Edimax Wireless nLITE High Gain USB Adaptor

Testing and Benchmarking


For the purposes of testing the wireless adaptor, I will be using an Edimax nMax Wireless 802.11n Gigabit router as the access point. I will be testing and recording data transfer rates, in 802.11g and 802.11n modes, To be able to draw comparisons, I will also be using a Belkin F5D7050 USB Wireless adaptor, but only in 802.11 g mode, as this adaptor is not 802.11n compliant.

Testing of data transfer rates
Here is our test system setup:

Host PC
Asus P6T onboard Realtek® 8111C PCIe Gigabit LAN controller featuring AI NET2

Wireless router
Edimax nMax Wireless 802.11n Gigabit Router

Client PC
Sony Vaio using:
 -Edimax Wireless nLITE High Gain USB Adaptor 
 -Belkin F5D7050 USB Wireless adaptor,

We will be transferring a 701MB AVI file from the host to the client PC, testing both wireless adaptors for data transfer rates. The tests will include a run at 802.11g mode to draw a direct comparison, but as the Belkin adaptor is only 802.11g compatible, we cannot perform comparisons in 802.11n mode. The results will show, however, the increased performance of 802.11n mode over 802.11g, using the Edimax adaptor.

The graph quite clearly highlights two factors that favour the Edimax adaptor. The first is the ability to utilise 802.11n mode, as it drastically reduces data transfer times. The other is that the 3db high gain antenna on the Edimax adaptor allows for quicker data transfers than the Belkin adaptor due to better wireless reception. All the tests were carried out with the laptop in exactly the same location and distance from the router. Three runs were done on each test, the results shown are an average of the three runs.

Testing for working range

We recorded the signal strength of each wireless adaptor and measured it in dBm. The values recorded show negative numbers and nearer to 0 the result is, the stronger the signal. As wireless signals are heavily affected by the environment in which they are being used, these results are not conclusive, but they do show the difference in performance quite nicely. The property in which the adaptors were tested is a 2 story victorian house, with solid brick partitioning walls, and it does put any wireless network through it's paces. As in the above tests, we could only test the Edimax adaptor in both 802.11g and 802.11n modes, as the Belkin adaptor is only 802.11g compliant.


The Edimax adaptor clearly has the edge over the Belkin adaptor, in terms of effective range whilst in 802.11g mode. This is due again to the antenna that the Edimax adaptor features. It can be rotated to an upright position, whereas the Belkin adaptor is similar to a USB memory stick, so the antenna is on a horizontal plane, which is the worst plane possible for a wireless antenna. The quality of the Edimax antenna itself is also much greater than the Belkin.

So now the test results are in, it's time to draw our final conclusions, over on the next page.
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Most Recent Comments

23-03-2009, 18:35:59

Ah look at those speeds.

And I thought Belkin was one of the best. Quote

23-03-2009, 19:04:24

20 pounds That's not bad at all for a high quality usb adapter, especially considering it's half speed .n too.

Will sure think about this when anyone asks for a wireless reciever

Edit: any chance of comparing it to a commonly used PCI(-e) adapter and see what the difference is?Quote

23-03-2009, 19:05:08

looks a tasty little thing,BUT it would have been better if it had Linux support out of the box.Judging by the shots of the utility,its a Ralink chipset and most of those chipsets are supported by linux,if you go digging around at the Ralink site(which is not the best of sites in the world).

Any chance of asking Edimax if they plan to offer 'tux drivers??Quote

24-03-2009, 07:54:21

If it does current Macs, the chances are there are some drivers out there for Linux - just they aren't 'supported'. Be mostly down to the chipset used. If that isn't too obvious from the package, u can lookup the FCC number and look at captures of it taken apart. Once u have the chipset, u can find "a" linux driver that'll work.

I'm interested if that "woohoo" "high gain!" antena unscrews.Quote

24-03-2009, 08:12:21

Very nice lil adaptor that one..

Good review by the way too mate.

Quick thing though, did ya kinda miss a sentence off the end? No info on where to buy it for the £19.99 price.

Also the forum link at the bottom isn't a link Quote

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