Top positive review
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Back in Action
on April 25, 2016
Got this years ago (September of '11) to pair with a then top of the line E4200. The router and 684UB were about 30 feet, a floor, and two walls apart. That combo served me well playing a myriad of dungeon crawlers, Diablo III and Torchlight 2 amongst them. I've racked up several hundred hickup-free hours on those two games alone, and a good portion of that I had played with my brother on the same network. When he and my usual group of gaming buds moved on to Path of Exile, I of course followed suit.
Around that time though, I had updated to Windows 10, and to my dismay, the available drivers for the 684UB were either incomplete or wonky. The latest drivers from Ralink/Mediatek at the time only supported 2.4Ghz, or if I did use older drivers that allowed for 5Ghz my computer's internet speeds were hobbled. I have Optimum 55down/25up, and with Windows 7 my desktop was actually achieving 58down/29up on either band (tested using Ookla's Speedtest). With Windows 10, it was down to 37/22 on 5Ghz and 27/8 on 2.4Ghz. Pings were around the same time, between 9-12ms, but when I was browsing on Firefox, webpages would hesitate to load. Gaming was still smooth though, but streaming from my NAS, a DLINK DNS-320, suffered. Not that the 320 was a speed demon in the first place, but it could provide a steady ~40mbs read speed, but after the Windows 10 update, it was down to ~18mbs. Absolutely maddening!
I resigned myself to eventually buy a Windows 10 certified wifi adapter but never actually got around to it. Again, gaming was still smooth, and I used my laptop to stream from the 320. One day however, I needed to back up my desktop's hard drive, and good God the ~15mbs write speed to my new NAS (a repurposed Lenovo PC) was just unbearable. On a whim, I decided to check out Mediatek's website for updated drivers, and lo and behold there was one released on January 2016. Downloaded it (the file name was IS_Setup_ICS_011916_188.8.131.52), uninstalled the old drivers, installed the new one, and rebooted. And like an old friend recovering from a debilitating injury, the 684UB was back up to full speed. If anyone is familiar with Courage the Cowardly Dog and his distinct way of saying Yay, that was my reaction. Yay!
Also did some quick speed tests to the Lenovo (Core 2 Duo with 7200rpm Hitachi HDD) and was able to get over 100mbs on both read and write. The 684UB achieved that easily on 5Ghz AND 2.4Ghz. Keep in mind that is with channel bonding activated (that's the option in most routers that have you choose 20Mhz or 40Mhz) and a new router, an Archer C8.
Even with the venerable E4200 retired, I'm a bit reluctant to replace the 684UB. My brother has upgraded to a rosewill AC1200UBE wifi adapter, and it doesn't significantly outperform the Trendnet LAN to LAN despite being USB 3 and AC spec. Internet speeds aren't affected of course since that is limited by my ISP. With nearly five years of reliable service, I think I'll be hanging onto this little device a bit longer.
Adapter still works great. Just did a recent benchmark and uploaded a screenshot of the results. I did recently upgrade to an AC1200 wireless adapter though, an EDUP EP-AC1605. Hope it serves me just as well as the 684UB