Pros:Simple configuration. No-fuss connectivity.
Cons:When used as a mobile device, it requires two cables.
The Bottom Line: Simple and easy connectivity makes this a recommended buy. Dual-band is just icing on the cake. Not designed for mobile use, but it will work.
I am using the Netgear WNCE3001 Universal Dual Band Wireless Internet Router. The WNE3001 connects to many devices that contain a cpu and a hard-wired ethernet jack. This includes ethernet-enabled computers, printers, TVs, Blue-ray players, DVD players and other devices. To use the WNCE3001, you do not need to install any software, which is great. To configure this device, you do need to attach it to a computer so you can open up the configuration menu via your web browser. Once the WNCE3001 is configured, you don't need the computer any more unless you need to change the WNCE3001 settings.
Recommend this product?
The WNCE3001 connects to only one device to give that device wireless connectivity. You still need a wifi hotspot or a home-network wifi router/access point to communicate with. NOTE: If your home-network wifi router/access point is WPS compatible, you just push the WPS button on the WNCE3001 to connect. You do not need a computer to configure the WNCE3001 as described in the previous paragraph. You also need to press the WPS button on your home wifi router/access point. WPS is generally not available with public wifi hotspots.
I am using this device to provide wifi to a laptop computer that has an ethernet jack, but no built-in wifi. I tried using a similar adapter, the ASUS WL-330gE, but was only able to get the ASUS to work with one laptop, but not another one. I am not the admin on the laptop of interest, so I am unable to install the drivers required by other wifi connectivity solutions. Configuration of the WNCE3001 is simple and easy via web browser. You can enter a password if your local wifi network requires it. You never have to reconfigure the WNCE3001 unless you travel to another wifi network. The WNCE3001 requires an ethernet cable and a power cable, both supplied. The power cable connects to any available USB port. An AC wall power adapter is also included as an alternate power source.
The WNCE3001 is extremely light, about 2 ounces. It is about 3 inches wide by 4 inches tall. It is 1 1/4 inches at its thickest point. The detachable base adds another 1 1/2 inches height. If you are at the airport terminal, I could see it being cumbersome because it requires two cables. In a hotel room, that is less of a problem because you can spread out on the desk or table. Because it is an external device, the WNCE3001 offers the possibility of better reception than with built-in wifi or a USB wifi dongle. Also, the WNCE3001 is slightly directional. This means that you can grab weak signals that an omnidirectional device can't. However, you may have to rotate the WNCE3001 until you get the best signal. The WNCE3001 comes with a detachable base. I made my own base/stand out of a plastic rubbing alcohol bottle. This places the WNE3001 a little higher for better reception.
For use with your home entertainment system, the WNCE3001 is attactively finished in gloss piano black. It is light enough that you can use double-sided foam tape to secure it where you want it. Be sure to check the signal quality before you secure it in place. I only use this device with wifi wireless-G. The WNCE3001 is also compatible with wireless-N, and is dual-band (2.4 and 5GHz). Most wifi hardware is 2.4 GHz. If you live in an apartment or in a house in the city, using 5GHz could provide relief from interference with all your 2.4 GHz neighbors. The 5GHz band is capable of providing higher data rates than 2.4 GHz. However, 5GHz is not as good at penetrating building walls as 2.4GHz, so you may not get the fastest possible data transmission rate. Of course, your wifi hotspot or home wifi router/access point has to offer 5GHz in order for you to use it.