenario transferring 14GB worth of files to the drive, I am seeing speeds of 120-130 MB/s. It's not SSD fast, but it's great for a spinner. I must reiterate this is over USB 3.0. USB 2.0 and earlier will severely bottleneck this drive.

Cons: The only con I can think of is the enclosure is fully sealed with no way to swap out the drive if need be. Most portable USB drives are like that these days, so no surprises there.

Other Thoughts: So what's left so say about this portable hard drive? The LED is worth mentioning. Seagate has made the activity light a stealthy thin sliver that can barely be seen among the diamond facade of the enclosure. Best of all, unlike many in the industry the LED isn't annoyingly bright.

It's truly wonderful to have a large amount of storage in such a small package. The really nice thing about it though, is you don't have to wait forever and a half to transfer content to it.

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Robert P.'s Profile

Display Name: Robert P.

Date Joined: 02/08/05

Achievements:

  • Top 1000 Reviewer
  • Reviews: 69
  • Helpfulness: 51
  • First Review: 05/26/06
  • Last Review: 07/12/15
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