I got a need for a USB WiFi adapter, specifically with an RP-SMA connector for an external antenna, to connect his tiny cute antenna about 3 feet long. As I use this finder very rarely, mostly while travelling, I was reluctant to invest much in a device that will be just lying in a drawer most of the time. So I searched EBay for the cheapest USB WiFi adapter with external antenna. I paid really laughable amount of money for this, shipping included. It arrived in under 3 weeks, which in case of China-to-Russia postings is a remarkable achievement.
The device comes packed in a display case, which is also unbelievable. Unboxing. It even comes with a driver CD. The only place I could slide this disc in is my own but crack, as I don’t own anything with optical disk reading ability for several years already. Note the N letter on the case. The device is supposed to support hi-speed WiFi, but as it has only one antenna, a maximum of 150mbits is possible. Triple antenna devices are capable of up to 450 mbits. But we’ll talk about performance later, now let’s concentrate on the exterior. The first thing to mention is that the metal part of the USB connector slacks and will snap off some day. And when I tried to tighten the antenna, the device case slightly opened at one corner, and then forcefully snapped back, cracking off one of the inside hooks in the process. Now this tab freely rolls inside and makes an annoying sound like a fucking rattle. I hate tabs.
Screws are so much better. Well let’s find out if the device works. Download the drivers and install them. Unfortunately, I don’t have an N-enabled router, and linking this external module to the same laptops built-it WiFi creates a funny case of recursion, but only gives 54mbits connection as this is Ad-hoc. On the other hand, I have little doubt this device actually can connect at N speeds. That’s not a big achievement nowadays. So unfortunately I cannot test the through output. I can only test range. With the bungled antenna, the device managed to connect to a neighbors unprotected router, which the built-in WiFi only discovers, but can’t connect. And it gave 10mbits of internet speed, which is probably the neighbors ISP plan limit. The WiFi connection speed is faster. So in general, this is a nice cheap little adapter.