DLNA over WiFi is spotty at best

TL;DR version: DLNA works on wired connection, not on WiFi; looking to improve WiFi performance.

My library is hosted in JRiver Media Center v17 on my desktop PC, which has a gigabit ethernet connection to my gigabit switch. On my Raspberry Pi 2, I’m using the CanaKit wifi adapter. Specs say this supports wireless N with speeds up to 150MBps. I realize this is a theoretical maximum, and actual speeds will typically be a bit lower to much lower depending on how far you are from the AP; my Pi is in the living room right outside the office where the AP is located, so I don’t think signal strength is an issue. Running the latest version of Volumio 2 (just upgraded).

JRiver’s iOS app, JRemote, can either stream content from your library to your iOS device, or it can act as a controller to play content from the library to other clients on the network. When used as the former, I can play music on my phone or iPad and AirPlay to Volumio with no problems whatsoever. But used as a DLNA remote to send content from my PC library directly to Volumio, performance is spotty. It frequently skips tracks, and the progress bar doesn’t update properly. These issues are resolved by connecting the Pi directly to the network switch with a cable. (But that’s not a long term solution because of cables running across the floor, which is why I want to get everything working properly with a WiFi connection.) This doesn’t make sense to me since the Pi only has a 100Mbps ethernet port. Wireless N should be faster. Is there a utility I can run on the Pi to determine actual signal strength and network speed? The CanaKit adapter is smaller than most USB flash drives; would one with a larger antenna work better? Would a 802.11ac adapter work even better? (I realize the theoretical max speed of ac is much faster than the USB 2.0 bus speed, but if it maxed out at or even close the the USB bus speed it would be a significant improvement, right?) My wifi access point is a TP-Link EAP225 and I get great performance on other devices even at the far end of the house.

Wireless is a tricky thing, and you should never take teorethical speeds for granted. Specifically even if you have good signal, N wifi is very susceptible to interferences and channel overlaps. Your best bet is to change dongle for a bigger one (which translates in better reception). Even better switch to AC dongle, which does not have the same congestion issues as N do

Thanks. That’s pretty much what I thought, and was looking for confirmation. Do you have any suggestions on a wireless ac adapter known to work with Volumio?

I couldn’t find a wireless ac adapter that is meant for the Pi and that also has good reviews, so I settled on this wireless n adater: amazon.com/gp/product/B00H9 … UTF8&psc=1

As the description says, this thing truly is plug and play. I shut down my pi, removed the CanaKit adapter, connected this one and booted up, and it connected to my network. So far DLNA seems to work great. Just a little slow when first starting a playlist or album, but no problem changing tracks.