On Tuesday Amped Wireless launched the TAN1, a high-power Wi-Fi adapter designed specifically for use with Windows 8 Pro-based tablets, Ultrabooks and laptops. Naturally these devices already have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, but the company's new adapter promises up to three times greater range using two high gain 2dBi antennas, two 600mW power amplifiers and high-power wireless reception amplifiers crammed into one portable form factor.
"While there are some great new features for managing Wi-Fi in Windows 8, manufacturers are still compromising Wi-Fi performance for aesthetics and slimmer form factors," stated Jason Owen, CEO, Amped Wireless. "With the TAN1, Windows 8 users now have a true plug and play solution for uncompromised long range Wi-Fi performance that allows for connections to Wi-Fi networks from much greater distances."
The TAN1 connects to any Windows 8 Pro-based USB port, requiring no additional software or driver set-up. Sporting an "elegant", compact form factor, it can be used on a flat surface like an office desk or kitchen table, or safely fastened to the edge of a screen using an included adjustable clip. The device can also be fastened to most tablets using protective cases.
Unlike most integrated Wireless N hardware which caps speeds at 150 Mbps, the TAN1 enables up to 300 Mbps, the max you can achieve on the 2.4 GHz band. Unfortunately, the adapter doesn't support 5 GHz, so users will be locked to the 300 Mbps peak speed. The company also points out that internal Wi-Fi adapters only have an antenna power of less than 1dBi compared to TAN1's stronger 2dBi, and an amplifier output of 50mW compared to the TAN1's 600mW.
"The TAN1 is a high performance, versatile Wi-Fi adapter that enables your Windows 8 device to connect to Wi-Fi networks from greater distances while relaxing in your backyard, traveling through an airport or working at a coffee shop," the company said. "Enjoy faster downloading, web browsing and buffer-free media streaming throughout your entire home or office with the High Power Wi-Fi Adapter."
The TAN1 High Power Wi-Fi Adapter for Windows 8 retails for $59.99, and can be purchased now at the Amped Wireless website here. It will also be carried in retail locations nationwide beginning early May 2013.
Note: the TAN1 is not compatible with Windows 8 RT, Android or iOS devices.
First, there are no drivers available for windows 7. It does not work on my windows 7 laptop. It is plug and play as they advertise on my Windows 8 Pro Tablet.
Next, Performance did see a marked improvement. Speed was faster according to several metrics when testing at home, and I was able to see 4x as many signals around me as I could before.
Lastly, on it only being B, G, N. This isn't meant for use at home or office. If you are in those locations and using a 5Ghz connection there are other solutions that are better for getting performance boosts, that should be focused on the AP. This is for when you are travelling, RV parks, Hotels, Airports, Coffee Shops. Places where there are often AP's that are down or for those that you have accounts to like Boingo, are too low to really use. Those folks won't be upgrading their equipment to 802.11ac anytime soon.
For 60 bucks this thing is a solid deal for what it provides. A sizable boost in range and power for public wifi hotspots.