1. #1
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    Lightbulb Advice for dual band WiFi card

    Hello folks,

    I need an advice on whether to replace the existing WiFi card on my laptop or not!? I am using dual Band router and on 5G network I was expecting a lot more better signal for 4-5 meter distance.
    The card is Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 on my new laptop Dell Vostro 5568.

    What do you suggest, should I replace it with Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 or keep the old one 3165 OR do you have any other idea to offer for replacement?
    Here is the comparison between them:
    https://ark.intel.com/compare/89450,94150

    Here are the two networks 2,4/5G:

    Advice for dual band WiFi card-screenshot-7-jpg

    Thanks!


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  2. #2
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    In the mean time I had found another card from Intel.
    Is there anyone who is having experience with 8265 or 9260 Intel WiFi cards?
    https://ark.intel.com/compare/89450,94150,99445

  3. #3
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    What were you expecting?

    In theory, the 8265 has the potential to provide better speeds, but that depends on much more than just the network card. 4-5 meters is not a problem (assuming no barriers blocking line-of-sight) but other factors may come into play that would affect any card. Can you try a different computer and see what you get with it?
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  4. #4
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    Thanks @Digerati for your response.

    Previously I had used 7260 card on my old laptop and that card was better. 3165 card is receiving signal -76 on 5G and -65 on 2,4. The old card (7260) was receiving around -60 on 5G and -40/-50 on 2,4 network.
    Unfortunately I don't have another device to test the 3165 card.

    I was expecting a lot better signal for both networks because the 7260 is older card.

  5. #5
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    While signal strength is important, and for sure a weak signal can impact performance, but the true measure is your bandwidth. What do you get with Speedtest by Ookla - The Global Broadband Speed Test?
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  6. #6
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    Here is the result.

    Advice for dual band WiFi card-7946249791-png

  7. #7
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    Not great but it really depends on what you are paying for. You need to look at your contract for that.
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    5Ghz signals will always have worse range when compared to a 2.4Ghz signal because, well, physics. The higher wavelength signals have a harder time passing through walls, floors and as a result, the signal strength drops off much faster. This is the same reason speaker systems in concerts have their large subwoofers at a lower level than the the mid/high frequency speakers as the low frequency sounds can pass through crowds of people much better than high frequency sounds.

    Tbh, I think you're more limited by the antennas in the laptop than the card itself. Switching out the card is unlikely to make a huge difference, although it might make a small difference but I cannot say with certainty. Have you checked to see if the laptop antennas are securely connected to the WiFi adapter in the laptop? It's possible one may have come loose which is causing the poor signal.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    5Ghz signals will always have worse range when compared to a 2.4Ghz signal because, well, physics. The higher wavelength signals have a harder time passing through walls, floors
    Ageed but we seem to be talking about a maximum distance of 5m (16.4 feet) with no barriers to pass through. So range should not be a factor - in this case.
    This is the same reason speaker systems in concerts have their large subwoofers at a lower level than the the mid/high frequency speakers as the low frequency sounds can pass through crowds of people much better than high frequency sounds.
    That's partly true. The big reason is human ears cannot pinpoint the source of low frequency sounds very well compared to mid and high frequency sound. So even in movie theaters and home theater setups, the subs (or LFE - low frequency effects) speakers are often sitting off to the side and "out of the way" and out of the field of vision - even used as side or coffee tables. They just make the whole room rumble - a good thing. With higher frequency, our ears can be pretty precise. With a good pair of high-end speakers, you can almost see exactly where the drummer, keyboardist, each guitar player, lead and backup singers are sitting or standing across the stage even though the sound is only coming from two sources.

    A bad mid-range or tweeter speaker would be "beamy" - where all the sound appears to be coming directly from the speaker. Since a sound stage (or movie scene) likely has sound coming from a wide range, side to side across our field of vision, a good speaker system would have a wide "dispersion" pattern. But low frequency sounds already do so sub/LFE speaker location is much less critical.

    Good call on checking antenna connections. They do come loose. Even turning 90° one way or another may affect reception - especially with single antenna devices.

    If me, I would see if a friend could come over and check bandwidth using your connection.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    Quote Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
    5Ghz signals will always have worse range when compared to a 2.4Ghz signal because, well, physics. The higher wavelength signals have a harder time passing through walls, floors
    Ageed but we seem to be talking about a maximum distance of 5m (16.4 feet) with no barriers to pass through. So range should not be a factor - in this case.
    That's why I had opened this topic and I assume that newer card of Intel 9260 would give more stable and much more stronger reception from the router.
    I had never experienced -76 signal on 5G so far.

    Thanks for the hint for checking the cables, I'll check them as soon as possible since I don't have screwdriver at the moment, but the internet is not breaking, only the signal is weak.

  11. #11
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    Well, again, I would want to try a second computer first before buying anything. At this point, you have not conclusively eliminated the router as the problem. If the router has external antennas move them around. If internal, turn the whole router 90°. Make sure neither the router or your computer are sitting next to sources of interference (TVs, for example). Or next to large metal objects (refrigerators). And I just realized you did not tell us if there are any barriers (floors, ceilings, or walls) between the router and computer. The number of barriers makes a big difference, so does the composition of the barrier (wallboard, brick, concrete etc.) and the contents too (metal vs wood studs or joists, or if there are lots of wires or metal pipes in those barriers).
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  12. #12
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    I don't think that router is the problem because I am using the same settings for two laptops. If I had a problem with him (router) I would have noticed it in the old one, probably.
    The model of the router is Xiaomi Router 3 with 4 antennas.
    There aren't any devices between them (computer and router), there is no walls nor doors. The devices are on the same floor as well and there aren't any barriers. This is the network at my home so it's just router and my computer.

