Abit Airpace WiFi PCI-E card

Written by Joe Martin

June 24, 2007 | 00:46

Tags: #airpace #card #express #home #lan #network #pci #pci-e #router #wan #wifi #wi-fi #wireless #x1 #x16

Companies: #abit

We then took a handful of the torrented files and transmitted them across the network to check how fast the card could handle transmissions and so forth. A collection of MP3s, totalling about 60MB in size, took just shy of forty seconds to send across our servers wirelessly and the time was consistent.

Another bonus of the WiFi card, small and insignificant though it may seem, is the length of the cable for the antenna. We were able to pick up reception of our networks without installing the antenna, but we plugged it in anyway because it attracts attention away from how horribly messy our desktops are.

The length of cable is important though in case your PC is under a desk or in some form of desk alcove which requires cables to be funnelled up through a small opening. Alcoves like that usually aren't good for cooling, but if you must use one then the cable will allow you to shift the antenna to a better position or to move it out of the way so it doesn't clutter up your desktop.

Finally, we moved onto the the access point mode incorporated in the software and set up a network bridge to see if we could connect a laptop to the internet wirelessly, via the wired connection in the WiFi enabled PC.

Abit Airpace WiFi PCI-E card Conclusions Abit Airpace WiFi PCI-E card Conclusions
Access point (left) and Station mode (right) in the provided software, click to enlarge

Results were mixed, with the laptop picking up wireless Internet easily from within a range of a few meters, though the speed was a bit on the slow side. If you're using a WiFi card like this to in software access point mode though, then the chances are you're using this option as a last resort and aren't too bothered about speed.

Unfortunately, the reception that our laptop picked up was a bit intermittent and taking the laptop out of the office and into the car park made the connection sever completely. Again though, the range isn't very good but the card is not really intended as a permanent WiFi access point and merely including it as an option which works sufficiently at close ranges is enough to get it a nod of approval from us.

Conclusions

There's a lot to like about the Abit Airpace WiFi card, not least that it finally makes our PCI-Express x1 slots a lot less useless and solves our network cable woes. With a decent length of cable and a steady, reliable connection provided by it we found that the card holds its own and not only does what it says, but does it well.

Abit Airpace WiFi PCI-E card Conclusions Abit Airpace WiFi PCI-E card Conclusions
Click to enlarge

The included software is also noteworthy for being both in-depth and unintimidating whilst providing a wealth of options for it. We especially like the power saving mode, though we're not entirely sure how it works. Add on top of this the facility to act in access point and client modes, as well as the ease with which it installs and sets up and the Airpace WiFi card has the makings of a decent networking tool.

Price-wise the news is good too as the card can be picked up cheaply for around $23 in the US of A and about £23 in the UK. Factoring in the conversion rates makes the UK price a little unfair, but it's not by a massive amount and the Airpace provides decent value for money no matter which way you look at it.

Abit Airpace WiFi PCI-E card Conclusions Abit Airpace WiFi PCI-E card Conclusions
Click to enlarge

There isn't much more to say about the Airpace WiFi card; it's a dinky little wireless networker that does the job for a reasonable price and which we couldn't find any faults with. Simple and to the point, it's a great choice for the home networker even though it may not be the most exciting purchase in the world. Especially recommended for novice networkers, though it'll give experienced geeks everything they need too.

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