Pros: Almost instant online access in a home network situation.
Cons: Inconsistent interaction with the router.
We have had a home network system for many years. When I had to replace my kitchen computer, I asked my son what I needed to do in order to link it to the network. He made suggestions and off I went to Walmart to see if I could find something. The salesperson who helped me was very nice and gave me several options.
He then told me that if I opened the case of my new computer it would probably void my warranty. Now, I am not the most computer-hardware savvy person around. I am pretty good with software, but opening computer cases frankly terrifies me. Since my son was not going to be able to come over and do it, I was at a loss.
The salesperson suggested the Linksys RangePlus Wireless Network USB Adapter WUSB100. He said it did not require opening the computer case - I could simply plug it into a USB port. Now, even I can handle that. For a purchase price of right around $50 on sale I figured I could give it a whirl.
Home I went. The directions were fairly simple and in no time I was able to set it up. My delight increased when it picked up the network and I was online. Yay. How easy could it get? Boot up some software and plug in the adapter.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides for our personal home network when using this USB adapter. For one thing, it does not seem to be as reliable as an internal network card. Sometimes I get a good signal... other times I get a horrible signal. I have to unplug my router on a very frequent basis in order for the network to function properly on my new computer - something I only rarely had to do previously.
In all fairness, it could be the way our home is set up. But I have to place most of the blame on the functionality of the USB Adapter, considering that I also have my laptop computer in the kitchen and it functions fine on the network.
Eventually I plan to get someone to install a network card inside the computer, but for now we can make do with the USB adapter. We just have to deal with the frustrations that come along with it.
It is very easy. Insert the CD into the computer, follow the online setup wizard instructions. Insert the adapter into a USB port when prompted, and wait until the setup wizard installs the adapter. Poof.
This adapter does not come with a true paper manual. There is a user guide available on the CD, however. The trouble shooting guide is located in the user guide.
As I said above, I paid right around $50 for this adapter. Prices at Walmart ranged from this to well over $100, depending on brand and type of adapter you were looking for. Perhaps I would have done better with a more expensive adapter.
It does work sometimes, so I can't totally diss this product. I just wish it was more consistent. It is frustrating to have a brand new fast computer that has a poor internet connection. It causes me to spend more time with my laptop (which I really don't like all that much) to elminate frustration and problems with the new computer.
For example, I don't dare pay bills on the new computer that has the Linksys RangePlus Wireless Network USB Adapter WUSB100. A couple of times when I have tried to do so the internet connection has faulted out and I didn't know if the bill payment went through or not. Definitely not a good scenario.
Still, if you are not that computer hardware knowledgeable and aren't comfortable taking your computer apart to install a network card, this is a quick and painless solution that may address your needs.