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Best USB Wireless adapter?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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August 22, 2008 10:05:35 PM

Basically, I'm looking for a USB Wi-Fi adapter that:

Supports b and g; I don't care about a or n right now.
Is Vista compatible AND Netstumbler compatible.
Preferably 108 Mbps (I could put up with 54 if I had to)
Preferably has an external antenna jack.
Is not a rip-off.
And one I can actually get in New Zealand (But i can't find that out if I don't know what I'm looking for.)

What do people recommend?

More about : usb wireless adapter

Anonymous
August 23, 2008 7:12:05 PM

Probably the best USB wifi adapter is no USB wifi adapter. Seriously, if you have a laptop use PCMCIA (also called PC Card) if desktop so for PCI card.

This is based on personal experience of weaker wireless performance, reports of overheating on some brands and the general flakiness of USB.

Because all brands depend on a small pool of chipset makers, you can safely buy the cheapest and it'll work fine. Or go for a known brand (Netgear, Linksys, Dlink etc) and you should be able to count on long term driver and firmware support. Netgear has a pretty decent support forum too.
August 27, 2008 4:39:12 AM

I'm using a desktop or I'd have gone and bought a PCMCIA card a week ago, lol. PCI cards tempt meed but given the location of my desktop I'd need an external aerial, and I don't want to spend too much. Besides, USB is convenient.

Which brands and/or models have been known to have overheating issues?

And thanks a lot for the advice on known brands.
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Anonymous
August 27, 2008 10:42:52 AM

To my knowledge Netgear -- but the same chipsets are used in other brands so check other makers' forums.
October 10, 2008 5:17:31 PM

Ick.

I thought that any PCI wireless card would work great.
I got an SMC 2802W. Doesn't work at all. :( 

Note to self. Don't buy $20 wireless cards. Though I really don't understand WHY it doesn't work.
I was considering getting a USB wireless system so I could move the antenna around.
Anonymous
October 11, 2008 4:06:39 PM

$20 !! My latest PCI wireless adapter is a Dynamode which cost £3 (say $4.50) at flea market.

The guy had a later model for £5 which he claimed was a bit quicker but this one is fine. I even like the clunky user interface and haven't bothered to install the updated driver -- amazingly the brand has a modest UK website.

Normally, I'm Netgear all the way but Dynamode seems to confirm the theory that most of these devices use the same chipsets and all the brand name signifies is better packaging and support.
October 11, 2008 4:16:17 PM

Stop it! You're making me sad!!!

I just forked out 70 for a USB one cause I couldn't get the card to work. And the pci card was SMC. I thought I could trust them!
Anonymous
October 12, 2008 8:03:44 AM

If you have problems with any PCI equipment try the following:

Move card to another slot. Try temporarily removing any other PCI cards.
Have a look at Device Manager and see if the card appears at all -- and if it is sharing resources -- XP (and presumably Vista) are allow sharing but maybe mask a problem.

Open the motherboard BIOS screens (usually press Del at boot) and disable stuff you don't use -- games/MIDI adapter, COM ports, Parallel printer port (if you have USB printer).

April 1, 2011 1:55:55 AM

I have tried many many wifi adapters.....and I can say one thing for sure...
..I don't know about you guys, but for me UAWIFI UA3 usb adapter is the BEST.
No other adapter can compare to this baby, it is VERY powerful.
There are few people sell them on ebay, but I got mine directly from mft. website www.uawifi.com price is same.
I also know that it is Made in USA, so at least by buying it I am supporting US workers.
April 4, 2011 10:45:06 AM

uafon said:
I have tried many many wifi adapters.....and I can say one thing for sure...
..I don't know about you guys, but for me UAWIFI UA3 usb adapter is the BEST.
No other adapter can compare to this baby, it is VERY powerful.
There are few people sell them on ebay, but I got mine directly from mft. website www.uawifi.com price is same.
I also know that it is Made in USA, so at least by buying it I am supporting US workers.


Bought one of those ua3
exellent product
May 9, 2011 3:30:58 AM

I realize this is an old thread, but I found it while searching for a good wireless adapter, and it led me to a solution that works for me. I ended up buying a UAWIFI UA3 usb adapter, and I'm very happy with it. I'm using it with Ubutnu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal). I was a little confused about how to install drivers for it, and the README file that comes with the Linux drivers wasn't very helpful. In the end, I just connected it to my PC without installing anything, and it worked right out of the box. One thing I didn't know before I bought it was that it has very strong magnets so that it can be mounted securely to a metal surface. The magnets have the potential to corrupt data on hard drives, so I keep it mounted on the side my my metal-framed desk, away from my computer.
June 26, 2011 9:38:53 PM

UAWIFI UA3 wifi adapter is the best in my opinion. It is much stronger and reliable than Alfa or any other wifi wifi adapter. Its rugged, built to last and Made in USA. Check all the info at http://www.uawifi.com
October 9, 2011 5:03:07 PM

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