Rated a Very Helpful Review by the Epinions community
Pros:Fast easy setup, easy security, solid adapter with Push "n", good price point
The Bottom Line:
Be sure you buy Version 2, it's fast setup, easy install, solid build, good price. Check for manufacture softwarte and driver updates to insure smooth install.
A VERY USB GOOD REASON -- UPGRADE to "N" WIRELESS
I ordered the NetGear RangeMax WNDA3100 Pre-802.11n Wireless Adapter when I placed my order for the Netgear WNDR3700 Wireless Router though it was from different vendors. The NetGear WNDA 3100 is USB 2.0 dual band wireless "N" adaptor, offered in NetGear’s performance based product line. Dual band references older wireless "B and G" operating within the 2.4 GHz bandwidth, and the newer wireless "A (though "A" has been around for a few years prior to "N") and N" operating within the 5 GHz band. The wireless frequencies "A, B, and G" are limited to 54 Mbs with exception for some proprietary enhancements. Wireless "N" is capable of 300Mbs throughput in ideal environments. The maximum for me using this adapter has leveled out at 287Mbs. But fluctuates between 217-287 MBs.
USING SINCE MAY 2010
I have been using the USB WNDA 3100 with the NetGear RangeMax WNDA3100 Pre-802.11n Wireless Adapter without issue on a Windows XP Pro OS (Operating System). Connection holds steady through several walls while maintaining 270 Mbs speed. I have used the WNDA 3100 on my 32 bit desktop Windows XP Pro Workstation ONLY. Reliability, outstanding and there has been no problems to arise from any signal drops. I elected to purchase the WNDA 3100 because I am Brand Loyal. When I discover a solid brand I remain loyal until the company behind it proves otherwise.
MULTIPLE HARDWARE VERSIONS
There are multiple hardware revisions of the WNDA 3100 available. My focus is on the newer V2 model because I read of several issues with the V1 model. The WNDA3100 V2 is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista 32/64 bit, and Windows 7 32/64 bit Operating Systems. This was an important issue as My notebook uses "B/G" and I wanted the luxury of stream in "N" when needed. I elected to purchased my WNDA3100 V2 from Newegg.com for $60, lowest price at the time and free shipping. Prices vary among sources on the Internet so be sure you are looking at a current version and not the older V1.
Distinguishing the difference is relativity simple as the V2 model sports the feature push ‘N’ connect button.
EVERYTHING ARRIVED in excellent condition and all parts and accessories were present. Basically received everything I needed within hours of ordering at $60 and free shipping and handling. Could not be happier and no complaints on this front. The summer is extra hot and the roses are in full bloom with the birds singing in the background.
IN THE BOX
The box contains everything you will need to connect the adaptor to your PC/laptop:
One WNDA3100 adaptor,
One setup software,
One extension cable
One mounting cradle with sticky Velcro tape.
The extension cable and cradle are invaluable for usage with a desktop PC. Always download the latest software from www.netgear.com (this holds for other products as well so check the respected websites for your devices most current software and drivers). Don't assume the provided software and drivers are current on the supplied optical disc until you check online first. Products can sit on a vendors shelf for months while updates are an ongoing process. Be SMART and keep all software and drivers current.
NetGear’s software is titled Smart Wizard. This will be the first thing you install on your computer so be sure to visit their website for the latest version. upon installing you will be guided through the easy process. Follow the onscreen instructions you may have to restart your computer depending on your machine and your OS. When it is time you will be instructed to place the adapter into an open USB port (preferable 2.0). On a desktop I would recommend interfacing the USB extension cable first and then the USB adapter. You will want to place the adapter as high as you can to insure maximum range and insure connectivity that is reliable.
Security modes supported are: None (not preferred) WEP (the older style wireless) WPA PSK (TKIP and AES) WPA2 PSK (TKIP and AES)
Wireless "N" mode only operates using AES.
Advanced users will discover additional settings the majority of people will never need. The defaults function great in several situation settings. However, adjust the following is possible:
Wireless Modes (2.4 or 5.0 GHz, and speed) Transmit Power Preamble Length Fragmentation Threshold RTS/CTS Threshold
I DO RECOMMEND
Yes, I recommend NetGear RangeMax WNDA3100 Pre-802.11n Wireless Adapter
for anyone that is not tech savvy, if you are a first time wireless newbie or upgrading a previous adapter for 802.11 "N". The wealth of features and refining adjustments most individuals will never need. Fast easy setup and security at a reasonable price point. I'll remain loyal until another knocks them off their thrown. In the meantime save yourself a few headaches an opt for the NetGear RangeMax WNDA3100 Pre-802.11n Wireless Adapter. You can always surf the web as prices have been falling.
I like to close my reviews with a THANK YOU because I do appreciate you investing your precious time in reading my material. We live in a complex complicated world where time is at a premium. I do pray you found this review like my others informative and helpful in aiding your next purchasing decision. Your comments are always welcome and I make every attempt to reply to comments as time permits. Again THANK YOU for the opportunity to aid you in spending your hard earned money wisely.
I am not employed or receive any compensation by Netgear or any organization promoting the Netgear additional hardware. I purchased my Netgear like anyone else and just sharing my thoughts and experience with you.