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Best (& cheap) USB wireless dongle?

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  • Best (& cheap) USB wireless dongle?

    I'm looking for a good cheap USB wireless dongle for my in progress car PC setup. My priorities (at my best rough guess at priority order) are:
    1. Allow adhoc sharing with a laptop in the car with full security enabled. This is critical since I'll be remote desktopping into the car PC until I get my LCD set up (which I know will take me forever ).
    2. Allow a laptop to share the car pc's T-mobile internet connection (when I have the phone hooked up).
    3. Allow the car PC to connect to my home WAP to synchronize my music collection off my home network. This may be more critical given I've found I can run the PC off my 7.2Ah battery for 20 minutes or so which makes a delayed shut down with sync over the wireless network a much more viable possibility.
    4. War driving (the phone connection is *slow*!).

    Any thoughts? Cost is probably one of my most driving concern at the moment. Also, it needs to be small since I'm intending to have it sticking out the back of the computer directly.

    I didn't see any specific product recommendations searching the forums, hence the question. Thanks in advance.
    Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
    Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
    Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

  • #2
    Netgear MA111, bought it a couple weeks ago at best buy. $4.99.....i couldnt believe it.....no rebates nothin....just $5. Its also the size of a pack of gum, and has better range then my other netgear and both of my linksys 802.11b adapters.
    PC Components:
    Lilliput; XPC/FLEX mobo; 1.7 ghz P4 Mobile;512 DDR; 160 gb HDD; opus 150; slot usb dvd-rw
    My work log

    Comment


    • #3
      That's ridiculously cheap and at that price it'd be a slam dunk but Best Buy doesn't appear to be selling it any more (not on their web site) and the cheapest I could find onlined was around $40.
      Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
      Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
      Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

      Comment


      • #4
        yeah i couldnt believe it either. I was walking down the isle and i saw the sign but the shelf was empty. Underneath they had the same adapter but the g version for $49, but i looked behind those, and someone had thrown one of the B versions back there. My bestbuy loves to hide easter eggs all over the store.
        PC Components:
        Lilliput; XPC/FLEX mobo; 1.7 ghz P4 Mobile;512 DDR; 160 gb HDD; opus 150; slot usb dvd-rw
        My work log

        Comment


        • #5
          damn thats efffing cheap, i got my Netgear MA111 for $10 after a 20 mail-in and 10 mail-in rebates... so i shelled out 40, got back 30 in mail...
          AT mobo
          Intel Pentium MMX 233mhz
          ESS Solo PCI soundcard
          Linksys NIC
          Irman

          Comment


          • #6
            My local best buy doesn't have any but I got searching with the hope of finding something close. I found this 802.11g at a price I *like*! Especially since my home network supports g (I just didn't think I'd get a g adaptor for anything like this price).

            http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduc...C-pr1c3grabb3r

            $22 after $10 mail in rebate. Any one better this - or have any reviews of this one? I have a trendnet 100mb switch at home that's been doign me just fine.
            Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
            Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
            Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

            Comment


            • #7
              i got the small USB netgear too works great (but i have the G version)

              Comment


              • #8
                I decided to order the trendnet one since I was convinced it'd go out of stock if I waited
                Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
                Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
                Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

                Comment


                • #9
                  wouldnt be suprised if it was the same hardware as the netgear with a different shell. The usb cable it comes with is the extact same.... not that that really says anything
                  PC Components:
                  Lilliput; XPC/FLEX mobo; 1.7 ghz P4 Mobile;512 DDR; 160 gb HDD; opus 150; slot usb dvd-rw
                  My work log

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It arrived today. was easy to set up. Concerns are:
                    1. It tends to only connect at 36Mb/s at bootup, repairing the connection then gives 54Mb/s.
                    2. The signal strength doesn't look promising. It's only across the room from the wireless router but it often shows less than a full strength signal. Doesn't bode too well for when it's in my car.

                    I also couldn't work out how to set up an adhoc network. Perhaps that only happens if there are no access points around.
                    Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
                    Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
                    Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You have a lot of interference in the room or something set wrong in your AP. Try resetting it with the button on the back.

                      In wireless connection properties, under the advanced tab, you can set it to only connect to AD HOC networks. You might try the wireless network setup and net connection wizard to get the setup to work. Sometimes its a hassle, but the adhoc will eventually work. Both computers need to be setup the same way, and you'll need to give the wireless card on the HOST computer an ssid to broadcast. That'll make it easier to find.

                      My only problem with the stick of gum sized dongles is that they freak out. Mine overheats, shuts down. And the way it sticks out of my laptop is a great way to snap it off if I wasn't careful. But I've had it for a year, so a $20 wifi card that lasted a year isn't that bad.

                      Dave

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I bought a USB AirLink 802.11g dongle (looks like a thumb drive) at Frye's for $19.99. No rebates or anything. It was on sale, but their sales are cyclical. If it's not on sale now, it will be again in a month, and probably at the same sale price.

                        Brain21

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I definitely don't recommend the one I ended up getting. Even sat 6 feet from the AP, it was jumping repetitively between 24 and 36Mb/s as I copied a load of music onto a laptop. Very unsatisfactory.
                          Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
                          Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
                          Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by brain21
                            I bought a USB AirLink 802.11g dongle (looks like a thumb drive) at Frye's for $19.99. No rebates or anything. It was on sale, but their sales are cyclical. If it's not on sale now, it will be again in a month, and probably at the same sale price.

                            Brain21
                            On sale for 10 buck today till Tuesday (I think).
                            Work perfect.
                            2004 Matrix XR A7N8X-VM/400 AMD XP-M 2500+, DS-ATX
                            89 Supra Turbo P3 [email protected]/Abit BE6 II, Alpine M-BUS Car2PC.
                            Y2K Accord Dell GX150
                            RoadRunner is the best FE PERIOD
                            EmoRebellion is a SCAMMER

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arathranar
                              It tends to only connect at 36Mb/s at bootup, repairing the connection then gives 54Mb/s.
                              What does it mean to "repair the connection?" It that some magic Windoze thing other that OSes haven't gotten around to yet?

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