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Showing 1-10 of 316 reviews(5 star). See all 476 reviews
on June 7, 2010
I rent a house on a lake in the Ozarks of Missouri. The house has no internet connection. The owners of the house live 3 doors down the street, a good 300 feet away. In their house they have a wireless router. From the rental house I could not get a signal on my laptop from their router. To do my work I would walk down the street to the patio at the back of their house and sit there to do my work. That didn't work so well when it rained.

I searched NewEgg, Circuit City, Radio Shack, Best Buy and Amazon. It seemed the greatest volume of reviews and the best reviews was for this unit. So I purchased the unit with the 5dbi antenna and the suction cup mount. It worked great! I thought I might need to sit in the back yard of the house I rent to get a signal even with the new antenna, but no I was able to sit in the kitchen at the table and get a good signal. I mounted the antenna to the window of the kitchen door and added a 15 foot USB extension cable to the antenna and I was able to move from the kitchen to the living room and check my email and web sites.

I highly recommended this Alfe unit.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 25, 2011
Nearly all Amazon.com reviewers agree, the Alfa AWUS036H is the long range WiFi antenna on the market. But with 3 antenna options to chose from, which is the best setup?

I own the all 3 wi-fi antennas from Alpha: 5dBi omni-directional, 7dBi panel, 9dBi omni-directional. The Alfa AWUS036H with the 7dBi antenna is the best performing set up.

With the 5dBi omni antenna, I can get 2-3 bars from a public wi-fi signal a little over 1 mile away (direct line of sight).

With the 9dBi omni antenna, I get only 0-1 bar with dropped signals.

With the 7dBi panel antenna, I get 3-4 bars with the fastest data transfer rates.

I have even tested the 5dBi and 7 dBi side by side and the 7dBi loads web pages in less than 1/2 the speed as the 5dBi antenna.

I have done a fair amount of research before purchasing the Alfa AWUS036H unit. The general consensus is that this unit has much better performance for B and G networks than the newer Alfa AWUS036NH model. But for accessing N networks, the newer model is necessary.

Although I still own the 5dBi and 9dBi antennas, I only ever use the 7dBi panel antenan. It's actually shorter in size and easier to transport than the 5dBi model. Go with the 7dBi - you'll get the best performance.

***** UPDATED COMPARISON *****

Aug 25, 2011: Using Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor software, I compared the signal strength of this Alfa AWUS036H with the 7dBi panel antenna to the new High Power USB-Yagi Plug and Play directional WiFi Antenna 802.11n 2200mW /NextG USB-Yagi Plug & Play 11N Long Range WiFi antenna 2200mW. In nearly every test location, the Alfa rated 1 bar better and -10 RSSI (Receiving Signal Strength Indication) better (with RSSI signals negative numbers are better).

Although the 2200mW Yagi antenna is much larger and twice the power, it pulls in a weaker signal and slower data transfer than the 1000mW Alfa 7dBi panel antenna.

Still this Alfa AWUS036H is the best performing wi-fi antenna on the market. Thank you Alfa!
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on June 16, 2010
I got the 5 dbi antenna. I had someone I know tell me they tried both antennas(5 dbi & 9 dbi) and I even tried their 9 dbi antenna. You cannot see any difference in picking up signals, matter of fact may be harder to pick up with this 9 dbi antenna somewhat. So save yourself the money and just get a 5 dbi antenna. Also I tried the installation disk, that came with it, it sucks, not very easy to use or very good instructions, and it really did not do a good job installing software to make it work well on laptop PC, I have windows vista. So I uninstalled it, and then just did a plug and play with the USB cable from Alfa Wifi into the computer, and poof, it worked, found hardware and installed software for it automatically and works great no problems THUS I do not recommend you use the installation disk, just use your own PC to detect it and find software for it to run on and it will do the job for you! I also recommend getting a 16-32 ft Active USB extension cable so you can move the antenna around near a spot that picks up the most signals with best strength in a room, and that is usually high and near or in a window. I have got signals as far away as 1-2 miles with 1 - 5 bars strength, also any existing signals I was getting at 1-3 bars I now get 3-5 bars from fair to excellent reception, so this thing does the job. I highly recommend it.
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on August 11, 2015
For some reason it did not install properly. I went to the Alfa Network website and downloaded the latest driver. Now it works! I bought this because I have just bought a travel trailer and I intend to work as I travel. My modem is in the house about 100 feet from the trailer and my laptop was only getting poor/fair 1/2 bar signal strength in the trailer. After I got the Alfa unit working, I moved around my trailer to see the different signal strength and link quality. It varied quite a bit! I attached the unit to the window with a suction cup, and I am pleased to report I am now getting good/excellent 3/4 bar signal strength. I am going to buy another one for my husband who has found it impossible to get a signal in his barn/shop which is about 100 feet away from the house due to the aluminum siding. On the road, I am hoping that this will pull in the weaker wifi signals at campgrounds.
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on January 10, 2011
We have been frustrated with our laptops wireless reception. While at an RV park in Arizona last Spring, I had to keep raising the laptop up off the table to receive signal to load a web page. Email through Gmail was the worst offending web page of all. This nonsense had to end.

