I’ve been connected to my LAN through the air for a couple of years now, and I’ve had some pretty mixed experiences. My Linksys WRT54G router is a marvel, and has yet to fail me. The adapters I’ve used with my PC however have for the must part not been able to keep up. And, as I realized today, they all happen to be made by Sitecom.
Until today I had a Sitecom WL-107 PCI WLAN adapter installed in my work PC. It worked OK, especially with a bigger aftermarket antenna. I also needed an external USB adapter, to use with other machines. The first one I used was one of those external little boxes, the WL-107. I only used it for testing occasionally, but it used to get really hot and after about 15 minutes of connectivity it needed to rest for half an hour or so. I then bought a WL-172 dongle type adapter, which had similar problems. And then this week, the PCI card failed on me as well.
I had been having trouble with my PC disconnecting occasionally, and refusing to reconnect, or at really slow speeds. This was getting increasingly worse, until yesterday it became unbearable. Luckily I happen to have two separate wireless routers (my modem also has wireless, but it is usually disabled), so I could test whether switching routers had any effect. It didn’t. So I tried the WL-172 dongle with both routers, and it worked well, for the usual 15 minutes or so. This meant my WL-107 was the culprit. The last of my three Sitecom devices to finally also disappoint me.
Because I desperately needed to get some work done, I got in my car and got the most expensive PCI WLAN adapter in stock at my local computer store, a Linksys WMP300N. It’s got a really fancy antenna and I can definitely feel a little speed improvement. So far so good.
My guess is that these kinds of problems are not exclusive to Sitecom. There are lots of cheap brands that sell almost identical products, like Conceptronic, Sweex, Eminent, Digitus, etc. The list goes on and on, and these are just the ones available here in The Netherlands. For WiFi stuff it seems the best thing is to stay away from these brands and buy A-brand stuff. It really isn’t worth the trouble.