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This device is a joy to use and I have been using it without problem since picking it up for £20 a couple of years ago.
For your money you receive the install desk, USB adaptor and USB extension cable. This is really handy as you can plug the cable into the back of your computer, plonk the other end on your desk and plug in the adaptor right in front of you.
Installation was easy: I ran the disk and followed the on screen prompts. Less than 5 minutes later I was connected. You have a choice of using the Belkin software or the Windows wireless network tool. I did struggle with the Belkin software as it would not accept the password I have set on the wireless router but switching to the windows tool sorted that problem.
Unlike with Belkins internal wireless adaptor I have never suffered connection drop outs with this one. It is reliable, quick to connect and seemingly without fault
This is my second of this product as the first one simply ceased to work. I had to buy it again as there was little other choice at the time. Anyway, on a whole the adapter works pretty well, I have experienced some problems during installation on a number of occasions when it is trying to recognise drivers etc but have always found a solution in the end. The network signal always seems pretty good, even when I've moved to further points away from the router, and I feel the usb cable and dock make it easy to position the adapter exactly where you want it as opposed to other adapters which plug directly into the usb port. However the usb cable isn't exactly the longest and so it still has to stay close'ish to the computer itself. The build could be described as a little flimsey I guess, and the dock is prone to the wire coming out of the bottom of the holder, the whole thign has a very plastic cheap feel to and doesn't seem as if it would take many knocks before damage occured. Whilst sat around doing its job, works perfectly fine.
The Belkin Wireless G USB Network Adapter is, basically, a wireless network card for your PC in the form of a usb key. While all laptops come with a wireless network card built in these days, you still do get desktop PCs that don't have a wireless feature by default.
The adapter comes with a CD with drivers. These are fast and effortlessly installed, by inserting the CD and following on screen intructions, and will instantly allow your wireless usb adapter to work once you plug it in. You can get a later version of the drivers online, although the ones on the CD work fine. There really isn't more to it. I've only ever ran it in Windows XP. Offically it also supports Windows 2000 and Vista. I would assume it should work in Windows 7, but can't guarantee it. While I've only tried it in USB 2 ports, it also supports the old USB 1.1 standard.
The actual wireless adapter basically looks like a slightly oversized usb key. This also comes with a stand it can plug into, which works as a usb extension lead. As the adapter is a receiver for wireless signals, you may experience that it might work better if put on top of your PC rather than being plugged in in the back of the PC. I have actually experienced the signal strength can vary quite a bit depending on the physical location of the adapter. The main usb key part has a lid that you can use to protect the usb connection, should you wish to bring it with you without the stand. This is all made of plastic and seems to be of reasonable quality. Interestingly, Belking's web site states this product comes with Lifetime Warranty and free 24-hour technical support.
Together with the driver software, the installation program on the CD installs a program for managing your wireless connections and security and such. In terms of functionality is is very similar to what Windows already offers. There is no new functionality, as far as I can see. The only thing is that all the information and all the options are gathered in one place, so it might perhaps be easier to use or more organised than the default windows process that usually handles wireless connections. When the adapter is plugged in, you can access the options by clicking a blue icon in the Windows task bar on the lower right. Here, you can see available networks, signal strength, whether the networks in your area are protected, and you can set up your passwords. Contrary to my usual behaviour, I haven't actually investigated if it is possible to use the adapter without this software, so at least that means it is not too intrusive and not too system resource hungry.
The Wireless Belking adapter has been with me for 4 years, and I still use it daily. I had been using wired internet all my life when I moved in to a new house 4 years ago, and I asked "where do I plug in my ethernet cable?" upon which the response was I needed a wireless adapter to use internet. Being the internet addict that I was (and still am), I ran to the closest location with internet access and had a look at Argos' web site. The Wireless Belkin adapter turned out to be one of the first search results, and for £28 at the time, I ran to Argos and threw my student loan at them, in complete desperation to regain access to the internet, so I could check my e-mail for the first time in two and a half hours! I spent all of 2 minutes installing the adapter, regained access to internet and my long lost e-mail account, and have since used the adapter on 3 PCs. Still to this day, the Belkin adapter withstands day after day of furious internet surfing. The primary reason I went for a usb adapter as opposed to an internal card was availability, although something else that appeals to me with usb devices is how easily they can be switched between PCs. It's also handy if you're paranoid about security, as when you unplug the adapter you are guaranteed not on the internet any more.
The only comparisons between wireless adapters I can make are to my various friends' laptops (with their built in wireless adapters), as well as my own laptop (also with a built in wireless adapter), and the results are remarkably unspectacular. Performance and reliability is very similar between the Wireless Belkin adapter and my own laptop. Sometimes one of them has a connection while the other one hasn't, but there is no consistency to this. The Belkin adapter might have a slight edge to my laptop's connection. The Belkin achieved a considerably faster connection than my friend's Alienware laptop on the same network. In my old house, interestingly, there were several people in the house who had a lot of issues with unstable connections with their laptops. I did not have the same problem with the Belkin. Yet, sometimes the Belkin does not connect when my laptop is connected. Scientific measurements these are not. Wireless connections can be unpredictable when conditions are not optimal. At least I can with confidence say that in my experience the Belkin has been slightly more reliable than the wireless adapters belonging to the people around me in the same house, regardless of the position of the wireless router. Surely that must count for something.
I paid £28 for my lifetime warranty wireless usb adapter, which I have been using for 4 years and am still using. You can now get it for £20 or so. You can get an internal wireless card on Amazon for about £12. If I had plenty of time when I needed a wireless adapter, I might have gone for the internal option because it's cheaper, however do consider the benefits of a usb adapter. You can easily change it between PCs, you effectively have a receiver you can move around in the room, and you can at any time unplug the usb key should you wish to disconnect the PC (to make it secure for children to play with or for other reasons). Having heard of the struggles some people are having with hardware conflicts caused by internal wireless cards, I would wholeheartedly recommend this option to anyone who is in the market to buy a wireless adapter!
We bought this product from Tesco along with a Belkin Wireless Router which was being sold seperately. At £20 this was as reasonably priced as I think you're going to get, although once you add in the £40 cost of the wireless router, you're left wondering if wireless networking is really worth it!
We bought this USB wireless adapter for the grandson's computer really. He's got an old second hand one and isn't allowed on the main house one due to his behavioural difficulties. So unlike the more modern PCs which have wirless capabilities built in, his PC needed an adapter to receive internet signals from downstairs with.
Getting this out of the box I was a little surprised to find one tiny, lightweight USB stick with a fancy rounded end on it along with a tiny instruction leaflet and miniature CD. For £20, if the technology is all that impressive and worth it, why did they feel the need to pad out a substantially sized box just to house those minimal contents?! I felt disappointed when I got through all the layers and found just those little pieces inside.
Anyway, to get this set up was easy. It was little more than a case of plugging it into the upstairs PC, following some onscreen instructions and then performing a re-boot. I did have some arguments with trying to connect to the internet after making the wireless network secure (password protecting it), but that was down to my incompetence and not the hardware.
This had absolutely brilliant signal while the network was unsecured. It picked up internet access at three or four bars out of five consistently, and it never once failed on us. The issues with the secure network were, as I said, a user fault.
I really can't see why you'd want to go and spend more money on an 'upgrade' of this when it does the desired job just fine. It's easy to install and very quick to get up and running too. It tucks away neatly at the back of the PC (in a USB port obviously) and it's worked consistently well in picking up the wireless signal for us. If we had another computer which didn't have built in wireless capabilities, then I'd definitely nip to Tesco for another for one of these.
I had used inbuilt wireless in my laptop (an HP Pavillion tx1000, that I have also reviewed) for two and a half years, until my internal wireless failed and couldn't be easily replaced. I decided to buy an external USB wireless adapter to solve my internet problems, and chose the Belkin Wireless G USB adapter, as other members of my family use them and they are not expensive.
In order to get your Belkin wireless adapter to work, you must download the drviers from the internet. This is very annoying if you need to be wireless to connect easily. Other wireless internet USB (Vodaphone wireless broadband) I've used, have the driver software contained on the USB stick, which automatically loads and allows you to connect completely without a wire. The driver download website is easy, simple and quick. When you search 'belkin driver' in google, the first link that comes up is the official Belkin driver download site. It immediately takes you to a 3 step guide to installing the correct driver. First you have to read the FFC ID, which is in minuscule writing on the back of the device. Although, the website shows you exactly where to look, it is still hard to physically read the font. Once you have found out which version to pick, the driver is downloaded and finally installed.
I find that the Belkin adapters don't have brilliant connectivity, but are quite able to pick up adequate signaI in the house. I have connected with a Belkin Wireless G USB adapter to a Belkin router, as well as a US robotics router and BT home hub, it picks up many networks local to the computer. The connectivity decreases as you get further away from the router and if walls / floors / ceilings come in between the router and your Belkin adapter.
The Belkin Wireless G adapter has been released in many versions, and I recently tried a version 0, adapter in my vista laptop. This would not function regardless of which version of the driver I downloaded, and this problem could not be solved by people experienced in solving networking issues. I now have wireless internet because I am using the 'E' latest version of the Belkin adapter. The other issue I have with the Belkin adapters, is their vulnerability. Plugged straight into the side or backof a laptop, they stick out by about 3 inches, and can easily be knocked or bent. This can also happen when the laptop is put down on an uneven surface, or while it is carried around. The adapter comes with a USB extension cable, that could be used to prevent some of these incidents, but I have found it causes as many problems as it solves - including fall off chairs and being accidentally dragged. The cable has a small plastic dock, designed to keep the adapter upright, but this only useful when connecting it to the back of a desktop computer.
The Belkin Wireless G is a cheap adapter, which connects to a good range of wireless networks. I don't recommend buying an early version if you want to use this adapter with a vista machine. If you are using it with a laptop, then expect to break your adapter at some point, even the most careful person can knock these delicate devices. Your first Belkin adapter will probably not be your last, but at such low prices, you won't worry about it too much.
I bought this product after finding it almost impossible to connect my desktop to my laptop and share the internet connection.
The setup was really straightforward and easy to follow. Once setup connecting to a network was a doddle and was quick also.
Now the annoyances... For some reason when turning on my desktop with the dongle in it does not seem to connect to the network but just searches for the IP address to connect to so you have to do a right-click, repair to get it to connect and even then it may take several goes to get the network online. Sometimes though it connects without trouble and have access to my WLAN and obviously the internet. On the odd occasion also for some reason the Belkin software can't find the dongle in the USB 2.0 port I plugged it into originally and so have to use a different one and re-install the drivers for the new port, then connects fine. Also I find you have to find the optimum place in a room to put the damn thing so that you get the strongest signal possible; this can be accomplished sometimes by moving it only slightly or moving objects around the room, but I recommend getting a USB extension cable just in case you have to place it over the other side of the room.
The provided Belkin software is easy to use and even secured networks with hidden SSID's and password protection. Surprisingly also it features every single type of security passwords from WPA-PSK to WEP and also Enterprise WPA and some more which I have forgotten. The software however does not have the best UI in the world and is a bit Windows 95 but it does the job.
Overall a great product for any computer without wireless capabilities however I still believe wired networking is the way forwards with faster speeds, easier connectivity and no ability for hackers to hijack the wireless signal (there is none); it seems to be the optimal choice at the moment.
When I moved into my current house, there was no upstairs telephone point, which meant I had to plug my wireless router into the phone socket downstairs. This was a problem, as my PC doesn't have a wireless card, so to connect it to the internet, I had to either set up my PC in the living room (which I don't like), or go through the hassle of trailing cables all the way upstairs.
Actually, there was a third choice: get a wireless adapter, which allows your PC to connect wirelessly, without you having to open up your PC and install a card. The adapters vary quite considerably in both price and features, but I settled on a basic Belkin model.
The more basic models should be fine for most needs. According to the box, it can pick up a wireless signal within a distance of about 50 metres (more advanced have a greater range). Unless you have a really big house, this should be more than enough to broadcast a strong signal from a downstairs router to an upstairs PC.
