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AC Dual Band Adapter
on January 15, 2013
If you have one of the new AC routers, you will need to also purchase and AC WIFI adapter to be able to take advantage of the additional speed on the 5GHz Band that the new standard supplies. Since I had upgraded my router, I wanted to have the extra speed and decided on buying this adapter.
My requirements for this adapter were that it needed to support Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines. Let me give you my results with each:
For Windows 7, follow the directions on the package. Ensure you load the software FIRST and then connect the A6200 adapter when it tells you to do so. In a week long test of this device with my Windows 7 laptop I have found the device to be VERY stable and to provide about 30% faster data transfers than my old N rated adapter. There is a software app that is also loaded called the A6200 Genie that makes checking your connections easy. This software is NOT required for the adapter to work. If you do not want the app, install the stand alone software only.
For Windows 8, DO NOT USE THE DISK AT ALL! Instead, go to the NetGear website and download the beta version of the Windows 8 software. Follow the directions for the download and ensure you unpack the file to a location that you can find (such as to your desktop - I created a file on my desktop call A6200 that I downloaded and unpacked the file to). You will find a set of instructions and the files necessary to install the A6200 on your computer.
Once you have that done, connect the A6200 to your computer. This is a large device and may cover up more than one USB port!! To allow for this, NetGear has provided an extension cable and mount. This cable and mount works very well and is a nice addition.
Now that you have the A6200 installed, open up your Windows Device Manager, select the A6200, and then select "update driver". Point to the folder you created (or wherever you located the files you downloaded) and update the driver. Windows 8 will then update the driver and your A6200 will be usable.
NOTE: if you accidentally loaded the software, UNINSTALL the software BEFORE you install the new driver!!! Also, as with any software installation, ensure you create a restore point PRIOR to installing any software. That allows you to go back in time to a stable point in case you ever load something that is not compatible with your Operating System.
I have spent a week running extensive distance and load tests with this adapter in Windows 8 and it has performed flawlessly.
The range that I am getting out of this adapter is about 20% father than I was getting with the built in wireless unit in my laptop. Part of that is probably because you can move the antenna (using the cable) around. You can also rotate the antenna 90 degrees (it pivots) to improve reception.
This is a great adapter and I highly recommend it even though it is a bit of work to get it correctly loaded on Windows 8. NetGear support has said that they will be coming out with a finished software disk that includes an updated Genie app for Windows 8 soon. In the meantime, you can just load the driver for Windows 8 and it will work extremely well.
Once again, DO NOT LOAD THE SUPPLIED DISK for Windows 8. Download the driver (beta version) from the support website at NetGear. Follow the directions provided and you will be up and running in no time.