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Thread: Review: Xbox 360 Wireless N Network Adapter

                  
   
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    xbox 360 Review: Xbox 360 Wireless N Network Adapter

    Xbox 360 Wireless N Network Adapter
    Manufacturer: Microsoft
    Site: Buy from Goldenshop
    Price: $79.00


    Overview : If you are looking to go wireless on your Xbox, then definitely check out the Xbox Wireless N Adapter. With increased speed, range and wireless security features*, the Xbox 360® Wireless ‘N’ Networking Adapter offers the fastest and most convenient connection to Xbox LIVE. You can seamlessly download or stream HD movies, TV episodes, and games from Xbox LIVE Marketplace in full 1080p and 5.1 surround sound from anywhere in the house.** Compatible with A/B/G/N networks, the compact design clips easily onto the back of your console, a very nice feature to keep things clean and uncluttered around your console, or offers the flexibility of off-board placement.

    *Compared to Xbox 360 Wireless Networking Adapter, supports WPA2 security protocol
    **Range up to 2x that of A/B/G networks

    Designed for versatility and ease, the Xbox 360® Wireless Networking Adapter ‘N’ enhances your Xbox 360 experience in the digital home, seamlessly synchronizing with the Xbox 360 system with the newest Wireless N standard. Wireless N offers increased speed, coverage and reliability and can easily stream media-intensive applications such as ‘Games on Demand’, HD movies, videos and music to your Xbox 360 system from Xbox LIVE® or your Media Center PC.

    Features :
    • 7x faster than ‘G’ adapters*
    • 2x the range of ‘G’ adapters*
    • Compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n networks
    • Dual band performance
      • 5GHz: 1x2 (802.11a & 802.11n)
      • 2.4GHz: 2x2
      • 2(Tx)x 2(Rx)
    • Supports WPA2 security protocol
    • 2 external antennas and off-board placement capability with USB extension cable (sold separately)
    • Powered by Xbox 360

    *Performance may vary due to application and environment.

    Benefits :
    The Xbox 360® Wireless N Networking Adapter is ideal for:
    • Streaming media such as movies (downloading HD movies), videos and music from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace
    • Simultaneous downloads, voice and music
    • Avoiding interference
    • Multiplayer gaming
    • Larger homes and multiple rooms with increased speed, coverage and reliability
    • Congested wireless environments
      • Dense housing, multiple wireless networks - The Xbox 360 N Wireless Network Adapter works with existing 802.11g and 802.11b wireless routers and access points (backwards-compatible)
    • Multiple HD videos and lag-free network gaming

    What is Wireless N?
    If you are curious as to what exactly Wireless N Technology is, it is the latest generation in increasingly powerful wireless bandwidth. Incorporating new MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) technology, Wireless N is designed for today’s most powerful bandwidth demands, be it streaming HD movies, hard-core gaming, or multiple networked home computers. Wireless N is also fully compatible with existing 802.11g and 802.11b wireless routers and access points, so you don’t have to reinvent the wireless wheel to upgrade.

    Quality/Usability : Not everyone has their Xbox 360 and router/modem in the same room. Even if we do, who likes to run an ethernet cable? Wires get tangled and makes the room look cluttered. Microsoft released the first network adapter back in November 2005 which worked on 802.11a/b/g networks, was encased in gray case with a single black antenna. Forward to 4 years later (November 2009), Microsoft released a new network adapter that not only works on 802.11a/b/g but also 802.11n. This new network adapter has a matte black finish and two gray antennas. The matte black finish is a perfect match to the Xbox 360 Elite. A short USB cord is just long enough to reacht the rear USB port of the Xbox 360 next to the Ethernet port. If you're using the USB port for something else such as the HD-DVD player add-on, the adapter also has a pair of "feet" that swing out from one side that allow the adapter to sit on a flat surface or on top of the Xbox 360.

    A quick comparison between 802.11g networking to 802.11n is that N has a longer range, speeds are faster and there are less interference with 2.4GHz frequencies since that is what 802.11g uses while 802.11n sits on 5GHz.

    With the wireless adapter plugged in, you should be good to go unless you have been living under a rock and never updated your Xbox 360 over Xbox Live. But don't worry, the Xbox 360 Wireless N Network Adapter also includes an installation disc automatically installs necessary software and drivers, to your Xbox 360 (not the latest update as found on Xbox Live but in order for network adapter to work). You can find the "Wireless" setting under the "Networking" option in the "System Settings" tab. Even if you don't have wireless in your house, you can use your neighbors wireless network (hopefully you have a friendly neighbor and you're not leeching). Setting up is fairly easy by selecting the network and entering any necessary passwords, whether its WEP, WPA or WPA2. Do note that the Xbox 360 will only allow connections via wired or wireless. You can not have both hooked up at the same time. If the Xbox 360 detects a wired connection, the wireless function will not be enabled.

    Once connected and setup, we noticed no loss of speed or performance playing Gears of War 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. A wired connection will always be more reliable than a wireless network adapter but the Xbox 360 Wireless N Network Adapter helds its own.

    Conclusion : Overall, the Xbox 360 Wireless N Network Adapter works great with no signal drop. This should of been built into ALL Xbox 360's. Instead, Microsoft is making consumers spend $80+ for an adapter that we shouldnt have to purchase and pay extra for. If you already own the 802.11g version, you won't notice a difference in online gaming. However, you will notice an significant improvement in media streaming over your home network. If you already own the 802.11g version, there is no need to upgrade. $80-$100 is a bit pricey for a network adapter. If you're into media streaming through your home network, I highly suggest picking this up as the speed has increased. If you're not big on media streaming and play only online gaming, see if you can pick up a used 802.11g and save the money.

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    Last edited by bandit; January 4th, 2011 at 01:24.
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