I'm not overly familiar with the technical gubbins behind wireless technology, but the important thing to note is that it supports the 802.11g standard (the most widely used one currently). It doesn't support the newer Draft-N standard, so you might want to consider that if you're likely to use your adapter for a long time. I have no idea what all of that means in theory, but in practice it should mean the device will work with your current router, regardless of make.
The adapter is can bet setup in two ways. On laptops, you simply plug it into any available USB port; for desktop PCs, you are advised to use the cradle which comes with the adapter. This plugs into a USB port and the network adapter then sits in the cradle. This is actually pretty nifty on two grounds. Firstly, you can leave the adapter plugged in at all times, without risking accidentally knocking and breaking it. Also, because the wire is quite long (around a metre), there's plenty of flexibility in where you position it so that it doesn't get in your way. It's a neat little arrangement and far better than having the adapter permanently protruding from the PC.
The adapter comes with good, clear instructions for setting it up. As with all PC equipment, these make it sound like a doddle You just pop the accompanying CD-ROM into your PC, follow the on screen instructions, plug in the adapter when prompted to do so and hey presto! Wireless technology at your fingertips.
Yeah. Right. The reality is I followed all the instructions and nothing happened. It's not that it didn't install - the relevant icons appeared on my desktop and the accompanying software worked. It just refused to detect the router. I fiddled around with the settings on my firewall, in case this was causing issues, but still nothing. I then got my laptop out and went online to see if other people had experienced similar problems, but that came up blank too.
At this point, I started to wonder whether the signal wasn't strong enough and if I needed the next model up. However, this would have cost around £25 more, so I was reluctant to do this before trying a few more things.
So, I resorted to the tried and tested formula of starting again from scratch. I removed the adapter, uninstalled the software, rebooted the machine and started the installation process once more. Again, I followed the instructions to the letter, doing nothing different. This time...Success! Why, I have no idea, but I'm glad I reinstalled, rather than rushing out to buy a different model. Why Belkin can't make technology that just works I'll never know.
Using the Adapter
Happily, this is one of those things that once up and running, you can pretty much just leave to its own devices. The strength of the signal I receive is always either "Excellent" or "Very Good", so there are no problems getting connected. Just occasionally, the adapter drops the connection for no apparent reason and you are suddenly disconnected.
This is not a serious issue - it probably happens once every 20-30 times I connect, so it's a minor inconvenience, rather than a serious flaw. Nor is getting reconnected a problem - just click the reconnect button you're back on-line
A word of caution regarding the signal strength: since setting the adapter up, I have had the PC in two different rooms. In one, the connection never dropped; in the other room I've experienced the issue described above. Clearly the location of the PC will affect the strength and reliability of the signal. Depending on the layout of your house, you might need either to consider the location of your computer, or invest in the upgraded adapter with a greater range.
Inevitably, the speed of your internet connection is slightly slower than via a wired connection, although this is not particularly noticeable. A page which is heavy with graphics or flash animations might take a second or two longer, but for practical purposes this is virtually unnoticeable. Given that the speed of your internet connection can vary anyway, this marginal reduction in speed will have a very low impact on your surfing habits. Basic web surfing and email is fine and even more intensive applications such as Skype don't suffer. I suspect online gaming might prove more of an issue, though.
You can pick this adapter up new for less than £20, making it a simple and cost-effective solution for making an older PC wireless enabled. It's not going to set the wireless world alight, but it's a lot easier than opening up your PC and installing a new network card, and tidier than trailing wires through different rooms. The trickiest part is getting it installed. Once that's done, it offers a reliable connection sufficient for most home needs.
© Copyright SWSt 2009
a Cheap effective wireless network adapter that works, but thats it, it works theres nothing special about it and its not very fast either despite description being "Hi-Speed USB" do not let it confuse you to thinking that its fast
If your mainly connected to the internet to check emails and just general web browsing then it is fine for you and you will like it, but anything more than that such as gaming then this is a no no.
Theres not really anything wrong with this itself its more to do with the problems with wireless, packet loss is already a problem with wired connections and wireless just makes it worse but anyway i am reviewing the adapter and not the internet hehe
The largest problem with this one is that theres a multiple versions each with different chips and of course each use different drivers which is a problem for you ubuntu / linux uses who will need to modify/make your own as a guide you may find for it may not work seeing as there is now i think 7 versions of this one,
the second problem with this is that it does NOT say that it ISNT compatable with windows vista meaning you will buy it and that you will need to go to the belkin site and get the beta drivers they make for it to work with vista (as i needed to do) but the problem with that is, You need to be connected to the internet to actually get the drivers to make the thing that you brought to connect you to the internet to work, which im sure you can guess is a problem
Alot of people have also reported to have problems with this particular network adapter but i have not had any more than the above,
What i will say is it is cheap and it is effective for simple tasks but it does get rather warm even with just browsing the net,
My ideal use of this would be for temporary use only as it is by no means something that you would want to use perminantly as you will find out Wired is better than wireless in all cases (well unless you got a killer NIC network card but that thing costs £200 so why would you even look at this if you had one of those)
I Would not reccomend this although id be happy to lend my friends it as a temporary solution
This little wireless adapter is designed to plug right into laptop of pc's usb ports so that it enables them to be wireless and therefore can pick up a signal from a network.
This can plug into your pc or laptop 2 different ways, firstly it can plug in much like a usb memory stick and just the stick itself can go straight into a usb port on your laptop or pc. The second way is to plug the holder into the pc of laptops usb port, this holder conveniently holds the wireless stick in place and has a wire leading out which can plug into the usb ports.
This lead can go about a meter so is handy if you need to position it somewhere else on your desktop, also it looks quite good in its little holster and doesn't look out of place.
I bought this one a while ago from comet for I think around £20, I bought it mainly because it was the cheapest one there and secondly because it was the same make as my actual wireless router which is also a belkin.
The only downside I experience with this was for the first few months it seemed to cut off the internet connection and stop working, sometimes for a few minutes at a time. This always logged me out of my AOL service provider and also msn If I was on it. This however has now stopped happening, so im not too sure what the initial problem actually was, but it hasn't happened for a few months so everything looks ok now.
After a few attempt of trying to set it up myself, (as I always try doing things without reading the instructions first) I failed to manage on my own. So out came the instruction manual and it was set up in about 10 minutes of my time. It is easily enough to follow and if you do have any problems they do have a customer helpline, however I do know from expatriate just how bad belkins customer service is.
Also after trying this on my laptop, which actually has wireless built into it, the wireless adapter still worked just as good as the laptops already built in wireless did.
Altogether this is a good little wireless adapter, it works well and doesn't look too bad on a desktop, also its cheap too, and was the cheapest when I bought it, so if your looking for one then this would certainly be a good buy.
The F5D7050 works perfectly under Linux using ndiswrapper (haven't looked into its native module support). I ran a flood ping to my Acess Point with no packet losses, very nice. As a comparison I could not get my Netgear WG111 to work 100% under Linux with either native module or ndiswrapper. Can't speak for Windows though.
This pen's software is awful. Really awful. It made online gaming extremely laggy and impossible to play and it kept dropping constantly.
On the verge of throwing this out I went onto the Internet to read more about it only to find someone saying to delete the belkin software and just use the Windows connection. So I did this and now it works perfectly!
So advice to buyers who have a problem getting this to work - **IGNORE the instructions in the box about not putting the adpater in until you've installed the CD software** infact, do NOT install the CD software at all and plug in the adapter and let Windows find the drivers and run it itself. If it works fine using the CD software then great, otherwise take note of my instructions.
If you don't really know what your doing though when it comes to removing belkin software, then splash out an extra £5 and get a Netgear one. I use a NetGear one on my other computer, had it years now and it's been great, always remains connected and still works fine as if it was the day I'd bought it.
**Update!** We recently got a new computer with Windows Vista and had to buy a newer version of this adaptor. Downloading new drivers off the site didn't work, it simply had to be a new adapter, so a warning for anyone who is upgrading to Vista!
I bought it in 2007. Two problems:1) it requires Windows Zero Configuration to connect;2) it frequently disconnects. This is a problem with the unit as pulliing out and reinserting the adapters usually reestablished the connection. I am not happy and will replace it with another (not belkin) adapter.
This review is of course connected (ouch for the pun) to my last review which was about a wireless router.
