And a very powerful, long range one at that. It is the Alfa wireless USB 802.11G Highpower Adapter.
The Alfa is a 500mW adapter. One of, if not the most, powerful, long range wireless adapters you can buy. A favorite among hackers and wardrivers worldwide. For good reason – the output is 2-4x that of any other on the market.
Another bonus is the detachable 2dB antenna, allowing you to swap for any other 2.4 GHz antenna on the market – including a parabolic grid if you so desire. It has a industry standard RP-SMA/female interface. The Alfa itself uses a USB port, either version 1.1 or 2.0 - cable is included.
What makes this so unique, along with the exceptional power, is the included software. With it you have the option to configure the Alfa as an access point, infrastructure or ad hoc – with all the security settings of a regular wireless router.
The software is compatible with Windows or Mac, I’m using it on XP and can’t comment on its installation on other operating systems – although supposedly compatible according to documentation. When you have it configured you simply plug it into your laptop or desktop, along with a 3G/EVDO modem (even DSL/Cable/Satellite) and start sharing your connection wirelessly to any other computer or device that has a wireless adapter – simplicity.
With this I was able to pick up an excellent signal anywhere in my house – upstairs, downstairs, corner rooms, and outside 500 ft away … even further if I wanted to, and this was just with the little 2 dB stock antenna. Imagine what you can do if you added a higher gain antenna.
Being curious, as usual, I wanted to hook this up to the same 2.4 GHz grid antenna a lot of us use for a Sprint EVDO connection, since 2.4 is wifi frequency:
With the grid attached I can only imagine most of them are from quite a distance. No, I don't think it is ethical to steal someone's connection because they don't have security on their router. But it does show you the capability and possibilities.If you have a really long link to make at a distant location, this would be the adapter to use. For example the main house to a remote building.
Absolutely amazing performance and such an inexpensive solution to share your connection wirelessly. Alfa even makes a 802.11N adapter that looks and operates the same with the added benefit of N speed and distance, provided your clients have N gear installed.
You just can’t beat the price … $39 !!!
So if you need a simple way to share your 3G connection with multiple computers, why spend $125+ for a router unless you need a hard-wired Ethernet connection? Don't get me wrong - a Cradlepoint router is still the best way to go for maximum flexibility and extensive configuration options. But for the price, you can't go wrong here either.
I am very impressed by this product and will be interested to hear your feedback if you purchase one.
The cheapest place I found it was on Amazon – G adapter on left – N adapter on right … link below: