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Top Contributor: Photographyon November 29, 2016
Sadly all top reviews are for a rather different product from 2010. Same name, same look, but everything inside is different - mainly, the Wifi chipset.

The current version is v5 and uses a Realtek chipset (8192eu), which is okay but is not nearly as good as the original Atheros chipset of the v1.

Not to mention support on Linux for example, is terrible (only certain kernels supported, patch and code yourself for support of recent kernels, does not use standard kernel wifi stack)

Of course, nowhere it is specified on the Amazon page that this is version 5, so it's mostly all about luck or how much Googlin'g you've done before buying.
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on February 12, 2014
i bought these adapters because they used to use the atheros chipset, which is basically plug and play in linux. the adapters amazon has in stock now at the v4 adapters, which use the realtek chipset. if you aren't familiar with linux, it's a real headache to get the drivers installed and working. if you're looking for a plug and play adapter in linux, look elsewhere
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on July 20, 2013
I purchased two of these one to upgrade the wireless on my Compaq Laptop and the other to add WiFi to my wife's desktop.

My laptop has Win 7, installation was simple I had downloaded the newest driver first from TP-Links website and installed without a hitch.

It typically connects with a strong signal throughout the house and at 70 feet away outside still maintains a strong connection typically over 1mb file transfer speeds even at that distance.
With my laptop I did find one problem.
I have a Gear Head wireless mouse I use at times instead of the touch pad. The mouse runs on a 2.4ghz frequency which can at times stop the wireless card dead in its tracks. That is more of an issue with the mouse than the card, After making sure in the router setup that I had it on a separate channel there was no more interference.

My wife's desktop has Windows XP. I downloaded the most up to date driver first like with the laptop.
I was replacing the wireless b card she had been using. Due to placement in the house using a wired connection was not feasible.
Setup was simple and quick.
The connection is strong but for some reason on XP it can be very sluggish. Her system is a dual core intel with 4gb of ram and is quite speedy.
Most of the time it works fine but for some reason I have not been able to determine yet it will bog down be it web pages or files transfers . This did not happen with her old card and the new one is still faster but this is a mystery so far.

Overall an excellent USB WiFi card when used above Win XP.
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on October 7, 2013
Okay, so I bought this to use with my desktop. I needed something that was NOT extremely expensive, and that would work with my compute. So after looking at multiple different Wi-Fi adapters, lots of researching and a lengthy conversation with my Dad, I picked this one.(It was on the cheaper side, it had all the tech requirements, and it had a hefty amount of 5 star reviews.)

It got here earlier then I expected, (I was expecting a week, got it in 3 days!) was super easy to install, and it receives the signal from my router loud and clear. (A solid 5 bar!)

I would give it 5 stars, except for one little irritating thing it does. It keeps randomly disconnecting me! It'll be fine for hours at a time, then suddenly it keeps disconnecting, over and over, for a 5 or 10 minute (or so) spurts. Then just as suddenly, it's completely fine again!

I have no idea WHY it keeps going that, but whatever. It's a little annoying, but it's manageable. /shrugs/
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on September 8, 2016
Easy install, good performance. I picked up this adapter after the Dell Inspiron internal WIFI card appeared to be having problems (very low throughput compared to a wired connection, unstable connections to smartphone via WIFI) as part of the diagnostic process. It worked better than the Inspiron internal did even before the appearance of problems (144 Mbps connection vs 72 Mbps). Performance of the TP-Link is on par with the wired connection when doing Internet performance measurements on this machine. The Windows 10 machine did not have a driver available for the N300 USB adapter, but pointing the driver install dialog to the provided CD was all that was necessary.
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on October 4, 2010
As a linux user primarily, I had had limited luck with similar items from Medialink, D-link and Ralink. This one, which uses the Atheros guts, is the most linux friendly of the bunch, and also works great with Windows 7. At last I can use my desktop with wireless that just plain works, regardless of which version of linux I use. To be frank, there are some linuxes that still don't work with it, but they are now the minority. All the big name distributions work flawlessly with this, and with linux getting better and better on a daily basis, this will only improve. No drivers to install... (unlike windows) just plug it in and it sees your available connection(s). Now that's what "plug and play" should be... not plug, insert cd, wait a few minutes, reboot, THEN (maybe) play. Sheesh!
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on April 9, 2016
Packet does not say Windows 10 (the description does though). Works perfect. "plug and play." I actually did not need to install the driver (comes in a mini cd) at all. I do recommend. Better than taking the laptop apart to install a more expensive card. I can use this with any computers. Does come with a extension cord. No need though.
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on June 19, 2014
I needed this for running a few adapters in master mode on linux. The problem is that at power-on, there is a race condition or duplicate ID issue that prevents the devices from being uniquely recognized if you have more than 1 plugged into the same computer. Locking down udev will not solve the problem, as having more than 1 plugged in creates a USB bus initialization failure at bios boot. I tried it on two entirely different hardwares and OSes, and the same situation arose.
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on April 21, 2018
Gets the job done. That's all I ask. And the plug-and-play is a nice addition. I haven't had any problems yet. Just don't expect steady speeds if you have a Bluetooth connection running nearby. (That's unavoidable. Just the way things work. There's no workaround other than moving either the adapter or the Bluetooth-connected items.)
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on July 11, 2013
The TL-WN821N is a great 300MBps WiFi USB adapter that works on many operating systems (including Linux/Raspberry Pi). The chipset is Realtek RTL8192CU
THE GOOD:
+ Adapter uses MIMO which means it can operate at up to 300Mbps and generally be faster and have better signal strength that a 150Mbps adapter that does not use MIMO.
+ Works fine on Windows, Linux, and even Raspberry Pi
+ Green activity LED shines through white plastic case without being overly bright or difficult to see.
+ Comes with short USB extension cable.
+ There is a WPS button on the side for easier setup via WPS (note I haven't tested this since I manually configure SSID etc)
THE BAD:
- This is a 2.4GHz adapter only - does not support 5GHz band.
- Cap might be lost easily since you cannot snap it on the opposite end of the adapter when using it.
- Longer than some "tiny" adapters but this is necessary since for 300Mbps/MIMO you need to have multiple antennas on the circuit board.
OVERALL it's a good network adapter and I recommend it.
I hope you find this helpful!
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