The Buffalo AC433 Dual Band Wireless Mini USB Adapter is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. If you aren’t up to date on the current tech, AC is the new big bad boy on the block when it comes to WiFi. In order to take advantage of the new speed offerings you have to have two things in place. You need a WiFi network router/access point that is capable of AC, and you need either a AC network card (such as a pci, pci-e, etc..) or an AC network USB adapter.
We recommend the Buffalo AirStation Extreme AC 1900 Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Router. It is a very capable wireless router that is capable of being a router, an access point or a bridge. It has an excellent easy to use interface and is a breeze to setup. We also recommend this Buffalo AC433 Dual Band Wireless Mini USB Adapter too. It is very fast.
The box for the Buffalo AC433 Dual Band Wireless Mini USB Adapter says it is supported by Windows 8. I can verify that it not only works in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, but I also got it working on my Macbook Pro running Yosemite (Which means you can likely get it running in the various Linux distributions as well). If you would like to know how I did that you can comment below and I’ll post an article on how to do it.
If you are proficient with MacOS or Linux you need the newest 64bit Realtek drivers and you are good to go. I’m not sure why Buffalo doesn’t show that it works with different operating systems, perhaps it is a licensing issue with Realtek. Maybe they are just focused on marketing this product for Windows at the moment. Either way it is a great deal and you can pick them up on Amazon for about $25 with free 2 day shipping if you have Prime. You can get a decent deal on Amazon for these at this affiliate link:BUFFALO AirStation AC433 Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter (WI-U2-433DM)
Just like the title suggests the Buffalo AC433 Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter is capable of hitting 433 megabit/sec. That is quite a jump from Wireless N (what you probably have) which hits 300 megabit/sec but unless you have channel bonding and the right gear you are likely getting about 150 megabit/sec. So why is that a big deal? Well the speed (throughput) is very important for accessing things on your network. So if you are streaming movies, or moving large amounts of data (like copying movies or music from your laptop to your desktop etc…) than it means everything. It can be the difference between waiting over an hour… to waiting a few minutes. The Buffalo AC433 Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter with the Buffalo Airstation Extreme AC1900 Wireless Router (with default settings) copied a 1.46 Gigabyte file over our network at 15.46 megabytes per second which is about 60mbit on MacOS. The built-in wifi adapter (wireless N) was about half as fast coming in at 7.6 megabytes per second.
For the size of the Buffalo AirStation AC433 Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter and the price point 2x the speed of N is very useful. I give the AC433 3 out of 5 stars. It’s a solid little adapter.