Got Windows 8.1’s Wi-Fi Connection Drop Issue? Belkin AC Dual-Band Wi-Fi USB Adapter Is Here To Fix It!

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.

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Awesome Sony SBH50 Bluetooth Headset (Using NFC Technology) Will Set You Free From Your Phablet, Somewhat…

A stereo Bluetooth headset.

A stereo Bluetooth headset. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After watching the commercial on Sony SBH50 Bluetooth headset (using NFC tech), I have to say I’m drooling for one.  Sure, the price tag of whatever is never a pleasant thing, but me me me see what a beautiful way to relinquish that cumbersome smartphone.  When it comes to a smartphone, some people like it big like a tablet so they can call it as a phablet.  I do like to have a phablet moment too, but there are times that I just want to be free from a phablet (i.e., smartphone with big screen) completely.  I can see that Sony SBH50 Bluetooth headset is definitely going to set some people free from a phablet (somewhat… as NFC has a wireless range limit), and hopefully this thing will be just as awesome as how it’s being advertised.  Check out Sony SBH50 Bluetooth headset (using NFC tech) video right after the break, and you will see what I mean as this little gorgeous player does a lot more than just being NFC poster whatever.

Source:  http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/13/sony-sbh50-bluetooth-headset/ (link)

Nice Try Google, But You Can Do Better Right? Chromebook Pixel Is Nice, But It Should Be Nicer!!!

chromebook pixel

chromebook pixel (Photo credit: Frances Berriman)

Is Chromebook Pixel real or just a concept?  It seems that arstechnica reported that Chromebook Pixel is indeed a real product.  According to arstechnica’s “Google’s new touchscreen Chromebook Pixel: a $1,299 laptop for cloud dwellers” article, Google had just announced the existence of Chromebook Pixel.  If Chromebook Pixel is real, so?  The buzz about Chromebook Pixel is that it’s an exotic animal.  By this I mean it’s basically a machine which mainly focuses on staying connect to the Internet only, but it’s a very gorgeous only online machine (if we discount that it does have some offline features).  I’m sure it got some offline features, but it is designed to be working with the cloud.  It’s no surprised really since Chromebook Pixel is a more expensive version of other Google’s Chromebook products.  So, Chromebook Pixel is more of a beast among Chromebook products, but its core functionality is still all about cloud functionalities.  Simply really, Chromebook Pixel is just a lot more gorgeous in terms of screen resolution and other whistles and bells.

arstechnica reported that Chromebook Pixel has screen resolution of 2560×1700 with 239 pixel per inch, 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB flash storage for Wi-Fi model and 64GB flash storage for LTE model.  By purchasing Chromebook Pixel, a customer will get 1TB of Google Drive cloud storage for free for 3 years.  Cloud storage?  If you never heard of cloud but know of Dropbox, then Google Drive is somewhat similar to Dropbox.  1TB of Dropbox would be nice eh?  So, if you like Dropbox that much, then I guess 1TB of Google Drive is definitely one of those temptations that is hard to refuse.

It seems that the screen resolution for Chromebook Pixel is the main focus, because 2560×1700 is a lot.  It’s a beast!  I’m not a fan of i5 processor, therefore in term of processor Chromebook Pixel is a let down for me.  4 GB of RAM only?  In my opinion, 4GB of RAM for any machine from today onward isn’t enough (but you might think otherwise and I don’t mind).  Since Chromebook Pixel is an always online machine, 32 or 64 GB of flash storage does make sense until it doesn’t.  How come?  In my opinion, the 2560×1700 screen is a waste on Chromebook Pixel.  I’m reasoning that whoever wants to work with such beautiful/exotic screen resolution might need to store humongous sizes of visual data (e.g., videos, photos, etc…), but what Chromebook Pixel doesn’t carry — Chromebook doesn’t support USB 3.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi speed — will hamper the productivity of whoever wants to use Chromebook Pixel in a more hardcore manner.

Now, if Chromebook Pixel supports USB 3.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, even though Chromebook Pixel doesn’t have huge local drive storage space, I will definitely want a Chromebook Pixel for myself, even with the current might be Chromebook Pixel’s price range $1200 – $1400.  How come?  Let pretend that I’m a real photographer (because I’m only an aspiring one), I definitely have tons of photos and videos to store, to make backups of, and the likes.  With USB 3.0 support, I can use USB 3.0 capability to speedily transfer my videos and photos back and forth between the external hard drives and Chromebook Pixel, because making data backups is so important to people like the photographers.  Let say I’m a paranoid data integrity and data redundancy freak, and so if Chromebook Pixel supports 802.11ac standard, I can definitely speed up my backup of data to the cloud.

You see, I think Chromebook Pixel lacks some really important features even though it is obviously designed to be an online only machine.  I think Chromebook Pixel should not emphasize an online only machine to the point that alienates the good features that it supposes to carry for offline needs.  Instead of carrying USB 3.0, Chromebook Pixel carries USB 2.0.  We know USB 3.0 is the way forward, but people are also comparing USB 3.0 against Thunderbolt too.  This is why it’s so weird for me to see Chromebook Pixel carries only USB 2.0.  Perhaps, not carrying any USB support at all might make more sense than not carrying USB 3.0?  Also, faster Wi-Fi is always a must have feature.  We know that we have the faster Wi-Fi capability through 802.11ac standard/capability, but Chromebook Pixel decides to not support 802.11ac?

