Great Performance, Simple Plug and Play Install

Dec 4, 2009 (Updated Dec 8, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Simple to install, great performance

Cons:A bit pricey (shop around)

The Bottom Line: This is simple and effective solution to getting high throughput and performance for streaming audio and video on your XBox.

Let's be clear upfront, if you are only using wireless for gaming, you won't see much improvement in speed in selecting a "N" band adapter versus a "G" band adapter. However, the "N" band adapter does give you slightly more range.

So why do you want this adapter then? For same reason as me, I purchased this to support streaming of audio and video to my XBox from my PC.  I didn't want to run Ethernet cable between floors either. If that's your goal, or you are looking to stream Netflix to your XBox, then this adapter is what you want.

I should point out that in order to use the "N" band, your wireless router must support "N" band as well. I would think that's pretty obvious, but maybe not to everyone.  I am using a DLink DIR-655 router that supports "N" band. One more thing, you need to ensure your router is set to support WPA and WPA2, these are the only encryption methods that support "N" band. If you have your router set to WEP, you'll need to change your router configuration.

I found the installation of this to be very simple, plug it into back of the Xbox, turn your Xbox on and configure the adapter. This was done in only a couple of minutes.  If you are replacing your existing XBox "G" band adapter with this one you shouldn't need to make any changes to your XBox set-up, run a "test network connection" to verify everything is working as expected.

The adapter can attach directly to the back of your XBox. However you'll probably want to install this using a USB cable so you can extend that away from the console to get a better signal.  The adapter comes with feet that you can extend to stand it up.


Once my XBox wireless network was set-up I checked the performance. First, I verified the connection of the adapter on my router. It was listed as 802.11n (2.4GHz) as expected. The connection speed was showing between 220 and 240. My router is on a different floor than my XBox, but still find this to be quite good. I then ran the network performance tune on the XBox. The graph showed I had a full connection suitable for TV as well as HDTV! 

I tested the actual performance of the adapter by streaming a movie from my PC (high resolution) using Media Center. The movie started buffering first for about 2 seconds and then my movie started playing immediately.  I watched the movie for about 5 minutes and noticed no delays or interruption in the playback. I also used Media Center to stream audio,  as well as display my collection of family pictures in the background. I left this to play for over an hour with no interruptions in the playback.  

I did try another wireless "N" adapter before getting the Microsoft adapter. I was VERY displeased with that adapter. You can read my review on the Trendnet Wireless Adapter, "Save Yourself the Hassle if Using on Xbox 360 - Get the Microsoft Adapter Instead". The Microsoft adapter is as simple as you can make it to add wireless "N" to your XBox. Performance is excellent. Sure it cost a few bucks more, but as I noted in my Trendnet review, you'll save yourself a lot of time and frustration, will easily justify the additional $$ to get Microsoft's "N" band adapter. As always, shop around for the best pricing. I've seen these offered for $79.

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