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Upgrading my Wireless Adapter in my Laptop

Discussion in 'Networking' started by jolo100, May 12, 2018.

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  1. jolo100

    jolo100 Thread Starter

    May 12, 2018
    First Name:
    I have a Asus X550CA laptop that is running Win 10.
    It currently has a Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 WiFi adapter, which doesn't support 802.11ac and therefore it can't take advantage of the dual band WiFi speeds.
    I would like to be able to replace my AR9485 WiFi adapter with a newer one that supports 802.11ac.
    Do you have any recommendations about WiFi adapters that might fit and be compatible in my laptop?
    Thank you for your time and expertise.
    Jon :)

    Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version
    OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10 Home, 64 bit
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3337U CPU @ 1.80GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 58 Stepping 9
    Processor Count: 4
    RAM: 6029 Mb
    Graphics Card: Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000, -1984 Mb
    Hard Drives: C: 96 GB (18 GB Free); D: 135 GB (59 GB Free);
    Motherboard: ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC., X550CA
    Antivirus: Avast Antivirus, Enabled and Updated
  2. metallica5456

    metallica5456 Trusted Advisor

    Apr 1, 2013
    First Name:
  3. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Mar 23, 2005
    First Name:
    I do not, but suggest that if you want one that is almost guaranteed to work get one for which Asus provides a driver for your model of PC or get a USB adapter.
  4. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

    May 12, 2002
    First Name:
    half.JPG full.JPG


    Your ASUS X550CA laptop should have either a "half height" or a "full height" wireless mini-card.
    You can confirm that by opening the compartment where it's at.

    I recently replaced the Broadcom 4322 wireless mini-card in my Dell Precision M6400 laptop with an Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 model so I could take advantage of 5 GHz speeds.
    It was a bit tricky to replace it, and I had to be careful not to damage the connecting wires, but it worked fine after I installed it and then installed its driver software.

    Terry brings up a good point though.
    The quickest and easiest way to make the upgrade in your laptop is to connect an external USB wireless adapter that supports 5 GHz speeds.

  5. zx10guy

    zx10guy Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

    Mar 30, 2008
    I also agree with Terry. There are some laptops out there where the BIOS has a white list of approved devices which the manufacturer will allow to work in the laptop. I ran across this very issue with a Lenovo laptop. The Intel wireless NIC in it either went bad or is just junk. The wireless NIC in this laptop had the worst performance I've seen out of a wireless NIC so I wanted to replace it. When I installed the new wireless card, the laptop would not initialize it. I did some searching and found out about the white list. Someone did a BIOS hack which I downloaded but haven't as of yet used it on the laptop. For the moment, I'm still dealing with the lack luster performance.

    I don't know if Asus does this to their products. I would think not but be prepared if you run into this issue.
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