I have done my best to bring you this honest review on these Netgear Wireless PC Cards as I am not that technically inclined really, but I hope you will find the information below useful in some way. I hope I have got everything correct and have placed this review in the right place also.
Reason For Purchasing:
I have bought three of these WG511T Netgear cards in the last year to replace all the broken wireless adapter stick dongles that where once used to connect two Desktop Computers to the internet with in my home. The third card was used to replace my 54Mpbs wireless card to a 108Mpbs card in my Laptop for better signal strength. My children kept breaking the adapter sticks because they continually pulled them in and out of their Computers USB ports so they could connect their other PC gadgets and memory sticks instead. The adapter stick dongles we used before where also quite flimsy really, stuck out of a USB port like a sore thumb and there was not a lot to them, so I found they really did not last too long at all before all of them got broken. I also used them as I hated Ethernet wires running up my stairs and into different rooms, but thought they where a good idea at the time to connect wirelessly with. Well these Netgear cards where our chosen replacement to connect our Computers to the Internet with and they really are outstanding. They are fitted into your Computer internally and are really very easy to install. No more broken network stick dongles with these, as once installed, they stay installed (well you can take them out) and are hidden away inside your Laptop or at the back of your Desktop.
How They Work:
Well these Netgear cards work by allowing connection to a main Router/Modem in your home. They work extremely well and are certainly worth every penny that I have spent on them. They really are a great invention in my eyes. The Netgear card adapters will deliver up to 108 Mbps of wireless Internet and network access, to either your Desktop Computer, or your Laptop using 802.11g Super G technology ( I am not too technical, but this apparently gives you better LAN performance, so doubles the wireless speed). The WG511T Netgear card operates at 10 times the speed of the 802.11b products, so is extremely capable of easily sharing and organising your music, streaming your videos and emailing photographs to friends. These cards allow you connection to the Internet very easily indeed and without the inconvenience and expense really of Ethernet cabling (I hate wires) also. They really are excellent!
I purchased these Netgear cards online from Amazon and they cost me around £20.00 (although they are slightly cheaper now). I only bought one at first to upgrade my Laptop for better signal strength and was so impressed that my husband went online and ordered another two of them for my daughters computers. Well these Netgear cards came in a small yellow cardboard box. Inside the box you will find a small (5.4 x 11.9 x 0.6 cm) metal/plastic Netgear PC card, an antenna, a disc for installing the drivers onto your PC with and a very useful, easy to follow instruction booklet. Netgears website is also found in the instruction booklet which is very useful to know if you run into any problems or for downloading firmware to upgrade to etc if you choose.
Well these Netgear cards are very easy to install as the PC card very easily slides into the PCMCIA slot that you will find on the side or back of your Laptop or Desktop. This is done in seconds. Set-up is made quick and easy after doing so also with the Net Gear's Smart Wizard Installation Disc. My husband loaded in the disc to the Computer CD drive, waited a few seconds on it loading and then followed the step by step instructions he was given by the Wizard on the Computer screen. The wizard automatically selects the best available connection for you and adapts its settings to match. Five minutes later and it was all ready to use and connection to the Internet was received. No more wires either. It was great! These cards are the best purchase I have made in years. My daughters where costing me a fortune, as they kept breaking the USB adapters when they pulled them in and out of the USB ports, but these cards are hidden away inside or behind your Computer which really is great.
Another Method Of Setting Up:
Another Method of set-up if you have any problems installing the drivers with the wizard is to use Microsoft Windows own method of configuring. We had no problems at all though on all three Computers with the wizard disc. When you first install the wizard it will give you two options.The first is to let the wizard automatically set it up for you 'that is recommended' or the second option is to let Microsoft Windows set it up, but this method is only recommended if you have problems. You will need to take out your Netgear card and re-install it if the wizard lets you down.
If you are installing these Netgear cards into a Desktop Computer though, you do need to connect the antenna that comes with them. It is only a very small gadget that's thin and about 3 inches in height. It is made of a light metal and a black plastic material. It has a two foot long, thin wire running from it also. This wire just connects onto the Netgear card itself at the back of your Desktop Computer and is installed in seconds. I just set the antenna on top of my daughters CPU box and tuck the very thin black wire down behind her desk. It really is hidden away very nicely though. This antenna is like a little aerial I guess and it works extremely well without moving it about for a signal. If you are fitting this Netgear card into a Laptop, you do not need to use the antenna supplied, as all Laptops have one built into them.
