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!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- 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
- Telstra’s ‘Free Data Day” sets new record for mobile downloads
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- 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
- FTSenior Full Stack .Net Developer - Internet of ThingsNSW
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- TPOracle Consultant - CC&BQLD
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCTest LeadQLD
- TPSenior Analyst Programmer - ContractQLD
- CCSenior Project Manager - Regulatory/Compliance - BankingNSW
- TPSolution Architect - IntegrationQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- TPSpatial Science OfficerQLD
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- FTSenior Systems AdministratorWA
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTProject Manager (Software product development)VIC
- CCInfrastructure Test AnalystACT
- CCSQL Server BI DeveloperQLD
- TPLinux Desktop Support SpecialistWA
- FTLife/400 Resource - PermanentNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Financial ServicesVIC
- TPImplementation Business Partner - Business ModernisationNSW
- CCDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Contract - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW