This is a review for one of the TP Link Wireless USB Adapters currently available in North America. I bought this after having issues with another Wireless USB Adapter, it would drop connection at least a couple of times a day, which to those that need a constant connection is frustrating to say the least. I work primarily from home, the office is located in the basement, but it is directly below the main internet connection point, which you would think wouldn't be experiencing the numerous issues I was having.
After shopping online for a suitable replacement, I came across some positive reviews for many of the TP-Link Wireless products. They are the number 1 market share leader in China, (which does speak volumes) and are fully tech supported by Dynapower USA, located in the good old US of A. The awards they have won were from reputable magazines like PC Format, PC World and PC Magazine so I was easily able to make the decision to try and find an authorized dealer in North America.
After making the online purchase, (worthy to note, that it arrived 4 days later) I got to work doing the install. Just to give a little background information on the system I was using, it is a Windows XP SP2, and the wireless router that I connect to is a D-Link DI-524 DWL-G122 Package DWL-922C Wireless Air Plus G (never had any issues with this product at all, very easy set-up). The box contained the usual items needed, a set-up disk (mini-cd), easy to understand instructions (well written in English), and the product itself. (Another of note, at the bottom of the box there was a free USB extender similar to a cradle which I didn't notice at first, so keep this in mind) Basically the installation was easy, and I will also walk you though it.
- Set Up Restore Point (I'm Cautious)
- Plug In USB Adapter
- Cancel The Windows XP Autoinstall (It Thinks The Product Is Something Else)
- Place The Mini CD In The Drive
- VERY Carefully Choose The Folder For The Product Code You Bought
- Double Click The Set-Up File EXE
- Choose To Install All Software (We Will Be Semi Changing This After The Install Anyway)
- Reboot Your PC (I Do This After Every New Install)
- The Configuration Software Will Start And Automatically Gives You A List Of All Available Networks
- Choose The Network To Connect To And Enter In Your Network Settings (Most Are Detected For You, The Rest You Would Already Know)
- You Are Connected, And You Can Stop Here, Or If You Want Windows To Manage Your Network Follow The Below Steps
- Right Click The Wireless Network Connection Icon Located Bottom Right Next To Your Date/Time On The Taskbar…Choose “View Available Wireless Networks”
- When The Wireless Connection Window Appears…Under Related Tasks…Choose “Change Advance Settings”
- When The Wireless Network Connection Properties Window Appears…Choose The Wireless Networks Tab…And Then Checkbox The “Use Windows To Configure My Wireless Network Settings”
- You Will Get A Small Hiccup In Your Connection, (It Will Automatically Reconnect) But Completing These Steps Will Ensure That Everytime, (Addendum, There Are Steps That I Didn't Originally Consider, Read The Next Bullet Point) You Reboot Your Machine And The First Thing That Windows Will Do Will Be To Connect To Your Wireless Network. (Handy For Those That Run Internet Needed Applications On Start-Up)
- If You Are Using A Computer That Allows External Program Access, There Is A New Step. Using The “Start” Tab At The Bottom Of Your Screen, Click It And Select “Run…”. Type In “msconfig” Into The Window And Hit “Enter”.
- Select The “Startup” Tab On The “System Configuration Utility” Window That Pops Up, And Find The TWCU entry. Unclick It And Reboot. (When The Windows Warning Pops Up, Tell It To Ingnore The Change And Never Remind You Again) This Will Ensure That Only Windows Has Control Over Your Wireless Connection Without Unneeded 3rd Party Applications.
- Reboot Your Machine And Test It Out.
I have had the TP Link Wireless USB Adapter installed for just over 3 weeks (Since 12-03-07) and I haven't had a connection issue since. It has built in eXtender technology, which is excellent for those far away from there Wireless Router, but on top of that, as I said above, a 3 foot eXtender connection was included. (I still haven't needed to use it)
Overall this was a complete surprise to me and an excellent value for what I paid. It rivals other USB connectors that are 3 times the price and I think the only real negative thing I have to say about this product is the connection light is a bright flashing red, (like Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer) and I prefer the conventional green flashing (I'm old school).