D-Link Australia DWA-160 Xtreme N Dual Band USB Adapter
An average Wi-Fi adapter.
- Dual band operation, detailed Wireless Connection Manager
- Large, poorly implemented WPS, relatively poor speeds, no Mac OS X support
Those looking to enable Wi-Fi on their computer or upgrade to a dual band setup may find this adapter useful. However, those hoping to improve on their integrated dual band component should probably look elsewhere.
Price$ 119.95 (AUD)
With built-in Wi-Fi now a regular feature of the latest PCs and notebooks, the role of the humble USB adapter is somewhat diminishing. However, with the expansion of 802.11 draft-n Wi-Fi into homes over both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, chances are your computer isn’t transferring files at the fastest possible speeds. D-Link’s DWA-160 solves this problem with a fairly quick dual-band USB adapter capable of connecting and communicating with the latest high-end draft-n routers.
The DWA-160 is fairly wide for a USB adapter, so users of notebooks with close USB ports may find themselves short a port or two when the adapter is plugged in. A nice touch is the small hole on the end for attachment to a key ring. With no easy way to secure the adapter’s plastic cap, though, the DWA-160 is unlikely to survive rigorous travel.
Set up is fairly simple for Windows, though it lacks any form of support for Mac OS X. The adapter implements Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) as an optional connection process, though this is the adapter’s weakest point. Push Button Configuration is one of these WPS processes, simplifying the connection process by first pushing a virtual button in the software then pushing the corresponding button on a compatible router you want to connect to. Although this is technically a good idea for Wi-Fi newcomers, it didn’t work easily with D-Link’s DIR-855 Xtreme N Duo Media Router, and we ended up opting for the traditional process.
D-Link also provides a second WPS connection option in the form of a randomly generated Personal Identification Number. Although this, too, is sound in theory, it involves inputting the eight digit PIN into the desired access point — a process only really viable when connecting an ad-hoc network at close range.
Throughput speeds are adequate, but they don’t match speeds we managed to get from our test bed’s integrated Wi-Fi components. At close range with D-Link’s DIR-855, the adapter managed throughput speeds of 2.6MBps over 2.4GHz and 5.8MBps at 5GHz. The 5GHZ band throughput speed is slightly slower than the 6MBps achieved using the test bed’s integrated Intel Wi-Fi Link 5100 component.
Connected to the router at 5GHz from a distance of 20m, speeds averaged at 2.6MBps, making the adapter significantly slower than the Intel 5100’s 4.1MBps. Operating within the 2.4GHz band, this speed slowed significantly to 1.45MBps.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Netgear expands its Orbi Wi-Fi system into a product family, adding two less-expensive models
- Chips coming by June will herald the next generation of Wi-Fi
- Plume's 'routerless' mesh network blankets your home in Wi-Fi with an army of tiny pods
- Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 Smart WiFi Router goes all the way to 11
- New Skype Preview lets Windows 10 Insiders manage phone texts on PCs
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTFull Stack Software DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Capacity Planner | Contract through till DecemberVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Wealth Advice/SuperannuationNSW
- TPAgile Project Manager. Lean ProductivityNSW
- FTCRM Technical Specialist (Oracle Eloqua)QLD
- FTSenior Wintel EngineerNSW
- FTHelpdesk AnalystNSW
- CCPerl Developer l Port Macquarie or QueanbeyanNSW
- CCIntegration ArchitectACT
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsQLD
- CCOrganisational Change LeadNSW
- FTSales Lead - Healthcare systemsVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- TPProject CoordinatorNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystVIC
- TPPMO Lead - Large Government Dept - 12 Month ContractQLD
- CCAMI ArchitectWA
- FTTest Automation Lead | 6mth ContractVIC
- FTIT Security RolesACT
- FTOracle E-Business Functional ConsultantVIC
- CCInteraction DesignerNSW
- TPSenior .NET Developer (Angular or React)NSW
- TPOffice 365 Deployment SupportQLD
- FTSenior Software Developer (C#.Net and VB.Net)SA
- FTTest Analyst - HCMSNSW