Besides the lack of various important features I mentioned, Chromebook Pixel does look like a very nice toy.  From what I’ve seen of it, it looks nice!  The screen, the body, and the shape of Chromebook Pixel speaks to me in a very positive manner.  Simply put, I love the overall look of Chromebook Pixel.  Unfortunately, it reminds me of Macbook products.  Fortunately, I think it might look even better than Macbook Pro, but I’m not sure unless I can see and touch it (only see a video of it).  Oh yeah, if you think I’m a Mac fanatic, then you don’t know me at all.  Obviously, that should be the case since you don’t know me at all in real life.  Nonetheless, let me reveal to you something about me, I’m also a Windows 8 and Linux fanatical sort of person.  If I know another good sort of OS-brand-hardware type out there, I might as well be a fanatic for such too…

Before I end this post, let me say that you can also reach out and touch that beautiful Chromebook Pixel’s screen.  How come?  It’s a touchscreen yo!  Check out the Chromebook Pixel in the video right after the break.  Enjoy!!!

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Lightroom 4 Photo Fun – Apple Store

Went to Apple Store and got a replacement for iPhone 5.  The one that Apple sent to me the first time around was Wi-Fi glitchy (i.e., disconnected and super slow) and camera glitchy (i.e., purple halo/flare glitch).  The replacement fixed the Wi-Fi connectivity issue, but the camera glitch had not yet resolved.  Anyhow, while I was at the Apple Store for the iPhone 5 replacement, I took two snapshots of Apple Store with the replaced iPhone 5.  Afterward, I used Lightroom 4 to stylishly glitch up the snapshots.  Check out the results right after the break.

iPhone 5 AT&T LTE Network Speed Test

I have a mixed bag of a personal customer satisfaction for iPhone 5 really!  On one hand, it’s a more powerful device than the older iPhone iterations, but on the other hand iPhone 5 does have few quirks that are really bothering me.  Such quirks are Wi-Fi slowness occurs from time to time (i.e., sometimes it’s fine) and purple halo camera glitch.  Nonetheless, with that being said, I find iPhone 5’s adoption of true LTE (i.e., real 4G speed) is quite pleasing.  Please check out the video right after the break to see the speed test of iPhone 5 LTE on AT&T LTE network.

802.11ac Wireless Routers To Replace 802.11n Ones, Boasting To Have 3 Times The Traditional Wireless Speed!

Wi-Fi Signal logo

Wi-Fi Signal logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Technology brands such as Cisco are beginning to push out new Wi-Fi gadgets that adhere to the the new Wi-Fi standard which is 802.11ac.  802.11ac Wi-Fi adhered gadgets will be able to wirelessly work with much higher data transfer rate than wireless equipments that support 802.11n and older Wi-Fi standards.  Theoretically, 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard will be able to allow wireless equipments to transfer wireless data at 1.3 Gbps speed which is 3 times faster than wireless equipments that support the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard.  Nonetheless, in practice the 802.11ac Wi-Fi adhered equipments may push wireless data at a much lower speed than the advertised 1.3 Gbps wireless data speed, because it’s all relative to the network bottlenecks.  Such bottlenecks might be that a network is simply being too busied (i.e., too many computers hog the same router for data transfer at the same time), too many wireless signal interferences that weaken the 802.11ac router’s 5 GHz wireless signal (e.g., physical barriers, out of range, more than one devices that use the same wireless channel), and so on.

For Cisco, the company announces that it will release EA6500 router which will adopt 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.  While Cisco is working on to push its new EA6500 802.11ac router out, D-Link Cloud Router 5700 (DIR-865L) which also supports the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard has just came out and you can buy it on Amazon for around $190.  Nonetheless, Buffalo AirStation WZR-D1800H wireless router was the first router that supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, and this too can be bought on Amazon for roughly around $180.  Buffalo AirStation WZR-D1800H wireless router doesn’t seem to go beyond regular router features besides its adoption of 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, but I could be wrong.  Nonetheless, the other two routers that I had mentioned (i.e., Cisco EA6500 and D-Link Cloud Router 5700) are supporting cloud features in addition to the support of 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.  These cloud features in these new routers promote usages such as allowing users to control their network remotely and easily through mobile apps.  Furthermore, users can install apps onto the routers to allow even more cloud features.  Nonetheless, I’m not sure how these cloud features will exactly enhance the experience of using a router since I have yet to own and use a router which has cloud features.

With few 802.11ac wireless routers are now available for purchase, I think people are eager to grab them.  And they should do so!!!  How come?  Obviously, more wireless electronic brands will most likely release wireless electronic equipments that support 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.  Some people might worry that replacing an 802.11n wireless router with an 802.11ac one will render their current 802.11n and older wireless electronic standard equipments unusable, but this worry of theirs is pointless.  It’s most likely that new 802.11ac routers are backward compatible to 802.11n wireless electronic equipments.

With 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard becomes evermore popular, we can expect that more wireless electronic equipments will abandon the older Wi-Fi standards and adopt 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.  Nonetheless, as of now, you probably will not be able to find that many wireless electronic equipments that support 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.  This is why I think if you want to purchase a future proof wireless electronic equipment starting today, you should think twice about purchasing a wireless electronic equipment that supports any Wi-Fi standard that is slower than the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.  After all, faster wireless data transfer is definitely better than otherwise, right?  Still though and relatively speaking, don’t let me stop you from wanting to buy wireless electronic equipments that have yet to support 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard — because in the end it’s you who know best in what you need most.

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