Wireless the easy way
Dec 8, 2007
by Kurt Wurmser
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:easy to set up, small, SecureEasySetup makes security easy, portable, has cord
Cons:cap can get lost easily
The Bottom Line: If you're looking for a USB wireless adapter, the WUSB54GSC has a lot going for it and is a choice you won't regret.
Recommend this product?
For a long time, I hadn't trusted USB to Ethernet adapters. I changed my mind a few years ago when I wanted a wireless adapter that would work on both a laptop and a desktop. PC Card adapters only work on a laptop; PCI cards only work on a desktop, so that left USB.
I was pleasantly surprised by the DWL-122 adapters. They did the job and were barely noticed. I bought one for my wife, and when she was upstairs with a laptop she took it with her. My son bumped against the laptop at an inopportune time, and that was the end of the DWL-122. I needed a replacement and I needed it quick.
Linksys has a pretty good name for home networking, so when I saw the WUSB54GSC I decided it would be the one.
The WUSB54GSC looks a lot like a a USB flash drive. At 1.1 x 3.86 x 0.43 inches, it's easy to slip into a laptop bag or even your pocket. It comes with a 3' USB extension cord, which I appreciate more after its predecessor's demise. There is a cap to protect the USB connector, but it seems that this will be easily lost. A simple lanyard or connector would have been nice.
Linksys does do one thing very well -- they make networking easy. The WUSB54GSC comes with a CD. The unit itself is in a plastic bag with a label on it marked 'Run CD First'. Being a LAN tech myself, I understood why this was -- the drivers need to be installed. So, in went the CD. Installation couldn't get much easier -- it installed its own wireless configuration program, told me to plug in the adapter, and that was it. It didn't even require a reboot.
Normally I've had mixed experiences with applications that do things Windows already does (like, say, wireless networking). The Linksys program worked fine and didn't seem to slow down my wife's PC. It also has the 'passphrase' method of generating WEP keys. Basically, when you set up your router, Linksys will let you use a passphrase to generate the WEP keys. Well, if you remember what that passphrase is, you can just put it in here and it will generate the proper key. Now, WEP has its security flaws, but it's a lot better than nothing.
The WUSB54GSC also supports WPA (Wifi Protected Access) if this is enabled on your router. To encourage its use, Linksys includes a pushbutton setup that will set up a WPA2 256-bit encryption scheme. This is called SecureEasySetup, and will only work with a Linksys router. Personally, I think it's great that Linksys is trying to make security easy to use.
Once connected, you probably won't even notice the WUSB54GSC . It just works. For a network adapter, that's a very good thing. Connection rates in my home have all been the fastest (54 Mbps). With the USB extension cord, the adapter itself can be put somewhere where little hands are less likely to find it (and little behinds less likely to bump into it.)
Finally, the WUSB54GSC has one more thing going for it: Vista drivers. I have Vista, although I did not install it on my Vista machine. Since Vista is still not widely adopted, anything that's Vista ready out of the box should get a point.
If you're looking for an easy, pain-free way to set up wireless in your home, the WUSB54GSC should be part of your plan.
Read more product reviews on Linksys WUSB54GSC-EU (5051964014638) Wireless Adapter
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