"Worthwhile if you crave maximum wireless performance"4.5 starson by mouseclick
Pros: Gets you to full bars so you can ensure HD quality and better online gaming but, only necessary if your current adapter only does half the job and you experience frequent downgrades in connection quality
Cons: Manual is wrong in telling you to install the drivers first (already done with the latest console update download) unless you've never connected to the Internet with your XBox or don't regularly install the updates - then, you'll need the disc...
Summary: I?ve only had the wireless N adapter for a couple of days and so far, it appears to be great compared to the old adapter. I have my console in an enclosed wooden cabinet that I open when I want to play. In my tests (using the Media Center Network Tuner), I could never get the bars very high ? they would go close to half way. I have an 802.11n router, set at the time for 802.11a, in an adjacent room (the console and router are around 20-25 feet and one wall and door apart). I decided to buy a 10 foot USB ?extension cord to get closer. I plugged the cord to the back of the console and the adapter to the end of the cord so, now I could string the old wireless adapter 10 feet closer to the router. It helped but, I was still 1-3 bars short of ?HDTV? quality.
The new N adapter works great. I actually attached it to the USB cable too so it remains 10 feet away from the console but, 10 feet closer to the router. I now have all the bars green ? every single one at all times, which is what I wanted. For kicks, I checked to see what it would be like if I plugged it right to the back of the console and it was 1-2 bars shy of the top, though still well into HDTV quality ? I put it back on the USB extension cord?
When I first got it, the instructions tell you to insert the driver disk into the console to install the new Xbox 360 wireless N adapter driver before connecting the actual adapter. I did this and the disc did nothing. I called XBox support and they put me on hold to research the problem. I started thinking ?this thing has only been out 1-2 days ? they are not going to have any research on it.? I plugged it in anyway, without installing the driver, and it started working. When they came back on, they escalated my problem and I explained to them it was working. I figured they probably already installed the driver in some recent console software update. They had me run the typical connection tests (to see if I could get on XBox Live, the Network Tuner, etc.). In the end we both concluded the driver was indeed probably already installed in some update. So, if you always update your console and upgrade to this new adapter, ignore what the manual states ? there is no need for the installation disc. If you?ve never connected online or do not have the latest updates, you probably will need the disc and it will probably prompt you to go ahead with the install, unlike my disc that just sat there with a ?mixed media disc? message. Keep that in mind. If you plan to stream HD quality stuff (like home videos, NetFlix, etc.), and your old adapter was not quite HD quality, this is a worthy upgrade. If you don?t plan to, and are near HD quality with your old adapter, you don?t really need to upgrade since your Internet connection is not likely to do 50 Mbps down / 3 Mbps up anyway (unless you have FIOS, U-Verse, etc.), and the old adapter can support anything under this just fine. My old adapter was always up and down and never at HD quality so, it was worthwhile to me.