Don't get me wrong. We religiously updated wireless drivers helping with some of the stability and connectivity issues, but good remote signal strength remained shaky. The best that can be figured is how the internal antennas are placed inside the computer itself. So what can be done to fix the issue? Not a whole lot, if you don't want to void your manufacturers warranty. I needed to find a realistic solution that would be an easy to implement when that need arose.

That is when I came across this free standing Alfa USB wireless adapter with a much larger external antenna, so as to bring in fringe signals and use the internet in a larger area.

Upon receipt, I popped in the supplied mini-CD with the drivers on it and ran setup. After staring the setup program, the install program told me that the drivers on the CD were incompatible with Windows 7 HP (32 bit). Going to the manufacturers website, I downloaded the proper, updated driver, installing itself correctly and I was off to the races.

After several days use at home, here is what I have experienced:
* On the laptops internal Wifi card - only 6 local networks were discovered.
* With this adapter - 15 networks were discovered - all with higher signal strength (with my wireless router operating).
* The Alfa network utility program provides useful information regarding available networks and their channels of operation.
* Unbeknown to me, I was on another local stations Wifi channel, so I changed channels on my system thus clearing up some interference issues.
* If you have Wifi now -- continue to use Windows Zero Configuration to connect up to your Wifi source.
* The Alfa utility gives you the ability to control the output power level from 0 watts to 1.0 watts, once connected.
* The 5 dBi antenna has more than enough reach for distant Wifi connections.
* I connect at home with WAP2-PSK security -- no issues once connected.
* In the limited time I have used it, I have not dropped a connection at home.
* There is a 2 foot long Mini-USB cable included in the box. Any extension beyond that length would require a standard USB A to A cable.
* The suction cup mounting base is great to stick the unit on a window for better reception.
* This Wifi adapter only operates on the 2.4 GHz band and speeds of 802.11 b/g -- it is not a draft n adapter.
* Connecting between the computer and the adapter takes longer to make than with your internal Wifi card -- be patient
* Since it is USB, you have to perform a "Safe Removal" from your system. Works fine on Windows 7.

The only real issue I have had with this adapter is with my home wireless connection point. I have a 2Wire modem/router from AT&T that is about 4 1/2 years old. Even with the latest firmware updates applied, this unit has always had connection issues with wireless. Connecting this adapter to my system the first 4 or 5 times was no exception. I also had the same problem with the internal wireless card on this laptop. I blame this problem/issue more on my flaky 2Wire setup than with the Alfa adapter. Once I ironed out some of the problems, like switching my broadcast from "auto b/g" to "g" only connection exclusively, the connection issues lessened.

For the money and the current results I now see, I'm pleased with the adapters performance. I recommend this adapter to anyone having connection issues with their laptop. My real test will come later this Spring when we revisit that same RV park and try it there to see if this unit actually corrects the Wifi issues we experienced last Spring.

*****
8/6/2011 - Update

This unit works flawlessly. I have taken this adapter over from my wife since she doesn't use it as much as I thought she would. Most of the places she uses her laptop and now an iPad, she has good signal and the need for this adapter is not there.