Well we are using three of these Netgear cards to connect our Computers and Laptop to in our home. We first used a BT Modem/Router and they all worked very well, connected with ease and our Computers received fast internet connection also. We changed over to a Sky Modem Router a few months ago and they connected to it again with no problems. You honestly do not need to have a Netgear Router to use these cards. To me the two Desktop Computers seem slighter quicker at connecting to the Internet and so is my Laptop with the Sky Router though. All three of our Computers are upstairs and the signal has to come down the stairs and connect to our Modem in our hall and to me they really do a great and speedy job of doing so with no interference from our thick walls or closed doors. Honestly the signal strength is excellent! I just checked the signal strength on my Laptop settings It says Excellent strength and is right to the maximum. I use Vista by the way and my card works well with it. My daughters use XP and Windows 98 and have no problems either.
The Netgear cards are extremely safe from hackers I have found and will protect your network from eavesdroppers and bandwidth pinchers also. To be really secure though, you can limit access from your wireless router to designated computers, using their unique ID, called a MAC address, which you should really do also. My husband changes our password weekly, for safer web searching and peace of mind. Don't forget if you do buy one of these Netgear Wireless PC Cards to keep the Disc Wizard safe with your other software you have for your Computer, just in-case you need to format your Computer or to take the card out to use in a new one.
These Netgear Wireless PC Cards are excellent and I really am extremely pleased I purchased them. They where so easy to install and work much better for my family all-round. I will never go back to using the USB dongles to connect my children's computers to the Internet with. All of our dongles soon where broken after purchasing them because of the continuous pulling in and out of them from the USB slots they had to be connected to. I found the dongle sticks a lot slower to connect to the Internet with and they had a poorer signal strength from them also, compared to these new Netgear cards I bought. There is not much difference in the price of the two either. I also recommend if you consider buying these cards, to get the 108 Mbps ones as to the 54Mbps ones, as this will give you a faster connection speed and a better signal for virtually the same price. These Netgear cards will certainly allow you to take your Laptop out to the garden and if your at a friends house, Hotel or anywhere with a Modem in the building they will allow you to connect to it also.
I would certainly highly recommend everyone to use these Network cards to connect to the internet wirelessly with. They state a lot that they are for Laptops only, but they are not. These cards can be fitted to Desktops also. They really are better than any other adapters or dongles I have used before and they really do have to be tried. I honestly give then top marks. A full five out of five! I really am glad they where invented as I think they work extremely well and are a good and more reliable method to connect to the Internet with. We run three computers upstairs in our home with these Netgear cards and each and every one of them is fast and secure. It really is great not having those stupid little stick dongle things connected to our USB ports any more and having to keep pulling them in and out like my daughters did because they have very few USB ports. Even if you do have plenty of USB ports, these cards will give you a better signal and much faster connection speed than a dongle can. Well to me these cards are the best way to connect to the internet with. Nothing will beat them wirelessly. Honest. I really highly recommend these network adapter PC cards to everyone. They are quite cheap these days also. They certainly are one of my best buys! A great upgrade for Laptops also that have problems with signal strength. These really do work a lot better than my old wireless card and I can use my Laptop upstairs now and in my Garden with the signal strength now on full power.
The Netgear Wireless PC Card can be purchased at Amazon at the moment for £17.99 (not including posting). Another Good Wireless PC card 'my Brother is using' is called Edimax. It is slightly cheaper than the Netgear one and will do a similar job for you also. Well I like the Netgear one though and to me it is certainly a very cheap price to pay to get your Desktop or Laptop connected via Router/Modem to the internet with.
Want the fastest-ever untethered access to the Internet from your notebook PC? Then NETGEAR's 108 Mbps Wireless PC Card is just what you need. It achieves speeds up to 108 Mbps with Super GTM Technology, providing total mobility as you access your home wireless router, office network, or public hotspots. Even more, it lets you finally enjoy the best in advanced applications, such as video streaming, and at greater range with new antenna technology. NETGEAR's Smart Wizard install assistant makes setup so easy, you're ready to go within minutes. 802.11g standard compliance ensures interoperability with existing 802.11b and 802.11g networks.
Delivers digital images, videos and MP3 files up to 10x faster than most existing 11b wireless networks - up to 108 Mbps with Super G Technology. New antenna technology permits greater range than available with previous-generation products. Dynamic rate shifting responds to environmental conditions in order to achieve the fastest possible connections.
Lets you take your notebook anywhere from home to office, to the airport and other public access areas - without being tied to Ethernet cables. It works with 802.11b wireless routers and access points, ensuring compatibility with many existing hotspots and networks. Setup is a breeze with NETGEAR's Smart Wizard install assistant.
Provides the highest available level of industry standard 128-bit WEP encryption, and it's upgradeable to Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security. Use with the NETGEAR WGT624 108 Mbps Wireless Firewall Router for added firewall security.