There is a difference between WiFi USB adapters in speed and in fact there apparently can be big differences between two of the same model...
I have two RPi's, (ECN0002 and ECN0003) and 3 WiFi adapters. One Airlink AWLL5088 which was the original WiFi I used with the ECN0002 and two Edimax EW-7811Un which I purchased when I ordered the second RPi (ECN003).
Originally I had the Airlink hooked up to the ECN0002 in a case connected to the TV and all was well.... streaming was fast, good network connections etc...
Just before the 2nd RPi showed up, I ran into device problems and started over with the current Raspbian image.... I built the old unit first, copied the OS and then put that into the newer device.
In the process, I had an Edimax on the older RPi hooked up to the TV and the Airlink on the new RPi without a case floating around headless.
When I finally got around to it, I tried to stream like before and wow, there was something wrong. I was mounting a share on my NAS and playing MP4 videos using omxplayer and now it was stuttering, pausing and outright failing to play. Not like I was seeing originally.
Figured something was not right with the distro... so I made sure they were updated, downloaded the newest version of omxplayer... no difference.... I moved one o the MP4s to the device from the NAS (slow transfer) and when I played it there was no slowness... so, Network issue.
Last night, I decided to switch RPi's... and was surprised to see the speed back, no hesitation, pausing, stuttering just like before.
While the two RPi are not the same, the OS is basically a copy of the other, so the only difference was the WiFi adapters.
This morning, I did the next test, I switched the WiFi adapters and put the original RPi back on the TV with the Airlink.... and now it worked fine. Put the new unit with the Ediimax, speed issues.
So this afternoon, I did some speed tests using Nuttcp.... interesting:
Wow... the Airlink was a lot faster.... Explains why I was seeing such poor performance when I switched to the Edimax WiFi..... However later, I remembered that I had a second brand new in a box Edimax and tried it and was surprised that it was faster than the Airlink....
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Airlink 101 AWLL5088 #1 9.5625 MB / 10.11 sec = 7.9327 Mbps 0 %TX 9 %RX Edimax EW-7811Un #1 3.4375 MB / 10.77 sec = 2.6777 Mbps 0 %TX 3 %RX
I had already ordered a second Airlink when I first saw the speed difference so I will test it when it shows up in a day or two.
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Edimax EW-7811Un #2 12.5000 MB / 10.11 sec = 10.3692 Mbps 0 %TX 11 %RX
There are actually 2 Airlink 101 models. I don't know what the difference is between them. I originally purchased the AWLL5088 model and bought another one of the same for the second. The model I have not tried is the AWLL5099 ... no idea what the difference is as I could not find anything on the net...