The Mvix Solido MS-811x demonstrates that size doesn't matter; at least not at close range.
Mvix USA builds an extensive line of home-theater PCs, so when we spied the massive antenna on its Solido USB Wi-Fi adapter, we assumed it would outperform any adapter we’ve tested in Maximum PC Lab North’s media room. As it turned out, its performance only equaled the best. Where this device excels is at range.
If you’re looking for an adapter to stream media from the 5GHz radio on your dual-band router, you can quit reading now because the Solido operates on the more common 2.4GHz band only. It is, however, compatible with 802.11b, g, and n routers. If your client PC is located in an entertainment center, you’ll want to be aware that the Solido’s antenna is 6.7 inches tall; but if you’re doing that, you’ve probably left plenty of vertical space for ventilation anyway.
The media room we test in is a room-within-a-room design that delivers awesome acoustics inside but that presents a significant challenge to wireless signals. After emanating from the bedroom where the router is located and traveling 35 feet, radio waves must penetrate four layers of sheetrock and two layers of R19 fiberglass insulation inside the walls and two layers of sheetrock and a layer of blown-in insulation in the ceiling before reaching the client.
We tested the Solido with our current pick for best-of-the-best routers, Negear’s WNDR3700 and compared its performance with Netgear’s model WNDA3100 USB Wi-Fi adapter. In most of our tests, the Solido was only on par with Netgear’s decidedly more conventional adapter. In our media-room test, where the client PC is 35 feet from the router, the Solido delivered TCP throughput of 31.1Mb/sec—just slightly faster than the Netgear’s 30.9Mb/s. In our kitchen test, with the client closer to the router and with fewer obstacles in between, the Solido significantly underperformed, achieving TCP throughput of just 61.6Mb/s compared to the Netgear’s 83.0Mb/s.
The Solido proved its mettle once we moved the client outside the home. With the client on the enclosed outdoor patio, the adapter delivered TCP throughput of 55.3Mb/s, compared to the Netgear’s 46.9Mb/s. But when we put the client completely outside the home—85 feet from the router—the Solido absolutely crushed the Netgear adapter, delivering TCP throughput of 23.7Mb/s compared to just 2.71Mb/s.
In fact, we were able to move the client an additional 50 feet—a total distance of 135 feet separating the client from the router—without losing our connection. TCP throughput at this distance dropped to less than 1Mb/s, so you wouldn’t want to transfer large files at that distance, but we were able to surf the web with no problem.
Mvix USB Wi-Fi Adapter
Going the Distance
Fantastic performance at long-range; detachable antenna for travel.
From a Distance
Indoor performance only on par with competing adapters.
Mvix Solido MS-811x
Kitchen, 20 feet (Mb/s)
Enclosed Patio, 38 feet (Mb/s)
Media Room, 35 feet (Mb/s)
Bedroom, 60 feet (Mb/s)
Outdoors, 85 feet (Mb/s)
Best scores are bolded. TCP throughput measured using IPerf. N/C indicates no connection at that location. Read more about our testing methodology at http://bit.ly/16w27O.