How do I pick a wireless USB adapter? My retirement community is offering
Wi-Fi service to all of our residents. They suggest an EGenius Wireless USB
adapter that they sell for $39. Is this a good choice? I run Windows XP from my
desktop and intend to get a WiTopia VPN so I can use it for banking and so
In this excerpt from
Answercast #81, I look at a wireless adapter that is being recommended by a
shared internet connection.
Picking a wireless USB adapter
Using a USB wireless adapter on a desktop is a fine, fine solution for taking advantage of Wi-Fi that’s being provided to you by a third party – or to actually take the place of wires in your own home if you have a wireless hotspot.
The question of course is, “Well great! What wireless adapter to get?”
To be honest, I’m not familiar with the EGenius, so I can’t recommend a pro or con on it specifically.
Support for the device
If they are recommending it, my assumption is that there’s some level of support (or at least experience) with the device. That would be helpful should you run into any problems down the road.
The other side of the coin is – I happen to be fairly happy with LinkSys and/or Cisco equipment (they’re actually the same company these days). I know that LinkSys makes a wireless adapter. It may not be quite as cheap. I’m not sure. I haven’t checked the prices lately. But, like I said, my experience with them as a brand has been very good – and the same is true for some of the other name brands.
Typically, in a situation like this when I’ve got no direct experience with the specific piece of hardware, I look for the name brands like LinkSys, like Cisco, like NetGear, and a couple of others.
Fortunately, it’s not actually a problem, especially in a case like this where it’s being recommended by someone who’s closer to your situation than I am. It seems like a pretty reasonable approach to go.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
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