    Unfortunately I don't have another device to test the card. That test I believe would give more clear answer about how the card works. Better or worse.
    For now, the only thing to test is buying a different model of card, i.e. 9260 and see if there will be any differences between the two cards on the same computer.

    What do you suggest since I don't have another device to test the card? I agree that testing the cards is more logical, rather than buying a different model, but I don't have another device to test the card.
    Thanks @Digerati for your response in this topic, you are very kind. :)

    ps - in the meantime I have found this topic from Dell support forum:
    Is Intel Wireless/Bluetooth card upgrade possible? - Dell Community

  13. #13
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    I don't think that router is the problem because I am using the same settings for two laptops.
    Did you run speedtest on the other computers?
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  14. #14
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    Yes, the speed is fine since that is the package I took from the ISP, but ping time is much higher now.
    Previously I think it was 5x times lower/faster and it was around 10-15ms.

  15. #15
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    Ping time is hard to judge because latency can come in at any hop.
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    One thing to be sure of if buying a replacement card is you get one suitable for your country as regulations on WiFi signals differ by country and some cards may have compatibility issues if they are configured for a different country: Regulatory Information Regarding Wireless Hardware Installation or...

    Also, looking at the 3165 card currently in your machine is a 1x1 antenna configuration, but your older 7260 card (and the 8265 card you're looking at) are 2x2 antenna configurations. When you open up your laptop, I would be interested to see if Dell has installed one or two antennas. If they've only installed 1 antenna for your 1x1 card that came pre-installed, you won't be able to upgrade to a 2x2 card.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekno Venus View Post
    One thing to be sure of if buying a replacement card is you get one suitable for your country as regulations on WiFi signals differ by country and some cards may have compatibility issues if they are configured for a different country: Regulatory Information Regarding Wireless Hardware Installation or...

    Also, looking at the 3165 card currently in your machine is a 1x1 antenna configuration, but your older 7260 card (and the 8265 card you're looking at) are 2x2 antenna configurations. When you open up your laptop, I would be interested to see if Dell has installed one or two antennas. If they've only installed 1 antenna for your 1x1 card that came pre-installed, you won't be able to upgrade to a 2x2 card.
    Thanks for the advice. I will check that if there is 1 or 2 antenna's.
    I don't know if this would help you also from the page of downloading drivers for the WiFi card for my model of laptop. The software also supports newer cards (3165 | 7265 | 8260 | 8265) and I didn't saw 9260 model which is the newest but only supports on Win10.
    https://www.dell.com/support/home/us...15-5568-laptop

    In the meantime I had made some research about my Xiaomi Router 3 software and I had found that the version which I had used 2.10.46 was very bad.
    Therefor I made an downgrade to 2.10.42 version and suddenly the 2,4 network returned to normal as previous and even noticed an -32dbm signal in the same environment at my home, but 5G network is still giving a bad signal. I don't know if this is something with the router software or the WiFi card!?

    Another weird thing is that 5G network is now on 149 channel, but the latest channel on the menu of the router software is 140. Is this normal or am I missing something?
    This setting is set to Auto.

    Advice for dual band WiFi card-screenshot-10-jpg

    Thanks!

  18. #18
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    I assume that driver is just a universal driver packaged by Dell for various different computers, so as that's the case I see no reason from a driver point of view that upgrading the card to one of the supported ones for that driver would case an issue.

    Channel 149 is interesting. The channels that can be used by WiFI devices depends on your country, as different legislations allow different channels to be used under different rules. The big list of channels is here: List of WLAN channels - Wikipedia under the 5Ghz section.

    Not sure why your router is using channel 149 but you can't choose it, but I would suspect it's to do with what country the router's firmware is configured for and possibly the web interface doesn't adjust which channels are selectable in each country, even if the internal Auto mode picks the correct channels.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Advice for dual band WiFi card

    Hi again,

    I live in eastern Europe (Macedonia) and before the downgrade on the latest version 2.10.46 the router was also set to "Auto" selecting the channel and that channel was 36.
    After the downgrade I had restored/uploaded the saved settings before of the flashing the router and what I have noticed is that now the channel is 149.
    No, I can choose every channel listed but when I set to Auto, then it's connected to 149 which is not listed. I am using this Auto setting because there no other 5G network around my home.

    This is Xiaomi Router 3 and I don't know how familiar are you with this routers, but stock/fabric software is really a crap. Every user is having some issues and didn't believe that I had fixed my 2,4ghz network with downgrading the firmware to 2.10.42.
    I have two of them.
    One is Xiaomi Router 3 with stock/fabric firmware.
    Second is Xiaomi Router 3G with Padavan firmware.
    Both of them are not on the same network.

    However, on Dell's support page it is true as you mention that they are using one driver software for different WiFi cards from Intel.
    I had also tried to install the driver directly from Intel support page. -> Downloads for Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
    That does not fixed the issue with bad signal on 5G network.

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