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4.0 out of 5 stars
NETGEAR N150 Wi-Fi USB Adapter (WNA1100)
Model: N150Change
Price:$29.95 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2011
(1) This adapter easily provides 802.11n wireless connectivity to a PC or laptop with a USB port. In order to get the full speed benefit, of course, you need an 802.11n wireless access point. But it is backwardly compatible with the more widely deployed 802.11 b/g WiFi access points.

(2) The adapter has approximately the same size as a thumb drive and can be plugged directly into a USB port. Netgear also provides an auxiliary cradle with a 52" cable. The cable plugs into a USB port, and the adapter plugs into the cradle. The cradle is useful if you are using the adapter with a PC placed under a desk, for example. You can position the adapter for best RF reception.

(3) The adapter runs only slightly warm to the touch. It has an inside slot, which allows good air circulation. When plugged into the cradle, the adapter is held at an ~45 deg angle from vertical, again allowing good air circulation.

(4) The adapter does require you to load drivers. I'm using it with an old PC running Win XP. No problems. Just load in the setup CD and follow the step-by-step instructions. You should check for compatibility with other versions of Win.

(5) If you have a PC with a standard Ethernet port, an alternative adapter is the Netgear WNCE2001 Ethernet-to-802.11n adapter. That unit does not require drivers; however, it is a lot more expensive (~$60). It also runs hotter and does not come with a cradle (Netgear supplies Velcro strips if you want to mount the unit to a surface). Prices vary a lot day-to-day on Amazon. I bought this USB adapter a month ago for $35, now I see it's selling for $24. That's a good bargain.

(6) One word of caution concerning what this adapter will *not* do. It will not allow you to connect a non-network printer with a USB port to a wireless network. This adapter converts USB signals to 802.11n signals. It does not have a network protocol stack loaded in firmware.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I've been using the Netgear N150 Wireless Adatper day after day, and it's just like having an ethernet connection, it's that fast and stable. I can connect to the internet nearly the second my computer boots up, I don't have to worry about it trying to connect to my wireless network, it just works.

I'm using Windows 7 Professional x64 with Service Pack 1. The one concern of mine was finding a wireless adapter that works with a 64 bit operating system; the package says it does, but I was worried anyway. Luckily for me, it worked perfectly fine! Anyway, so outside of installing the driver, I opted to let Windows 7 manage the device, instead of letting the Netgear software do it for me.

I bought the device from Staples. Mine did come with the stand, which I'm not sure what it's for, but it looks nice anyway. ;p

[Update:]
I have now owned this wireless adapter for a month, and would like to say I still have no problems with it. I get incredible download speeds like I usually do, and it's never failed. As to people's gripes, just install the driver, and let Windows handle it; I have no idea how Netgear's included software works, but as I had no need to, the product works perfectly fine without it. I'd also like to note: I'm on a different floor from the main router, so I'm pretty psyched at how well this thing works.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2012
I'm an IT person with over 20 years experience working with PCs. As to be expected my home is wired or rather very wireless with over 9 devices that connect to the internet one way or the other (and the number is always increasing it seems).

I already owned two Netgear WNA1100 802.11n adapters and and I was happy to order two more from Amazon. I downloaded the drivers from the Netgear website, never looked at the drivers on the disk. Long story short they worked great and with no issues with Windows 7 32bit and 64 bit but this is not where the story ends, I got my best performance after I optimized my wireless network. In some cases I was able to double my connection speeds.

Let me share how I optimized my wireless network:

a) I used the websites speedtest.net and pingtest.net to determine my internet connection speed (use a wired connection to the router for this). This is your REAL baseline, it is very hard for a wireless connection to beat a shielded wired connection to a router. If your wireless connection equals the speed of your wired connection you are good and probably as good as you are going to get.

b) Find a wireless channel that is not in used near your house. The default channel in most routers is 6 and you have a choice from 1 to 11. Use the Netgear Network connectivity software and find an unused channel and test again. You will need access to your router settings for this. This is especially important if your neighbors are close like on apartments or townhouses. I have over 13 wireless networks in range of my house and using a channel that the others are not using was the best improvement I did to my wireless network.

c) Move the Netgear WNA1100 802.11n to new locations. Moving the Netgear WNA1100 802.11n on top of the computer or another place on my desks helped increased speed in some cases by over 50%. Always test your speed after any change.

To those people only looking at connection speeds to their router (looking for for the mythical 144 mbps); it matters little, why? I can connect at 144 mbps or at 65 mbps to my router but my internet connection is only 25 mbps (that is my case, even from work I get no more than 48 mbps on a commercial internet connection, speedtest.net ).

