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Like A Bridge Over Troubled Water
Almost every device you buy these days has wireless built in, but what about your older hardware and sometimes a wired connection is just not practical? This is the answer.
This device is one of the most useful bit of tech kit I have purchased. Although it is classed as gaming bridge, in reality it's just a wireless bridge that can be used to give wireless connectivity to any device with an Ethernet port. This could be games consoles, Blu-Ray players, old computers etc.
The reason I bought mine was to give my older Xbox 360 wireless. I can honestly say it works a treat. I didn't want to pay the extortionate price Microsoft were charging for the official device.
The device itself is reasonably small, cream, and has a single antenna. There is a USB port for power and of course an Ethernet port to connect to your device. There is a power adapter provided or you can use USB to power it. I use USB, there is a lead with two USB connections on it but I've found that I only need to connect it to one USB port for it to work.
There are indicator lights on the front that show if the LAN is connected and if the wireless is transmitting/receiving. These are handy and I like to see them flickering to know everything is hunky dory.
A word of warning though, the setup disc that came with the device does not work with Vista or above. I have Windows 7. However if you connect the device to your PC you can get onto the web portal and set it up from there. It's not very intuitive, it took a couple of attempts, but after a few minutes I had it setup and working with my Xbox.
I have also used the device on a Blu-ray player to access the streaming features and an old desktop PC. It was just plug and play. I have also used it on my PVR to access the BBC iPlayer.
I have had it working now for over a year and it had not let me down. The little lights just keep flashing, very satisfying. I got this from Amazon for under £20, considering MS were charging over £50 I am quids in and have a move flexible device.
This product is a simple way of getting wireless features on a device with only an ethernet port. The device connects to your ethernet port and forwards your data in the form of a wireless transmission. It is very small and quite and blends into your computer setup.
The only problem on set up I had was setting up the bridge to be on the same network address space as my home network. Once I got over this hurdle you never have to deal with the device again and just let it do it's thing.
Mine has been in use for 2 years now and never been turned off. In that time I have never had to reset it or power it down. This is quite an achievement. It is the quality I look for in all my computer equipment. Belkin as a brand is the one to go for if you are looking for the same level of performance. For this you do have to pay a premium but this is not as much as it once was. Belkin products are available even in your supermarket now but for a product like this you will have to go to a dedicated computer store so something like PC world or an online retailer.
When I moved out of Uni accomodation into my own house in the private sector, it was imperative that I obtained wireless Internet, because dragging an Ethernet cable from the connection point upstairs to my room was just not a viable option when considering I lived with five other people, and we all quite enjoyed our drink, as most students do!
I went with this Belkin adapter initially because it was one of the cheapest I could find, and I know that Belkin also produce quality products. It's an extremely fast gadget to set up - simply plug it in and install the drivers from the disc, or if you're using Vista, your system should automatically pick up the drivers needed anyway. From then, you simply need to go into the control panel, find your wireless connection, enter the key-code you're using to protect the connection, and you're away!
The major complaint about wireless adapters is that they frequently, and perhaps only for a second, drop the connection, which of course will mess up downloading and other activities. I can't report any such problems here, though - for the two years I used it, this was an almost always reliable piece of kit that's easy to use and will accomodate even the most ardent technophobe.
Being a gaming adapter, much of the attraction is that it will easily accomodate an Xbox 360 also, and whilst you can use the USB connectors on the console to power the adapter, you'll be wanting to use the mains if you're using a game with peripherals like Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Regardless, this is a fab bit of kit whether you're playing a game or just looking to browse the web. Very much recommended.
This is the perfect addition to your gaming setup if you want to get online. I was constantly fiddling with a attempted bridging connection until I bought this.
Once out of the box, the setup can either be performed via the accompanied CD or through the adapters interface which I found much easier due to the fact that the CD doesn't work with Vista. The setup was quick and simple as I followed the setup guide that was on the Belkin website. The setup for me took about 30 minutes but should be much quicker as I forgot to enter the encryption key to enable the connection.
After the setup, I have not had any problems with Xbox Live. Instantly connects to live with an open NAT and feels smoother than I have ever played with a bridged connection.
The adapter can be powered either with the 2 USB connections or through a power adapter if you want to use the USB ports for other uses, such as Rock Band or streaming music.
The adapter comes with a Ethernet cable, power cable, USB lead and a power adapter as the power cable is American although the power adapter was supplied from the sender and not Belkin themselves.
I would recommend this for anyone who wants a wireless gaming experience or even just to make a wireless connection.