READ THIS!!!! Here's the deal with this card.........
Jan 13, 2006 (Updated Jan 24, 2006)
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Great price, excellent performance.
Cons:Takes some tweaking, but hopefully this review will help.
The Bottom Line: Only $10 after rebate! GREAT performance when using Marvell driver (184.108.40.206), WITH Netgear WG511v2 wireless utility (2.4.0)! MANUAL-setup of IP/DNS settings may also give better performance.
When I bought this card, I knew going in that it may 'possibly' be problematic (based on some poor reviews found on the internet). I own 2 other 802.11g 54Mps cards (Netgear & D-Link), & have setup dozens of other wireless cards (from every brand/company). As an IT expert, I figured it would be easy....boy was I wrong. Installation was simple, & whether you use the Windows or included utility, WPA DOES IN FACT WORK, PERIOD!.....you simply need to use the NEWEST drivers from the TRENDnet website. Also, the new drivers DO IN FACT WORK with Windows XP Service Pack 2. However, the problem I ran into was constant disconnects, poor connect speeds, & horrible signal strength. I adjusted every setting (RTS/fragmentation thresholds, preamble, & power modes), & nothing worked. I tried it on several laptops, & the problems persisted. After long headaches, I finally figured out that you must MANUALLY input your TCP/IP network settings (IP, Subnet, Gateway, DNS) for this card to be happy. Do NOT use automatic IP/DNS settings. After a manual setup, it has performed as good, and perhaps BETTER than the major brands. Signal strength and link quality is now AMAZING!!! The manual setup also worked like a charm when using this card on several other laptops. TRENDnet's wireless utility looks ancient, but is VERY helpful...since it allows for many custom settings, and gives a better view of link quality and signal strength (which the Windows wireless utility does very poorly). I actually use the XP wireless utility for connecting, but also run the TrendNET utility to view link quality/strength. Oh yah, the price is right too!
Recommend this product?
I recently wrote a review (above) on how well this card works when the network settings are 'manually configured'. However, I've since found that doing this will fix the connection/performance problems when this card is connected to some routers (of particular brands & models), but the problems persisted on the brands/models of other routers. I've found that the solution to this issue is to go to Marvell's website (the chipset maker for this card), & download the most recent drivers....ie, do NOT use TrendNET's drivers! The Marvell driver to use is for the "Libertas 802.11g(b) Client Solution", & is the "Libertas CB-35P/MB-35P driver - version 220.127.116.11". Also, and VERY IMPORTANT, the Netgear WG511v2 card uses the same exact Marvell chipset. I tested the wireless utility found in Netgear's Version 2.4.0 software/firmware, & when this utility is used ALONG WITH the Marvell driver, then the performance problems completely disappear. It now works flawlessly on ALL routers of EVERY brand and model!!
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