Now, this MAY vary (maybe you have a SUPER fast internet connection) but let me say that the average internet speed in the US is from 10 to 12 mbps. Keep this in mind when trying to upgrade to a faster router, your bottleneck may actually be your provider and not your router (or your adapters). If it is Internet speed what you are looking for begin by evaluating what your internet provider is giving you.

Note about the Netgear WNA1100 802.11n: This N adapter uses the 2.4 MHz band ONLY and depending on where you live this frequency might be too congested. Other N adapters (the N300 series) can run on the 5 MHz band (newer, faster, and less congested) but you will also need a router that supports the 5 Mhz. Also note that the 5 Mhz band has a shorter range than the 2.4 MHz band but it also faster (but will not give you faster speeds than a wired connection to your router. If you already run as fast as your wired connection using a wireless adapter you are probably at your best internet connection speed already). Also note that many N capable devices (like iPhones) do not support the 5 Mhz band. Some routers (dual band) will let you run BOTH on the 5 MHz band and 2.4 MHz band at the same time.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I use this with a Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop with Windows 7 on it. Installing the drivers from the mini-cd was easy. Encountered no problems connecting to my Medialink wireless N router. Checking my connection speed through Windows' Network and Sharing Center showed 54 Mbps. I found that strange since I was hoping to see something faster than that. Doing some research on the internet, I found my answer. I changed my security type setting from WPA personal to WPA2 personal and the encryption type from TKIP to AES on my router and laptop. Now my connection speed is 150 Mbps. Surfing the internet doesn't seem any different, but just knowing that something improved makes me feel better. The adapter is small and unobtrusive so I don't have to worry about accidentally breaking it off. Lastly, this thing does blink with a blue light. It doesn't bother me, but I know some might find it annoying.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
Bought at staples hoping to solve a major connection issue with an older laptop that was having problems connecting to a new network after installing Windows 7. This has a plug and play feature that allows you to bypass puting in network passwords or keys. Install was amazingly fast and easy. Best $25 I've spent in a long time.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2011
Just so you don't overlook the obvious, the instability problem (connection drops reconnects, drops again, driving you crazy) often is the result of two competing adapter software applications. Because Netgear provides their own, you have to be very carefull in the install not to accidently activate both the Netgear software and Windows wireless controls. You have to install the netgear application to get the drivers. If you do end up with both apps running, you will get the exact problem described, where it becomes unstable because the two software applications will conflict. To fix it, uninstall all netgear stuff and manually erase any remaining folders or files from netgear, disconnect the adapter, reboot. Make sure your system is working fine without adapter. Then reinstall the netgear software using the latest update, if you can get it off another computer connected to the web or the one you are working on connected by wire. Do not attach the adapter until it asks, then do it and quickly follow the instructions, making sure to select the netgear wizard, not the microsoft controller. If you wait too long, windows will go ahead and install its own control software and you will have start all over. The windows controller software did not work well with the netgear adapter, as I tried both.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2012
I bought two of these for use with a pair of Raspberry Pis running Raspbian Linux (which is based on Debian Wheezy). The stock kernel provides the 8192cu driver which works with this device. However, the driver only supports the G channels, so if you need N, you will have to look elsewhere.

I have only tried this device connected to a powered hub, so I don't know if it will work when plugged directly into the Raspberry Pi.

To configure the device, search the internet for my tutorial.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2012
I purchased this USB Wifi Adapter to replace the dead internal wifi card of an HP Pavillion laptop (Windows Vista). Followed the instruction that came with it, and in 5 minutes the laptop was connected to wifi again.

The adapter is very small, does not stick out like a sore thumb from the side/back of the laptop like many other similar products. This eliminates the risk of it accidentally breaking it off and damaging the laptop's USB port.

Note that the driver comes on a mini-CD, which works fine on DC drives with pull-out trays.

Highly recommended.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I bought two of these USB wireless cards to complete my wireless LAN. They work flawlessly and the throughput is good even though it is limited to 150 mbps. I would not hesitate buying these again. Installation was simple and intuitive.

The fact that they are made with a long cable allows me to reposition them if needed to get the best signal strength.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2012
This device just isn't ready for release. Among its problems:

1) As configured on install, the device is shut down when the computer hibernates, but doesn't wake up when the computer comes out of hibernate. You have to manually go into device manager and tell the computer not to shut it down. This could easily have been done in the installer.

2) Even with that setting fixed, quite often the device doesn't wake up properly on wake-up or boot. Sometimes unplugging it and plugging it back in works, sometimes not. Twice I had to uninstall and reinstall the driver software.

3) It doesn't interoperate correctly with other net connections. Frequently it would die and take the others with it.

4) When I bought a different usb wifi device and threw this one away, I then went to uninstall its software from the app manager. It popped up a "Remove the usb device" dialog (despite the fact the device was not plugged in) that could not be dismissed. I had to reboot to get rid of it, and I still can't uninstall the software.

In short: This device is awful.
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