Pros:connects devices to the internet, easy set-up, tiny footprint
Cons:sometimes getting a connection can be laborious
The Bottom Line: Wireless connectivity that's fairly easy, speeds fluctuate. 4.5 stars out of 5.
DirecTV has lots of extras that we have not tapped into because we never connected their satellite box to the internet. My apprehension was that I didn't want to run a Cat5 cable from the home office to the living room. Enter NetGear's Universal Wi-Fi Internet Adapter. This nifty device allows us to connect our DirecTV box, gaming system, Smart TV (and more) to the internet - wirelessly. Ah, technology... ain't she grand?
Recommend this product?
What was in my box:
The (deceptively small - 3" x 2-1/2") wireless adapter that weighs a mere 2.1 ounces, AC power plug, a USB power cable, a CAT5 cable, adhesive Velcro strips (to mount the adapter to the wall or furniture). NOTE: Because mine was sold as "refurbished" there was no manual or vertical stand. The manual, guides and other info can be downloaded from the Netgear website and the adapter is so small, I don't need it to stand up.
WHAT IS THIS WIRELESS ADAPTER REALLY FOR?
Have you been thinking of buying an "internet ready" Smart TV? Well, how would you connect that TV to the internet? You could run a cable if that particular room isn't already wired for it, but that's just not as convenient as a wireless connection in most cases. Does your gaming console, Blu-Ray player, cable box or satellite receiver need an internet connection to make it more versatile? Same idea here. Keep in mind, some gaming consoles have built-in wireless connections possible, so check before you buy.
The process is fairly simple. If you can follow instructions, push a button and plug cables into the right places, you can make this happen. Just make sure to do the initial set-up with this Netgear wireless adapter in the same room as your computer and wireless router/modem.
I tried the wireless method first. Once the Netgear unit is plugged into electricity, wait for the "power" LED to go solid green. Install the supplied CAT5 cable from the Netgear adapter to the device you want to get an internet signal. The center LAN LED should be solid green.
Then push the WPS button on the router/modem. Within two minutes, push the WPS button on the Netgear adapter. They should see each other and the WLAN LED should go solid green.
In my case, they didn't see each other, so I had to connect them manually. I unplugged the CAT5 cable feeding my PC with its internet signal and connected the Netgear adapter to my PC with the CAT5 cable. Then I opened a new browser in Firefox (or you can use Explorer or Chrome) and it goes directly to a Netgear page. Once you follow the simple instructions there should be a connection. If your PC can get online, you know there's a connection.
I then unplugged the Netgear adapter and connected it to my DirecTV box - only to find out that it won't work with DirecTV's DVR unit. What? The seller on Ebay said it would. But no big deal since we plan on getting a Smart TV in the not too distant future and I can use this Netgear device to get internet on that. Thankfully, DirecTV sent me their version of the wireless adapter for no charge. All is right with the electronics world...for now.
I purchased mine from NewEgg's store on Ebay for $22.99 refurbished. Basically, it's new without the retail box, the manual and the vertical stand. If you happen to get one without the manual, it's easily found and downloaded from the internet. New, this product runs the gamut from about $40 - $75 depending on the retailer or E-tailer.
How does this 2001 differ from Netgear's 3001?
The only difference I could find is that the 3001 is dual band - 2.4 and 5 GHz - the 2001 is just 2.4 GHz. Dual band provides maximum performance for video streaming when connecting your device to the internet. Both the 2001 and the 3001 have a transfer rate of 300 megabits per second which translates to (roughly) 37.5 megabytes per second. That's plenty fast but that rate does fluctuate, so you might consider the dual band 3001 if you're streaming video a lot.
Are there other options out there? Sure, but this one seems the best of the bunch... at least that's what I have read. One of the downsides is that you'll need to buy numerous wireless adapters if you've got more than one device that you need to get online. The upside is that you can enable internet apps and features otherwise not available before a connection. Imagine having a computer without an internet connection.... not so fun, is it? Well, consider this the key to the World Wide Web's portal for many of your devices.
If you need more info visit them at www.netgear.com