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Alfa Awus036h Supper Slow


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I got a awus036h about a week ago and I have been having a blast playing with it but I have had a problem that I haven’t been able to work out.

Under openSUSE the adapter is extremely slow. I am talking average 300K/s. The Brodcom card in the same system averages over 2Mb/s.

I have tried

iwconfig wlan1 rate 2M auto

to force it to a slower speed thinking that maybe the USB port was getting bombarded but that doesn't make a difference.

I also tried it in Windows 7 on the same system with similar results. Windows isn't as bad as it is in Linux but the Alfa is still about half the speed of the built in card.

I searched Google and found another post complaining about the same thing in Ubuntu but they had no solutions.

Edited by vdub
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Yeah, I've heard about that too. I don't know about Windows, but have you tried using a different driver other than the default driver in Linux?

Edited by Infiltrator
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Yeah, I've heard about that too. I don't know about Windows, but have you tried using a different driver other than the default driver in Linux?

The driver on alfa's website is from like 2009 so I didn't even bother, also the other websites discussing this all mention changing the driver doesn't help. The RTL8187 is part of the kernel so I figured it was fine. I got a little improvement playing with the txpower but not much. The access point I am using to test is in my living room about 20' away though one wall so I lowered the txpower to 32mW or 15dBm and was able to make it run as well as it does in Windows. That helps because Windows on this system is just siting on a 30Gb partition because I have a few apps I need for work. This netbook spends 99% of its time in Linux so getting it to work better in Linux is important. Honestly I don't care if I get it working any better in Windows.

On the plus side I can hit access points blocks away with this thing. Crank this baby up to 1000mW and I can see access points that I have never seen before from my house.

Edited by vdub
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Well I have tried different drivers and just about every suggestion I can find on line and just about every post that talks about the crummy performance of the Alfa AWUS036H concludes with the OP buying a different wireless card.

I am topping off at 130K/s download speeds now. I don't get it. Why does everyone recommend this card if it performs so poorly?

Does anyone have any ideas or do I just need to replace this card?

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If anyone has this same card and wouldn't mind trying something for me could you post the results to this command?

wget --output-document=/dev/null http://speedtest.wdc01.softlayer.com/downloads/test500.zip

Here are my results

Alfa rtl8187

Max: (145K/s)

Time: 58m 54s

Average: (145 KB/s)

Internal Broadcom b43

Max: (2.11M/s)

Time: 4m 32s

Average (1.84 MB/s)

Edited by vdub
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Yeh same here,

Atheros minipci 422K/s eta 23m 37s

Alfa Awus036h 43.1K/s eta 1h 52m

such a shame cause this card kicks ass.

Is it the patched drivers?

might try a diff distro see if that helps

I have tried two different openSUSE 12.1 systems and BT5 and I get the same results from all of them. There is slow performance in Windows 7 as well. I think these cards just suck. Its to bad because they do have a great range. However, that doesn't much matter if your speeds are going to be dialup'ish. I mean come on an hour to download a 500Mb file. That's kind of pathetic.

I tried the r8187l drivers from realteks website and they where slightly better but the ability to change your txpower was disabled in them. I also tried installing the aircrack patched drivers and they are no better then the drivers included in the kernel. I think I am just going to use this card for simple stuff rather then connections. During all this research I have found that my broadcom b43 that came with this Dell mini is actually better then the alfa. I just ordered an external antenna adapter for the internal card that I am going to drill a hole and install where the notebook lock hole is. That way I will be able to run a large antenna off my internal card.

Here is a photo of the adapter I am going to install.


Does anyone know if its possible to splice in to the original antenna cable so I can use both? I know the original antenna will still work with one antenna wire but it would be nice to have the use of the monitor antenna when I don't have anything screwed in to the external. Also with one screw I can just switch the U.FL plugs.

I was wondering almost every Alfa card I have seen has the Alfa logo on it except for the one for sale in the Hak5 shop. Also the Awus036h is normally white. Is the card in the Hakshop a real alfa or a generic?

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