D-Link’s G-132 HiSpeed USB Wireless Adapter

by Tim J. Summers

D-Link's HiSpeed USBOf all the types of WiFi devices, I find this D-Link externally mountable USB adapter the most versatile and handiest - plug in the computer’s USB port or use the sturdy mount and cable, for max range. And, ta dah, it a “super g” device that, in an ideal environment, can transmit up to 108 Mbps and 400’. In reality, I transmitted an average of 90 Mbps at a range of 295’ outside and 75 Mbps at 85-110’ inside. If this won’t do, there are repeaters and antennas to extend your range. For most home or SOHO uses, it is quite sufficient.

The browser install wizard makes installation a cinch. Just drop the CD in, follow the directions (including when to plug the USB adapter in), type in a few settings and you’ll be e-mailing or surfing the web. Setup is very straight forward. Just follow the directions in the AirPlus XtreemeG Utility. I complete a few options and accept defaults on the majority of entries. The Quick Install Guide is well illustrated and the language is clear. Enable “Encryption”, write down the SSID (whatever name you want to call your system), and a password.

How about how it works? As a portable device, it is more subject to abuse than other devices. But I must tell you where there’s a signal, it is always there - very reliable - hasn’t failed once, but it doesn’t like insecure networks. It works great with my wireless router (another brand, not D-Link).

Like any other WiFi device, it is important to enable support for WPA, 802.1x and user authentication. This is particularly important in public access hot spots. I was impressed that this unit could be used in a peer-to-peer mode or client mode. Nice touch.

I talked to a MAC user who uses a D-Link notebook adapter. He is enthusiastic about how well it works on My Apple Extreme Network. And it is “cheaper than Apple’s adapter”.
If you connect to a USB1 port, the device’s performance suffers significantly. (It is compatible with 11.b and USB1. If you don't have a USB2 port, don’t get this device. It doesn’t make sense to use a 108Mbps adapter on a 10Mbps port! And it's 2006, what are you doing with a USB1 port?)

Otherwise, it connects reliably to wireless networks anywhere I go and rarely drops signals. It is also very easy to disconnect, reconnect and swap between laptops and desktop computers. It works with other USB devices just as well, such as memory readers, flash memory drives and even my webcam.

Also, keep in mind: this is a USB card, it is for portable use. If you try to consistently maximize the throughput, depending on the conditions, it may overheat. If you need to statically connect it to a single machine, get the PCI or PC card.

You can’t go wrong with this wireless adapter - it is reliable, acquires a consistently strong signal and better than average speeds. Helpful 24/7 tech support, phone and e-mail. For more info go to www.dlink.com.

Tim J. Summers is a HAL-PC member who is the "go to guy" for wireless at a locally headquartered data security company. He installed their WiFi system two years ago.