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Netgear MA101 802.11b Wireless USB Adapter

3.6 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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
6 new from $42.45 8 used from $5.00

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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Netgear
  • Item Display Weight: 0.50 pounds

Product Description

Product Description

Wireless networking over USB!This Netgear MA101 Wireless USB Adapter delivers fast, reliable Internet access over the highly compatible Universal Serial Bus (USB)! There's no need to open up your PC, or install a network, just plug it in to any system needing wireless access! The MA101 effortlessly connects your desktop PC at home, or even your notebook PC at a hotspot over any 802.11b network!Save on effortless wireless networking, order now!

Amazon.com

With Netgear's MA101 802.11b wireless USB adapter, you can easily network all of your employees at 11 Mbps speed without installing any new wires. Because the MA101 is USB-powered, there is no need to open the case of the PC. Set up a new wireless network or extend your existing workplace to remote sites in your building in no time, and escape the hassles and expense of Ethernet cabling. Your work force can immediately use your wireless network to access e-mail, file servers, printers, and cable/DSL Internet access.

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.


Product Information

Product Dimensions 12 x 12 x 8 inches
Item Weight 6.1 ounces
Shipping Weight 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
ASIN B00005NWVJ
Customer Reviews
3.6 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #3,038 in Electronics > Accessories & Supplies > Television Accessories > Wi-Fi Dongles
#47,805 in Electronics > Televisions & Video
Discontinued by manufacturer Yes
Date first available at Amazon.com August 28, 2001

Technical Specification

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I purchased the MA101 in the UK which may have a slightly lower output power that the US version mandated by the FCC. I must admit that the software installed easily enough on Win 98 and had some nice features like scanning for new SSIDs to find your network however it did not install properly on my XP machine.
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.
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Verified Purchase
It took me all of 20 minutes to set up a network using this terrific USB wireless adapter and the MR314 wireless router/switch/access point. Of the total time, maybe five minutes was spent installing the MA101 adapter. As a network novice, I was amazed that everything worked exactly as it was supposed to, without my having to reinstall anything, call tech support or tear my hair out.
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.
Highly recommended.
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By A Customer on August 20, 2003
I loved the MA101 when I used it on my Windows 98SE and Windows
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.
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If you have a PC with Win98 or better and a spare USB port, the MA101 is really great. The installation is easy - you don't have to open up the PC, just plug it in and run the installation CD. The big advantage of the MA101 over the alternative, an MA301/MA401 combination is that you can position the unit on your table or desk to get the best link quality and signal strength.
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 (...)
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I purchased the Netgear MA101 802.11b Wirless USB Adapter and connected to my XP computer. Installed the driver that came with the adapter and it started working without any hitch. My PC is in a different room from the Wireless Router (around 25 ft and couple of walls) and signal strength is Max. Enabled WEP encryption and other security features available in XP and never had any problem. I am a network pro but did not have to do any tweaking to get it up and running. I have DSL at home and it runs lightening fast. I did not have to open my PC (that is why I did not buy the PCI card) which is a great convenience. It is more than 2 months now and so far no problem. I would recommend Netgear for wireless networking at home.
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I recently upgrade my internet connection to Verizon DSL, and I wanted to share my new connection with my secondary computer. I purchased this adapter along with a Siemens Speedstream Wireless USB adapter to go along with my MN-500 Wireless Base Station.
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.
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