I saw a neat little wireless gadget

A client of mine showed me a wireless networking adapter that I thought rather ingenious.  The Hawking Technology HWU8DD Hi-Gainâ„¢ USB Wireless-G Dish Adapter. It’s a USB wireless adapter with a parabolic dish on it to concentrate the signal.  I hadn’t seen anything quite like it before.  My client got it for use in RV parks where they provide wireless to their guests but it can be spotty depending upon where you are in the park.

Previously, I’d be recommending getting a device that allows you to connect your own antenna and getting a high-gain antenna of some variety attached to it.  The cost for this could get pretty high depending upon the equipment.

Now, using a dish antenna of any type requires that you aim it directly toward the access point.  This adapter had five LEDs to let you know how strong of a signal it was getting, which would help out a great deal with aiming.  It’s also far less costly than previous solutions I would have recommended.
I’d recommend something like this to anyone who has a sketchy signal, but doesn’t want to go through the expense of setting up large antennas.

Their current products are the HWDN1 and the HWDN2, which are both wireless-N devices.  The HWDN1 supports speeds up to 300Mbps, the HWDN2 only 150Mbps.  Both are compatible with Mac and PC computers but neither has the convenient LED readout to tell you the strength of the signal.  The software that comes with it has a nice signal strength gauge (at least for the Windows version).  The HWDN1 has a list price of $75 while the HWDN2 is $65.

All in all, if you need to get a mildly distant wireless signal, one of these units may do the job.  Keep in mind that the further you are from your access point, the slower your network connection will be, but these adapters will help stretch that out quite a bit.

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