Updated: November 8, 2017

Wireless-G USB Adapter Reviews:

If you are connected to the Internet at home and want to have multiple computers on your high-speed connection you have two choices, either run a USB cable to each computer through your main connection box or use wireless access throughout your house. I suggest wireless access if you have the opportunity and signal strength to do it. I currently have my main Comcast connection upstairs in my office and my wifes laptop is connected downstairs via a wireless network card. My daughters computer is connected online through the main connection via an older USB cable. The cable is literally 30 feet long and looks silly in our huge bonus room so we decided to look into other options. Her computer doesn't have a built in wireless card so I was assuming I would have to buy one, disassemble her desktop tower and install a new card. Much to my delight, technology has evolved fast enough to save me from having to do that. You can now buy wireless-G USB adapters that plug into your desktop or laptop computers via the USB port. The install takes about a minute and then you are up and running without a darn cable that is both ugly and intrusive.

I researched the various wireless adapters by reading reviews on CNET, Amazon.com, Networkworld.com and on Laptopmag.com. The major brands are Belkin, Linksys, D-Link, and Hawking Technology, NetGear, and DynaPower. The hardware costs about $20 to $40 depending on the brand the store you buy it from. We usually do our shopping on Amazon since we get free shipping. The whole point of shopping for this wireless-G USB adapter was to give myself freedom of not having to hook up any computer in my via cables and be able to get online in any room with our desktop computers. I knew that I would be moving my home office to another room that didn't have a cable connection and felt like having a wireless connection would be the way to go. Ultimately I bought two of the Linksys Compact Wireless-G USB Adpaters - Model WUSB54GC ($30/each) so that I could move my desktop anywhere in the house going forward and still get high-speed internet access and allow my daughter to be hooked up online without any cables. Reviews for wireless adapters online are mixed to say the least. Some people complain about compatibility issues or connectiviity strength with the TRENDnet54Mbps Wireless G USB Adapter which sells for only $16. The Belkin ME1001-USB Wireless USB 2.0 Adapter 802.11g ($30) is another top rated product when used with certain OS's - some owners claim it won't installon XP X64 edition or on Linux. I went with the Linksys wireless adapter because I was told to get the best compatibility and fastest Internet connection I would need to use a Linksys product since my current wireless router is made by Linksys. That may not be true in all instances, but it does seem to ring true from my experiences. The Linksys wireless adapter plugged into the USB port on my desktop computer with no problems and worked immediately. I'll probably follow-up on this article in a few months once I see how the day to day connection speeds are and to make sure there are no long term capability issues that arise. Overall, I'm completely satisfied with Linksys and now my home Internet connection is flying along through my desktop without any cables. What a relief! UPDATE - If you have Windows 7, don't expect these adapters to work that well (if at all). I had to go out and buy a new wireless n adapter. Hooks up just the same as the previous adapter into the USB port.

Installing the Hardware:

The package comes with a few different installs based on which operation system you are working on. You will clearly see one marked Windows Vista Only and the other one is for XP or 2000. If you are on a Vista OS, then it could be a little confusing. One document says "Important Notice for Microsoft Windows Vista Users Only" and it goes on to say that you should NOT run the Setup Wizard CD ROM. Instead go to the Linksys.com website and download the updated drivers that will be compatible your OS. The confusion arises with the additional brochure (Quick Installation) that walks you through the install using the CD. I was fortunate enough that I'm running XP and had no problems installing the wireless adapter on my computer. The process took all of 1 minute and I was up and running on the Internet without a cable attached to my desktop computer. The final step is choosing which wireless Internet connection you will connect to and it found my home router just fine. If you are having problems installing the hardware onto your system, you can always view the Linksys support center online Linksys.com/support.

What Consumers have to Say:

When a product makes using a computer easier, usually consumers rally around that product and give it high praise. We found that for the different types of wireless adapters for computers they earned positive feedback when they were compatible and didn't have any system conflicts. To get a wi-fi connection virtually anywhere in your house without having to hookup cables is a tremendous advantage and something we weren't able to do 5 years ago. Some of the online comments made by owners of these wireless-g USB adapters are things like "I highly recommend this product. Works very well. Very easy to install. I've been using this product for about a month and there are no problems", or "Installed this on a Dell computer with Windows XP Pro. Installed and connected without any problems. Up and running in 5 minutes. Good product". The one key feature that most of us are looking for are fast Internet speeds while running on a wireless connection and these perform just fine. One consumer says "This is an excellent adapter. The strength is as fast as my ethernet cable when it is hooked up directly to the router". The only negative comments were ones related to compability with certain OS's (operating systems) and there were a few notes on the Linksys having issues with some routers wireless security setups. View the latest wireless-N USB network adapters here.