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Windows 7: Alternative to Ralink RT5390 half pci-e wireless card

27 Jun 2013   #11
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

it's all part of their "we think our customers are complete idiots that need a nanny to work with computers" motto.

If you don't mind losing a USB port you can buy a "micro bluetooth dongle" and leave it there permanently.

Btw, Realtek also does pro wifi chips, like the one used in this device(that I own), that is used in penetration testing so can do all weird tricks needed.
As a brand I'd rate it on par with Intel. Anyway it's in another league than Atheros and Ralink.


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27 Jun 2013   #12
cytherian

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
it's all part of their "we think our customers are complete idiots that need a nanny to work with computers" motto.
There are plenty of customers who aren't technical and slower than average in terms of "getting it." If you ever try teaching basic computer skills to a class of elderly students, you'll know exactly what I mean. While computer manufacturers want to sell to anyone (young, old, brilliant, moron, etc), I don't think HP thinks their customers are complete idiots. Their WiFi card restriction is only about making money, not keeping things simple for the customer.

They're also quite devious with this WiFi card restriction. I'd read on another forum that once you've booted up, you can put your computer into sleep mode and then swap in your desired card. That did not work on my laptop. The O/S disables WiFi upon detection of a change and it cannot be re-enabled without rebooting.

Quote:
If you don't mind losing a USB port you can buy a "micro bluetooth dongle" and leave it there permanently.
That's my next step. Thankfully they've gone ultra slim, like mouse dongles, so they won't protrude. But in the end, I don't use bluetooth frequently so it's easy to just keep in the computer bag when needed.

Quote:
Btw, Realtek also does pro wifi chips, like the one used in this device(that I own), that is used in penetration testing so can do all weird tricks needed.
As a brand I'd rate it on par with Intel. Anyway it's in another league than Atheros and Ralink.
I didn't realize that the Alfa is driven by Realtek. Good to know that you're happy with it. Have you looked into the wireless-N supported version (here)? Looks pretty well received, although some of the more technical folks who reviewed it said that the range is a bit less than the "G" model (AWUS036H), it isn't true .11n, and it's single channel (no MIMO).
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27 Jun 2013   #13
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Quote:
There are plenty of customers who aren't technical and slower than average in terms of "getting it."
I work in a computer/consumer-electronics assemble/repair/sell/resell shop, and the amount of customers that want this kind of nanny service is pretty high in the incomes of the shop.
Most home customers simply don't know nor care, they want Facebook, Pr0n, Google, Office and whatever to work. If something isn't perfect but works they adapt their habits instead of trying to change it or troubleshoot the issue.
I quit trying to teach them anything long ago, they don't give a *** about how they got into trouble to maybe avoid it next time, they want to get out fast so they can resume their stuff. I rarely manage to convince someone to make backups next time even after he lost all his stuff.

I dislike such people, but I recognize that they are a wide majority of userbase so heh.
Since Android tablets came out, we started selling tablets to them instead of PCs for obvious reasons. And it's amazing that they still call from time to time for support.

Quote:
That did not work on my laptop. The O/S disables WiFi upon detection of a change and it cannot be re-enabled without rebooting.
That should be normal, you install drivers, power off, remove the card, power up, place the card again. But yeah, not practical.

Quote:
Have you looked into the wireless-N supported version (here)
hehe, yes but not that model. That thing uses a crappy chip from Ralink, sensitivity and features are NOT up to the older model's standards.
Range with its own antenna is the least important part actually. For most legal work you are generally somewhere inside the building, for the odd hardcore clients that want a more realistic scenario ("huh I want you to try cracking the wifi unseen, like a real bad guy") there is the DIY bigass 30-ish dbi directional antenna that can pick up anything in a 2-3 km cone in front of it (in very optimal line-of-sight conditions can get as far as 5-ish km). It's subtle as a punch in the face, but being a re-purposed old Sat TV dish does not attract so much attention as you might think.

But you need all the wifi cracking features to work reliably, and a better sensitivity if possible.

I have a AWUS036NHR (that has a Realtek chip again) that I bought when they ironed out the linux driver issues. It was not plug-and-play (on linux) as the predecessor when I bought it, but now it should be.

I have seen pro people talk very well of the even newer AWUS036NHA (that has an Atheros chip) too though (although having power limited to 650 mW is significant for longish-range work), but I never had one to test it out.

Btw, check local laws as there are quite a few nations that ban the use of wifi devices beyond 500 or 1000 mW.

EDIT: the one I linked is still considered THE card for non-n wifi. It also allows (as the n version) to make a true wireless hotspot without resorting to windows 7's own virtual wifi drivers. Which in XP days was a great thing, and even now saves a ton of hassle.
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 Alternative to Ralink RT5390 half pci-e wireless card




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