Saturday, January 31, 2009

Low cost 802.11n WiFi has arrived!

By now you've probably heard about 802.11n, the next standard in wireless networking technology. With transfer speeds and range up to six times better than the current standard (802.11g), 802.11n is a must for web users into media sites like YouTube, Hulu, and Amazon's Video on Demand service.

Most likely the one thing keeping you from upgrading is price- not only do you have to buy an 802.11n capable wireless router and an 802.11n adapter for your PC, but you have to buy an 802.11n adapter for all computers that connect to your network, because the way the 802.11n standard works if there is one computer connected to your network with an old 802.11g adapter, that means all computers on the network are limited to 802.11g connectivity. Yeesh, that means you have to buy one adapter for your daughter's laptop, one for your husband's PC downstairs, and another for the desktop in your office! Sounds expensive- and time consuming to figure out what different adapters you need.

The good news is we have been working hard to come up with a solution for you, and we have done just that. For about the price of one 802.11n adapter in a retail store, you can buy three of our discounted 802.11n wireless USB adapters. And because they work on any PC (running Windows 2000, XP, or Vista) that has an available USB port, you can get one of these for each computer you have- no need to worry about buying a different type of adapter based on whether the computer is a laptop or desktop.

Mac user? No problem- while this particular adapter discussed above is not Mac compatible, we do have Mac compatible 802.11n USB adapters at low prices too.

Friday, January 30, 2009

New Product: Linksys WUSB54GS Wireless USB Adapter

As a long time seller of Linksys products, we are excited to say we just got in a big stock of WUSB54GS model USB adapters. The WUSB54GS is exactly like the WUSB54G model from Linksys, but up to 35% faster! And you don't need a special Linksys router to enjoy the fast speeds, the SpeedBooster mode can be enabled on the adapter for use with any router.

Why should you be excited we are carrying this item when you can go buy it in any retail store? Perhaps because or price is less than half that of major retailers! Check it out...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Alfa AWUS036H vs. Gsky 500mw USB adapter

We've been getting a lot of questions about how a new wireless USB adapter from a company called Gsky stacks up to the Alfa AWUS036H 500mw USB adapter that we sell (we ran a head to head test which we will discuss further down, but if you want to get right to the test results, click here).

The Gsky adapter looks a lot like the Alfa model, it also boasts the same maximum output of 500mw. We went ahead and got one of the Gsky adapters online, after all if there is an adapter out there that can perform as well as the much heralded Alfa long range adapter, it is certainly something we would want to inventory.

The first thing we noticed when we hooked it up and looked at some of the documentation was that claims on some web sites that it is a clone of the Alfa AWUS036H 500 mw adapter are not true. The Alfa adapter has a Realtek 8187L chipset, while the Gsky has the 8187B chipset, also from Realtek but with lower receive sensitivity. We should note for Linux users that the Alfa 500mw adapter is plug and play in Backtrack 3, while the Gsky with the 8187b chipset is not- it was not recognized by Backtrack 3. We also found out that with the Gsky you can only transmit at high output when using 802.11b throughput or lower. If you want to have an 802.11g connection (54 mbps), the output drops to just 30mw (yes, that's thirty, not 300).

The biggest difference though was the actual receive sensitivity. Here is a look at what you get with the Alfa (the numbers recorded are negative, so in this case the lower the better, as such, -90 means greater sensitivity than -80):

11 mbps -91 dBm at 8% packet size
54 mbps -76 dBm at 10%

Here are the numbers for the Gsky:

11 mbps -82 dBm at 8%
54 mbps -65 dBm at 10%

Seems like a pretty big difference, especially at the 802.11g/54 mbps level.

Okay, but numbers aren't everything, so we decided to pit both adapters head to head using an indentical 8 dBi antenna to see how the above differences manifested in actual usage. The adapters were positioned in the same place, one after the other, with the same 8 dBi antenna connected to each one. The tests were run 2 minutes apart. For comparison purposes, we also tested the Alfa 50mw (fifty mw) AWUS036E model. We have put the results into this PDF file here.

The final conclusion?

Alfa 500mw AWUS036H- detected 16 APs, 3.2/5 bars average signal strength
Gsky 500mw- detected 9 APs, 1.5/5 bars average signal strength
Alfa 50mw AWUS036E- detected 8 APs, 2.9/5 bars average signal strength

As the test demonstrates, the Alfa 500mw adapter gets the best range, and the best signal strength compared to the Gsky. The Gsky gets a slightly better range than the AWUS036E model from Alfa, which we have priced at $24.97 at the time of this blog post. But the AWUS036E model is more sensitive.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

Okay, it's from the Onion. But as we sell a lot of Mac products and work with a number of different Mac laptops and desktops, we thought it was pretty funny.