Wireless USB Adapter

If you’re still grappling with multiple wires and tied to your modem when it comes Internet access, it’s time to get with the times! Wireless Universal Serial Bus (WUSB), which made big waves in recent years, employs the same type of technology as the traditional USB, but without the cable. No fuss, no muss!

Okay, so let’s back up: What is a USB anyway? A USB is a device that connects several devices to a central computer. It looks like a little stick with a plug at the end. Don’t be deceived by appearances, though. This little sucker packs in a lot of power and rapidly carries signals from an Internet source to your computer all while you’re taking a sip of your latte at your favorite coffee shop that also serves up WiFi. By requiring less power to operate, and streamlining the need for multiple cables, USBs have become an invaluable resource for high tech consumers. USBs are also a time saver: by a simple action of plugging or unplugging, devices can be added or removed without having to shut down and reboot the computer. Mouses, keyboards, PDAs, flash drives, scanners, gamer components, wireless Internet components, cameras, printers, media devices and external hard drives are just some of the technologies that can be connected via USB. More than 2 billion USB devices are sold a year, and members of the USB Forum that employs WUSB technology includes Agere, Microsoft, Apple Inc., Intel and Hewlett-Packard.

WUSB provide workers on the go with a simple and compact way to connect their laptop computers to wireless networks. This proves to be very useful on business trips, or if you’re stuck somewhere you don’t want to be, like in an airport terminal during a layover. Most airports offer fee WiFi these days, but in order to pick up the signal, it is imperative that you purchase a device such as the USB adapter.

In addition to being travel-friendly, these little gadgets can easily switch from laptop to desktop computer systems, and they provide both the signal and the data for the wireless servicing. They are the first high-speed technology without wires to connect multiple devices. A home office that employs WUSB could involve a camera connected to a personal computer without the use of wires, even an entire home entrainment center all interconnected with the use of only one wire. You can send your pictures to print at the kiosk at the store without a cable. All of these things are made capable, thanks to WUSB. WUSBs arw just as safe as their cabled counterparts, and are very easy to install and use. Maybe having too many cords don’t bother you, but if you have children or pets you know all too well by now the extra trouble that comes with having many cords. Not only can pesky children and pets damage your very expensive equipment, it’s flat-out dangerous. Also, be sure that the device is wel protected once it is in use.

WUSB performance varies depending on the distance the signal has to travel. These devices are designed so that they perform the best when they are less that 33 feet from the computer. In addition, while WUSBs are often advertised to reach speeds of 480 Mbps, this is the maximum of a hypothetical situation. Be sure to uninstall any previous wireless USB adapters before trying to install a new one. When selecting a device, make sure that it is compatible with your computer’s operating system.

The following are a few strong contenders in the WUSB category:

  • The Netgear WG111 USB Adapter is considered a very fast device, and is generally praised as the best all-around WUSB out there. In addition to its speed, the Netgear WG111 USB Adapter can connect to many PCs. The only problem is that the device is easy to break, so you have to be careful, especially if you’re one of those people who like to sit on the bed or floor with your laptop.
  • The Linksys WUSBF54G Wireless-G USB Network Adapter with Wi-Fi Finder is a hot-spot detector that comes with a dock. This device has a long warranty. One drawback is that you have to configure the wireless connection yourself; it will not automatically connect to a network. This is a good option for travelers, and people constantly looking for a new network to which to connect.
  • The Linksys WUSB12 wireless compact USB adapter is a compact device with a minature antenna. It is easy to install, and it takes no time at all. However, it has a power consumption of 5 volts, a short adapter cable and lacks USB hub connectability and WPA support. Despite these things, the Linksys WUSB12 is considered a good choice for home, office and on-the-go wireless Internet computing.
  • The Netgear MA111 is a device that comes with a five-foot USB cable, is compatible with Microsoft and has a three-year warranty. Be sure to save the box and all relevant papers and manuals after ripping into your newly purchased The Netgear MA111.
  • The Linksys WUSB12 is frequently used with TiVo systems, but works fine with computers. Two LED lights signal power and data activity, and this device supports 128-bit WEP encryption. This device consumes a lot of power, something to consider if you own a lap-top or a bottom-rung desktop. This device comes with a 1-year warranty.
  • The ZyXEL B-220 is mainly for business people constantly on the go and is known for its speed and ease of use. Comes with extension cord and carrying case, in turn making your portable office both flexible to set up and easy to take anywhere.
  • The D-Link DWL-122 is compatible with non-Windows systems and is shorter than many other WUSBs. The device is less expensive than its competitors, however some have reported weak signals and connections and a lacking in durability. Your D-Link device should come with a limited warranty, so again do not toss your box as soon as you open the box and retrieve the device.
This Wireless USB Adapter Review is Written/Updated on Apr 1st, 2009 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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