- Brand Name: Netgear
- Item Display Weight: 0.50 pounds
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Netgear MA101 802.11b Wireless USB Adapter
|Price:||$44.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details|
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- 11 Mbps wireless desktop PC networking
- Reliable, 802.11b standards-based networking
- USB Powered--no need to open your computer
- WEP encryption to ensure privacy
- Supports Win 98, Me, 2000
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Standards-based 802.11b technology plus Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption provide your wireless network with the highest level of reliability and privacy. The MA101 is equipped with automatic speed adjustment to extend the communication range for longer distances from other 802.11b PC nodes or 802.11b access points. Designed for PCs running Windows 98, Me, and 2000, the MA101 performs with the vast majority of PCs, supports plug-and-play installation, and includes a five-year limited warranty.
Top Customer Reviews
The problem with the unit is that it is POORLY designed RF wise. I was attempting to connect to my neighbor who lives 250 feet up the street with little success. Even when the two antennas were line of site between the access point and Netgear MA101, the link seemed very poor.
Having worked in the wireless industry for the past three years as an engineer, my curiousity go the best of me and I opened the Netgear MA101 to discover to my horror that the antenna lead is just a piece of wire soldered into the motherboard that travels down the length of the unit and then up into the plastic antenna. In other words, the actual wire antenna will always act as if it is in a L shape when the platic anntenna is up and as two parallel antennas when the plastic antenna is down. This is very bad as the antenna is supposed to act as an isotropic radiator.
To prove just how poor the design is, I was able to increase the signal strength significatly by adding a piece aluminum foil to the bottom and back side of the antenna to act as a ground plane/ reflecting back. After doing this, my signal strength shot up by more than 50%.
I wish Netgear would put a little more effort into their RF design even though the case looks nice and the user interface was good.
The PC with the adapter is located two floors up from the router, about 50 feet point to point. Signal strength registers as "low" (2 pips out of 5 on the utility display), but I am getting an unbroken connection at a speed indistinguishable from that of the PC that's wired to the router.
I'm running Windows XP. The Netgear Web site has an updated driver, but I decided to live dangerously and use the driver on the CD-ROM that's supplied with the adapter. No problem -- I clicked through the warning about an "unsigned" driver, and it installed and worked fine. At this point I'm going to leave well enough alone and not install the new driver.
2000 machines. It's a different story for Windows XP. Contrary
to some of the stuff posted to the google news groups you can
use either the old 1.1 version drivers or the newer version 2.1.
Most use the new drivers with XP. The "trick" is to let XP make
your connections, but then shut off wireless zero config AFTER
the connection is made. You can do this with services.msc or
write a script linked to a short-cut to do this. If you don't
shut off WZC the connection will hang every minute or so and
XP re-scans your NICs. This makes gaming impossible.
Netgear would get 5 stars if they just made a quality XP driver
available. This may not be possible because the firware cannot
be upgraded to the WZC MS standard AFAIK.
If you are running XP, this unit may require a driver update to run properly. That should be available on the netgear website.
Konrad Roeder (...)
The setup was alright - the performance, was not. I plugged it in, Windows refused to recognize it. Rebooted, finally recognized it, installed the software. No response. Couldn't get anything working. Tried installing the other one - same results. Rebooted router, finally I got wireless running. The MA101, however, I saw very poor results. The adapter was no more than 40-50 feet away from the router, yet my signal and link strength barely reached 6%.
The signal constantly dropped, and the only way to get both signals above 6% was by holding it straight over the top of my head. From there I was able to get a little less than 20%. Tried all different positions on my desk, on top of my monitor, etc but to no avail. Tried all different antenna positions to no avail either. Plugged in the Speedstream and got a constant 46%/33%.
Netgear's networking hardware has a great reputation and I believe that this adapter, in short distances with line of sight between wireless components, could have the ability to perform outstandingly; however, if this is not the case for your network, you are much better off purchasing a different USB adapter.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The product was not even shipped by the date I was supposed to receive it. I had to contact the seller few days after the date i was supposed to to receive the item and ask... Read morePublished on February 19, 2013 by Lamin Saidywan
This wireless adapter works just fine, it took all of 10 minutes to set up. Plugged it into the computer, dropped in the CD, surfed the internet. Read morePublished on January 12, 2009 by J. Madonna
Wireless range on this is weak. I have an intel card that reads 4/5 bars when this adapter reads 2/5 bars. I like netgear equipment but can't recommend this adapter.Published on October 11, 2005 by Robert W. McEwan
This unit set right up on my daughters desktop computer. It wasn't quite plug and play, as I did have to load the driver from the disc that came with the unit. Read morePublished on October 12, 2004 by kireviewer
Easy to set up and worked great except two different routers failed within the first 8 hours of use. Read morePublished on October 7, 2004 by Big Dummy
I must confess that this is one of the equipment I ever had without hassel in configuring it. It works straight right out of the box. It still keeps me connected. Read morePublished on May 29, 2004
I did a lot of reading before I bought this... I bought it refurbed for 20 dollars and was really worried about getting it hooked up right.. Read morePublished on May 17, 2004 by skeptic who does my research before buying