Can a $10 wireless card really work?
Jun 4, 2006 (Updated Jun 12, 2006)
Review by robdecotiis
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Cheap, Cheap, Cheap! Easy to set up, reliable, secure
Cons:None yet. I'll update when I find some
The Bottom Line: My jaw is still on the floor. This $10 network adapter is great.
I recently upgraded my wireless capabilities from the slow wireless-b to the blisteringly fast wireless G. In doing so, I had to purchase a new wireless network adapter for my laptop, and after doing a lot of searching, I chose the TEW-421PC from TRENDnet. I found the product online, and it came with a $10 rebate, so it cost me $10 total. With shipping. What an unbelievable deal.
Recommend this product?
When I first looked at the price, I thought, "This is probably going to give me more headaches, problems, and annoyances that it's not worth spending the $10 to buy it." I enjoy gambling, though, so I purchased the card. $20 off TigerDirect.com and it had a $10 rebate, so it was only $10. Very good deal.
I followed the directions to a T, since I know that cheap things usually require you to do so. First, you pop in the cd and run the setup program. Then, you plug the card into the computer. Start the program, and, who would've thought, it actually worked. Seriously, it worked on the first try, and has been working flawlessly ever since. Other reviews I've read about the card have said that you need the newest drivers, but my card came with those, so I was ok. I'd recommend downloading the newest drivers, if there are any newer, when you first set up the card.
The wireless configuration utility software they give you is completely useless. It gives you performance graphs, and they're really pretty, but seriously, it has no configuration settings in there. It may just be because of Windows XP, though, but my computer has a perfect network connection without the TRENDnet software, so I disabled it.
Encryption works fine. I've tried WEP and WPA, and both work fine. It's as secure as any other adapter.
It's been about a month since I got this card, and it's worked perfectly, every single time. I never had to reconnect or flush my ip, it just works, and I like that.
UPDATE: I've been playing around with my card a bit more, and realized that the reason there were no configuration settings was because Windows XP was handling everything. I've since disabled Windows XP's Control of the card and noticed a decrease in the time it takes my card to connect to the network. Pretty much every setting you could want to change is included in the software, and I'd recommend using their software to control the card.
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