Top positive review
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Richard, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer - Microsoft Certified Trainer
on October 29, 2008
I want to start by qualifying my comments - I'm a 16-year IT professional. I'm an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) certified from Windows NT 3.51 up to present (Windows 2003). I am also an MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) had have taught Microsoft technologies for over 12 years.
The first thing to understand about the product line from Hawking Technologies is this: these are not Fischer Price toys. When you get into the arena of boosting signals of your wifi network...or extending...or repeating the wireless signals of your wifi network....you are dealing with intermediate to advanced technology implementation.
I am reading through the reviews on this product and there seems to be this recurring "expectation" by various people....that they are buying a fool-proof product that will install itself. Well.....that's not the case and these people bring on their own frustrations.
Hawking Technologies offers this signal booster product so that you can add it to your existing WIFI router. As such there is ALWAYS a chance of compatibility issues. There is no "magic way" to make a third-party product compatible with every vendor's router. That's just not realistic.
Still, I have recommended and installed this particular booster product for at least three dozen SMB clients (small-to-medium-sized businesses) throughout NJ and NY. I have had fantastic results with each application and have not seen a SINGLE INSTANCE where the product failed after a short time period (something I've read from some reviewers).
I have been recommending, installing and supporting this product for approximately four years now (beginning with the company's first version and now their revised implementation; which is almost identical).
Furthermore, my experience with Hawking technical support has been very good; compared to that of much larger companies (such as Dell....whom I believe have the worst technical support of any large technology vendor).
Perhaps Hawking has "outsourced" their customer service to a third-world sweat shop in India just as every other medium or large IT vendor has in the US. Don't get mad at the vendor for that, people.....get mad at your politicians and our country's legislation; which makes it profitable and financially practical for this scenario. Yes, I absolutely HATE IT when I have to deal with broken-English, non-professional and disgracefully underqualified customer support people in sweat shops. These people are earning ten cents an hour with no bathroom breaks....so what can we expect?
And with regard to the inaccurate owner's manual....well.....that is valid but NOT MAJOR!! Yes, Hawking needs to revise their installation manuals such that they are accurate and easily digestible. It's silly that they haven't remediated that problem yet; considering that the paperwork is for a best-of-class product. Still......this is ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY and people can't rely on a manual in order to make this product work for them. You may need an SMA to TNC adapter; depending on your application. Any local Radio Shack should have in stock what is needed to make it plug in. I suggest packing up both the router and the booster and bring it right to your nearest Radio Shack. Have the counter guys and gals gather up for you the couplings and cables that you need for connectivity.
What matters most of all is that this product is the best booster available for the price range and for the class of application (home usage). I have installed MANY of these into mission-critical business environments and have enjoyed outstanding results EVERY TIME.....WITHOUT EXCEPTION.
Additionally....someone mentioned a health risk associated with using this product at the maximum setting. RUBBISH!!! IN A PIG'S EYE!!! People really make me laugh. As one of my mentors once said....."The Internet is a cesspool of misinformation so beware". True indeed!
I have installed industrial, omnidirectional WIFI towers that emit a hundred thousand times the radiation as this product. These towers are only dangerous when a human stands right in front of them. From five feet away....there is no health risk. Thus, the notion that this small device is a health risk is complete made-up nonsense. Go ahead and put the device in the cage with your gerbil and it will live a long, healthy life.
Lastly....the noise that this device creates is so insignifigant....I can't believe how many people are complaining about it. You can only hear it when you're right on top of the unit so it will only be an issue if you intend on strapping the booster to the side of your head. If not (hopefully NOT!!!) there is no concerns about the noise. Put it in the corner next to your WIFI router and it won't bother anyone...I PROMISE!!
I do not give up five-star recommendations easily but Hawking Technologies is one of those companies that excels infinitely at their specialized market nitche. This signal booster is the "only show in town" and I whole-heartedly recommend it above all others. When you receive it and open the box, you will be immediately impressed by the obvious workmanship and engineering that went into it.
Not only will it improve signal strength throughout your home or office but it will improve your wifi throughput SUBSTANTIALLY in every way.
IMPORTANT NOTE: When you use a signal booster, you increase your SECURITY RISK enormously. Your neighbors may pick up on your boosted signal even stronger than their own indoor wifi router signal. You will have effectively offered your WIFI network to an extended and unwelcomed audience. Accordingly.....be SURE to revamp your wifi router's security. Use WPA instead of WEP if all your machines are compatible (WEP is, for all intents and purposes....fairly hackable). Use STRONG passwords for wifi access to your network. Be sure that your firewall is properly setup. Exercise as much security as is possible without compromising your network's functionality.
And stop thinking about it and buy this product. You'll be GLAD that you did (believe it).
PS: This is a purely objective review of Hawking Technologies' signal booster product. I'm not affiliated with the company. I simply call 'em as I see 'em.