Product Type: Belkin in Wireless LAN
Newest Review: ... Less than 5 minutes later I was connected. You have a choice of using the Belkin software or the Windows wireless network tool. I did ... more
Belkin Wireless G - Cheap and cheerful wireless adapter
Belkin Wireless G USB Network Adapter
Member Name: potoroo99
Belkin Wireless G USB Network Adapter
Advantages: Cheap, connects to routers of all types I have tried
Disadvantages: Breaks easily, driver problems in Vista
I had used inbuilt wireless in my laptop (an HP Pavillion tx1000, that I have also reviewed) for two and a half years, until my internal wireless failed and couldn't be easily replaced. I decided to buy an external USB wireless adapter to solve my internet problems, and chose the Belkin Wireless G USB adapter, as other members of my family use them and they are not expensive.
In order to get your Belkin wireless adapter to work, you must download the drviers from the internet. This is very annoying if you need to be wireless to connect easily. Other wireless internet USB (Vodaphone wireless broadband) I've used, have the driver software contained on the USB stick, which automatically loads and allows you to connect completely without a wire. The driver download website is easy, simple and quick. When you search 'belkin driver' in google, the first link that comes up is the official Belkin driver download site. It immediately takes you to a 3 step guide to installing the correct driver. First you have to read the FFC ID, which is in minuscule writing on the back of the device. Although, the website shows you exactly where to look, it is still hard to physically read the font. Once you have found out which version to pick, the driver is downloaded and finally installed.
I find that the Belkin adapters don't have brilliant connectivity, but are quite able to pick up adequate signaI in the house. I have connected with a Belkin Wireless G USB adapter to a Belkin router, as well as a US robotics router and BT home hub, it picks up many networks local to the computer. The connectivity decreases as you get further away from the router and if walls / floors / ceilings come in between the router and your Belkin adapter.
The Belkin Wireless G adapter has been released in many versions, and I recently tried a version 0, adapter in my vista laptop. This would not function regardless of which version of the driver I downloaded, and this problem could not be solved by people experienced in solving networking issues. I now have wireless internet because I am using the 'E' latest version of the Belkin adapter. The other issue I have with the Belkin adapters, is their vulnerability. Plugged straight into the side or backof a laptop, they stick out by about 3 inches, and can easily be knocked or bent. This can also happen when the laptop is put down on an uneven surface, or while it is carried around. The adapter comes with a USB extension cable, that could be used to prevent some of these incidents, but I have found it causes as many problems as it solves - including fall off chairs and being accidentally dragged. The cable has a small plastic dock, designed to keep the adapter upright, but this only useful when connecting it to the back of a desktop computer.
The Belkin Wireless G is a cheap adapter, which connects to a good range of wireless networks. I don't recommend buying an early version if you want to use this adapter with a vista machine. If you are using it with a laptop, then expect to break your adapter at some point, even the most careful person can knock these delicate devices. Your first Belkin adapter will probably not be your last, but at such low prices, you won't worry about it too much.
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