It’s surprisingly so surprising that even three months after Windows 8.1 got released, Wi-Fi connection drop is still a recurrent occurrence for desktop and laptop users alike. I don’t know how large is this specific problem in exact number, but I had read many complaints of how Windows 8.1 would not work well with PC users’ Wi-Fi network interface card (NIC), both internal and external. So, it’s not a surprise to see myself in the same boat as these folks. I found out that my Asus desktop too had experienced Wi-Fi connection drop quite frequently. Furthermore, couple times my Wi-Fi NIC actually had caused Blue Screen of Death and crashed Windows 8.1 completely. Such problems had not really occurred when I was using Windows 8 (not 8.1).
To fix this specific problem, the obvious answer would be installing a Wi-Fi NIC’s driver that would cooperate with and would not crash Windows 8.1. Unfortunately, my Wi-Fi NIC’s brand has yet to release any driver which would be compatible to Windows 8.1. With all typical tricks to help soothe the situation such as disabling desktop from automatically powering off Wi-Fi NIC to save power and so forth, but none of these tricks has had any luck so far. I can’t use the ethernet connection for my Asus since it’s (Asus) not sitting near a router at all, and this very router has to be situated far away (from my Asus) as it also hosts ethernet connections for my other electronic devices.
Without a proper driver for Wi-Fi NIC, there aren’t that many solutions for going around this problem. Of course, one can always downgrade a PC’s OS from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8, but I hate the idea of downgrading for various reasons. One notable reason would be reinstalling software. I went online and looked for an external Wi-Fi adapter which could be compatible to 802.11ac router and 802.11ac speed… and it must be USB 3.0 type of Wi-Fi adapter… and I found out that not that many of these external Wi-Fi USB 3.0 802.11ac adapters had good reputation with Windows 8.1 at all. These newer Wi-Fi USB 3.0 802.11ac adapters are experiencing the Wi-Fi connection drop issue in Windows 8.1, too. Thus I thought I would not be able to find a solution to my Asus’s Windows 8.1 Wi-Fi connection drop (a driver problem really).
I was wrong! As I went about my business in Walmart the other day, I checked out their electronic section. I saw the last Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-F USB Adapter on one of the Walmart’s shelves, and I boldly bought it to see if this would solve my Asus’s Windows 8.1 Wi-Fi connection drop issue. Of course, I thought to myself that I could always return the Belkin Wi-Fi adapter to Walmart if the darn thing wouldn’t work. It was a right move, because Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi USB (3.0) Adapter (for 802.11ac) is working very well with my Asus. I noticed that when I used this adapter in Windows 8 compatible mode, it would crash Windows 8.1 (as in Blue Screen of Death). Nonetheless, it works quite well when you just use this adapter without applying Windows 8 compatible mode for this adapter’s driver even though this adapter’s driver is meant to be working with Windows 8 (and not with Windows 8.1). How weird, right? I’ve also noticed that this adapter does drop connection randomly (although quite infrequently), but it automatically reconnects to the router again. The Asus’s original internal Wi-Fi NIC would not reconnect to the router under Windows 8.1 unless you had restarted the PC.
Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi USB (3.0) Adapter (for 802.11ac) is being advertised with the speed of up to 867 Megabits per second with 802.11ac router’s dual-band connection. I guess this advertising up to 867 Mbps speed is for the download speed. Personally, I think it’s fast, but I haven’t truly tested the download speed of this adapter out, therefore I cannot confirm how fast it’s. Nonetheless, I have done a lot of uploading such as uploading large files to my own Network Attached Storage server (locally), and I’ve noticed that the upload speed I’ve experienced with this adapter is roughly around 168 Megabits per second (21 Megabytes per second) with 802.11ac router’s dual-band connection (i.e., 5.0 GHz).
One thing I know clearly though, this adapter does solve my Windows 8.1’s Wi-Fi constant connection drop issue and it does reconnect with the router if its infrequent Wi-Fi connection drop does ever occur. I’m happy with it! I’m hoping that Belkin will release a newer driver for this Wi-Fi adapter so it will be even more compatible with Windows 8.1, because the current latest driver for this adapter is meant to be working with Windows 8 (not 8.1).
In summary, if you have Windows 8.1’s Wi-Fi connection drop issue with a Wi-Fi NIC when using desktop or laptop, you might want to give Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi USB adapter a try. The model for this adapter is F9L1109 version 1. You can find the adapter’s driver on Belkin’s official website. When you open the adapter’s box for the first time, you see that it got a CD which carries the firmware/driver for the adapter, don’t use it. Just go to Belkin’s official website and download the latest driver for F9L1109 version 1.
Alternatively, you can use DriverMax to upgrade this adapter’s driver to the latest driver. DriverMax’s latest Belkin USB Adapter driver isn’t working at all for Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi USB Adapter. So, don’t use DriverMax for upgrading this adapter’s latest driver. Stick with going to Belkin’s official website and download the latest driver for F9L1109 version 1 model. It’s odd though, usually DriverMax does have the best and correct drivers for many computer hardware components and gadgets.