fleece wrote:300Mbps, that's really fast right?
Hi -- I have already seen several questions about compatibility, with TiVo, game units and different O/Ses.
The answer is petty simple if you know certain points.
All these USB network adapters/dongles follow well established protocols and practices. There are dozens of devices like this from a multitude of vendors. The truth is, all of them use a small family of common chips from 3-4 sources to handle all the data.
Each of these chips has a generic driver from the manufacturer. Some companies customize the drivers or add UI features, but the driver sets are common. The drivers enable the OS to control or access device specific functions. Each chipset performs common functions but the specific details of how-to resides in the driver.
I don't know what chipset this SMC adapter uses, but it is easy enough to look up.
If the chipset is common, the drivers may be included in the primary or core hardware compatibility list (HCL) and library. If it is, you can just plug in the adapter, and it will work.
If it is less common or too new, you can plug it in, and the O/S will try to locate a driver in the HCL. That may require the machine to go online to check. That is a problem if you don't have network access, and are installing this to GET access.
That's why drivers are on disk or can be downloaded to a USB flash drive. So the O/S can find them locally.
So, installation typically starts by just plugging in the adapter.
If it works and installs software successfully, you are done, except for your login and network software setup. If possible, make sure the machine has a wired network connection during this step.
If it failed, that's where you would worry about installing them from disk or USB.
Once you get the adapter installed, it will work with compatible routers or access points.
It is at this stage that game machines and TiVo units may fail to work with a non-certified device. It is because they hardwired certain driver steps into the machine. They were designed to work with a known chipset and the drivers are typically not able to update. In this case, you check the TiVo compatibility list before buying, or just try it if you have it. It will either work, or not.
As an 802.11n, it is backward compatible. It will work with any b/g/n and most pre-N networks. The reason I say most, is because the standard is still a work "in process" and many vendors released pre-ratification-N devices. Most will work as N-to-N network points.
If they can't negotiate an N standard connection they will fall back to the well established 802.11g standard (max 54 Mbs). However, when that happens, you lose the speed advantages and MIMO capability. Also, if there are any 802.11b devices on the network, every device has to slow down to 11 Mbs to work with that.
So your question, is 300 Mb/s fast, the answer is yes. However that requires the access point supports channel bonding, all the N protocols, that interference is low, etc.
Most likely, your connection will be between 54 Mbs and 150 Mbs, but it is still irrelevant. I assume you are primarily accessing the internet. And that connection is the bottleneck, at 1.5 or 3 or 6 Mbs, a fraction of the adapters maximum speed.
Does that help?
These are fine. They are cheap. They support current technology. Worth buying, but they will not fix problems caused by other limiting factors.