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USB 3.0 easily jams this router's Wi-Fi
on December 15, 2014
Purchased this router in January 2014 and have had no issues. Firmware is still at 18.104.22.168.374, hardware version is A1. I purchased this router after I bricked a Cisco router from a bad firmware update. I'm writing this review (actually more of a potential solution) because I noticed a little over 10% of the reviews are 1 star (which is "normal" percentage of any product) and after scanning through the 1 stars the common theme is intermittent wi-fi drops and "weird" router behavior when using the USB 3.0 port. Something to be aware of is that USB 3.0 ports, cables, and devices transmit on the 2.4 GHz - 2.5 GHz range. From the Intel White Paper:
"As previously shown in Figure 2-2, the noise from USB 3.0 data spectrum can be high
(in the 2.4-2.5 GHz range). This noise can radiate from the USB 3.0 connector on a
PC platform, the USB 3.0 connector on the peripheral device or the USB 3.0 cable. If
the antenna of a wireless device operating in this band is placed close to any of the
above USB 3.0 radiation channels, it can pick up the broadband noise. The broadband
noise emitted from a USB 3.0 device can affect the SNR and limit the sensitivity of any
wireless receiver whose antenna is physically located close to the USB 3.0 device. This
may result in a drop in throughput on the wireless link."
I experienced this when I built a new computer and placed the router on top of the tower on my desk and plugged my Patriot USB 3.0 thumb drive in the USB 3.0 port on top of the tower which is about 8 inches from the router antenna. My desktop is Ethernet, so was not affected. Laptop1 was using 5.0 GHz band and was not affected. Laptop2 was using 2.4 GHz band and could not connect wirelessly. Took an hour to figure this out (only variable that changed was distance of thumb drive to antenna). My old computer's USB 3.0 port was at the bottom back of the tower and farther away. So basically, USB 3.0 acts as a router wi-fi jammer if located too close and it's easy to mistake this common issue as a router intermittent wi-fi drop issue.