5 Replies Latest reply: May 17, 2010 12:38 AM by ArizonaSackbut RSS

    Wireless adapter and Slingbox Solo


      Will any wireless adapter work with my Slingbox solo ?  What is the setup/configuration procedure for configuring the Solo to work with a wireless adapter?

        • Re: Wireless adapter and Slingbox Solo
          ArizonaSackbut Apprentice

          Hi Robdam,



          If you're talking about these type of things:

          Picture 1.png

          (Click to Enlarge)


          ...it isn't going to work.




          Aside from running ethernet cable, the only options are to use powerline ethernet adapters (like SlingLink) or a wireless bridge.  Normal USB Wifi adapters will not work.



          Wireless bridges have an antenna on one end and an ethernet port on the other.  The bridge handles the wifi link to the router, the device connected to it's ethernet port just works.  As far as the device is concerned, it's connected directly to the router with a cable.  Wireless bridges are sometimes called gaming adapters since they're packaged to do the same job for video game consoles.  They are the same device.  Setting up a bridge isn't terrible but it can be a bit tedious, particularly when getting one to cooperate with your router's wireless security.  Once configured, you can usually forget about them and everything just works.  Most of the time, bridges are single devices that connect back to your router.  Occaisionally you'll see a model that has a box on both ends.  The second bridge I link to below is of that type.



          Powerline adapters send the network signals though the electrical wiring in your house.  Like a wifi bridge, the powerline boxes handle the special connection and the devices connected to them just work.  Unlike (most) wifi bridges, you need a powerline adapter on both sides.  They're typically sold in pairs for this reason.  It's possible to expand the system within the house by adding more powerline boxes, I think you can have up to 16.


          Both options work, but powerline adapters are generally much easier to set up and have better speed and reliability.




          Here are a couple examples.  I'm not recommending these particular items, just using them to illustrate the class of device:


          "Gaming Adapter" wifi bridge



          Wifi bridges





          Powerline Adapter





          What is the setup/configuration procedure for configuring the Solo to work with a wireless adapter?


          There's no additional or special procedures where the Slingbox is concerned.  You need to get your bridge working first though.  Can't help there until you pick one.    Once the bridge is up, just follow the normal setup instructions for your Slingbox from the user guide or website.




          Hope this helps !



          - Az


          Message was edited by: ArizonaSackbut - Clarified gaming wifi bridge heading

            • Re: Wireless adapter and Slingbox Solo

              Thank you for your very informative & thorough reply, much appreciated.  Would this work:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001QVQ7JU/ref=oss_product



              I don't understand what the difference is between what is categorized a "Gaming Adapter" versus a traditional USB Adapter?

                • Re: Wireless adapter and Slingbox Solo
                  ArizonaSackbut Apprentice

                  Hi Robdam,



                  Yeah, that should work.  That's actually the same as one I linked under Wifi Bridges in my first post.  Different URLs, same device.



                  I haven't used that specific model, but bridges of that type all work pretty much the same way.  It should have a web-based setup page similar to what a router has.  When you go in there to set it up, you need to tell the bridge what to connect to and enter any wifi security details.


                  It's a lot like joining a wireless network from a computer- it'll scan for available wireless networks, pick the one you want to join, enter the security type and password and it connects.  Once the connection is established, it remembers your preferences.  From that point, anything you connect to the ethernet port will communicate through the bridge to the router as if it's directly connected.  The idea is that, once configured, the bridge is transparent.


                  A bridge may offer additional options and advanced features, but that's the "nuts and bolts" of it.  My router is in the center of the house, my Slingbox and primary computer are at the end of two different bridges (old, two-story house).  I've found them to be quite helpful.  Not as fast as a wired connection, but mighty handy.


                  FYI: If you want more speed or are in a bad radio environment, don't forget about the powerline adapters.  The SlingLinks are pretty cool and wicked easy to set up.




                  I don't understand what the difference is between what is categorized a "Gaming Adapter" versus a traditional USB Adapter?

                  Understandable.  I've found the term "Gaming Adapter" can refer to two very different solutions:


                  - A regular wifi bridge that's packaged and marketed to the video game crowd (but in reality is just a wifi bridge).


                  - A proprietary USB wifi adapter that only works with the device it's sold for.



                  Let's look at both...


                  Wifi bridges (and their "gaming adapter" bridge siblings) differ from USB wifi adapters because of where the wireless protocols are handled.  What wifi channel to use, transmission rate, security... these are all part of the wireless protocols.


                  A bridge takes care of the radio and all wireless protocols internally and separate from it's ethernet port.  The ethernet-connected device just sends and receives data, the bridge handles the rest transparently in the background.  Functionally, bridges pretend to be very long ethernet cables.


                  A USB wifi adapter is really just a radio.  They are totally dependent on the host device to handle the wireless protocols.  As long as the device has the software to handle that and knows how to use the radio model built into the USB stick, everything works.  If either of those two dependencies aren't satisfied, it doesn't.



                  Proprietary USB wifi "Gaming Adapters" differ from traditional adapters designed for computers because they intentionally blow one of the two dependencies I mentioned.  The device they are sold for- no surprise- is designed to compensate for that.  It usually goes both ways: proprietary USB sticks don't work in computers, computer USB sticks don't work in the devices.



                  By the way- even if regular USB wifi sticks were compatible with Slingbox (they're not), you would have no place to plug it in !  The USB jack on the back of the newer Slingboxes does nothing.  I suppose it's there for future things, but at the moment it has absolutely no purpose.



                  Good luck, hope you enjoy your Sling Solo !


                  - Az