I, on the other hand, have a 2005 Mac iBook with a combo Airport/BT card that is underpowered for my needs. Unless the signal is really strong, my Airport card will not connect, or worse, connect then drop my connection shortly after when I start my email download. I'm running OS X Tiger (10.4.11). Alfa has drivers for my older iBook on their web site. Downloaded the latest (8/2008 version), installed the driver, one reboot to patch the OS X kernel with the Ralink drivers, but no connection upon reboot. The error message prompted me to enable it inside my network configurations of system preferences. Once done, this adapter fired up just fine. It too took my WAP2-PSK AES security code without any problems -- the connection is solid for hours. Now, around the house, I receive nothing less than 95% signal strength (that is through 5 walls and over 35' away with my body being between the router and this wireless adapter).

The test was my last time up north. I was in a parking lot of a grocery store with a McDonalds three doors down on the opposite side of a two lane highway. 60% signal, I was able to connect up and surf without any dropped connection issues.

If you have an older Mac system and have problems with your Airport card picking up and retaining weak signals in your laptop like I have, this is the adapter for you. Alfa has Mac drivers for Tiger (10.4), Leopard (10.5) and Snow Leopard (10.6) on their support web page. As a side note, you need to shut off the Airport card to use this adapter to avoid any conflicts with receiving wifi signals.
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on September 12, 2011
After searching through various retailers, I can across this little gem. At a little over $30 this is a steal. At my office one of our employees was having trouble maintaining her wireless signal. The desktop PC she was using had an Airlink adapter installed and only received one or two bars at most. Where her PC was located the wireless signal had to overcome a great deal of interference due to file cabinets and such. Once I installed this device onto her PC, her connection immediately went up to a full 5 bars and the connection has been stable ever since. We even pick the wireless signal from a restaurant 2 blocks away.

I installed this device onto a PC with Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, Service Pack 1. Installation was simple, just plugged it in and Windows automatically installed the driver and I was online within about 5 minutes. Didn't even use the Mini CD the device came with

Would recommend this product.
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on February 18, 2014
Does not need drivers with Windows 7, or OSX. Just plug in and it works. It lives in my computer bag and travels with me on business. It's great for pulling in weak WiFi signals. Excellent range, and excellent sensivity. I suggest buying it along with a USB extension cord (male - female) so you can attach it to a window, and still have mobility.

The fact the antenna is removable is also great, allowing it to be stored in a bag more easily, and, to allow the usage of alternative antennas.
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on June 4, 2012
I bought this Alfa antenna for my Apple Powerbook running Tiger. I was prepared for resorting to external CD drive to accommodate small installation CD. To my surprise, it came with regular size CD. CD contains drivers for (besides Windows and Linux) Mac 10.4 through 10.6. The included instruction paper only shows Windows, so I had to guess how to find/install Mac drivers from CD. Unsure which to install, I installed everything from folders marked 10.4. After installation, found Realtek USB WLAN Client Utility in my Applications folder and added it to my dock for easy access. This application is where you find available signals, after turning off Apple's AirPort.

Other pluses to this lightweight antenna are the included suction cup holder and antenna's size. It's about size of my smartphone, so is quite portable.

As for signal strength, it's way better than my laptop's AirPort. Unfortunately for me living in apartment building, my laptop was overwhelmed with neighbors' password-protected signals, at least 25 of them versus 4 through AirPort. Thus I couldn't access free wifi signal from coffee shop next door, which was reason I'd purchased antenna. However, this isn't antenna's fault. I believe, without interfering signals, this antenna *is* capable of getting signals a mile away as other reviewers reported. And it will prove great while staying at hotels, to access either lobby's or nearby restaurants' free internet.

Prior to purchasing this antenna, I was limited to sitting inside coffee shop to obtain good signal, while hoping for seating. (It's high traffic, close to a high school and college.) The outside patio tables have weak one-bar signals that often dropped. With antenna, I get signal outside as strong as inside and no dropping. So that reason alone makes it worth the price.

18 Aug 2012 Update: Since last June's review, when I could only receive password protected signals from home, now I'm able to access the free signal from the hospital across the highway, from comfort of my own home. This device definitely pays for itself :)
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on October 15, 2016
A great card for all of your wireless pentesting needs. The removable antenna works great so you can replace it with a higher-gain antenna for an even larger capture radius. I use these at work, and they are rock solid. Being USB they also work great inside VMware VMs so you can run something like Kali Linux and attach this card to the host machine and it works out of the box with no issues.
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on March 10, 2017
Before I had no service in my garage that is approx 75 ft from my house. Now my wireless works GREAT
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