I posted an earlier, inferior version of this review last year on Ciao (under my Ciao name, paulhanton), but have since updated it somewhat for Dooyou, not least as I have become better at writing reviews since then (I hope, you judge).
I had actually never heard of these things until I tried to set up my wireless connection at home, and realised that I needed something to recieve the signal IN that my wireless router was putting OUT, not that anyone at PC World told me this, and I was just to eager to think about it.
So, what is it?
Essentially a small USB device (looks a lot like a memory stick, see picture), that gets plugged in, either directly, or with an extention cable, to the computer that you want to receive an internet connection on, shared from your main internet connection.
£19.99 from PC world, which along with the router £69.99, means I now have another computer connected to the net for less than £90, and no monthly costs etc. It has not gone down significantly in price in the six months that I have had it, on Amazon today (1/5/08) it was £18, on MISCO, it was actually £23.
Inside the box:
The connector (with lid), as I've said, looks like a memory stick, black, sleek and easy to position and hide with the;
Connector cable, about 3 feet long, so ideal to connect to the USB port and put it by the PC or window sill or whatever (not next to speakers, they can interfere with signal)
Little stand, very useful to place this on a suitable surface, which makes the device itself (little green flashing light and all) seem like just what it is, a small receiver.
Warranty, (lifetime would you believe?)
May seem obvious, but firstly you need; a pc/laptop/notebook, with a USB port (free), windows 98, 2000 or XP or (though it does not specify as such, it works with Vista too, internet program such as Internet explorer, and that is about it.
Really could not be easier, insert CD, follow instructions, plug in device when told, bingo..........then all you have to do is 'pick' the connection that you want, it will show you all the connections within range (beware, sometimes you can pick up neigbours etc), pick your connection, and you are done.
There are some trickier bits, such as setting up new email accounts that only go to the new computer/connection, follow your ISP guidelines for this, I spent ages getting this wrong, no fault of the device, just my stupidity.
Specifications (for those techies), from the box/leaflets:
Interface: USB 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0
Network Standards: IEEE802.11g, IEEE802.11b
Security: WPA, WPA2 64-bit, 128-WEP encryption
Operating Range: Up to 300ft/100m
OS (as stated earlier)
Speed and strength of connection:
The device can transfer up to 125mbps, don't know if that is true as I only have a 8mbps connection, and it transfers at about 80% of that speed, which is fine for what I need it for.
The signal is generally good and strong, sometimes it weakens, as does any signal.
I needed this to set up the wireless so had hoped that it would do as it was/is supposed to, and it does, one cannot ask for more, and a lifetime warranty, fab, for less than £20.
I have found that if you have a rear USB slot (no filthy jokes please), the cable is long enough to fit it to that whilst still leaving any front slots free for other devices.
I bought this adapter when I found out that my PC did not have wireless capabilities and that my router dis not come with an adapter.
It took only about five minutes to set up and required hardly any input from me. The instructions provided with the product were easy to follow and the CD needed to install the adapter was simple and clear.
The 'Wireless Monitor' installed with by the CD allows you to keep track of your internet and switch between connections.
As of yet I have had no serious problems with this product. However, there is one complication I have encountered. Whether this is due to my computer or whether it is just my lack of knowledge with wireless products I feel it should not be happenning. Everytime I turn on my computer and want to access the internet I have to right-click on the Belkin icon on the taskbar and click 'Enable Windows Zero Configuration'. This may just be down to an error I have made in installing my wireless connection or may be a problem with my product, however it makes accessing the internet a bit more inconvenient, especially when you have family members who are not very computer literate.
I just uninstalled a D Link 120+ USB WLAN card which I thought MAY have been the cause of the WLAN signal dropping out.
My Belkin G+ USB WLAN adapter was bought about a year ago at least and has served me well. Once it was installed on my desktop (after the D Link 120+ had been uninstalled), the speed increased and the signal was rock solid.
On top of that, the installation was as good as anyone could reasonably expect. I put the CD ROM in the PC, ran the software, installed it, I was told to plug in the G+, the PC recognised it, found my WLAN, told the PC to make the connection and get online. The whole process took about 2 minutes.
The main reason for getting this is the ease of installation (with XP .... I'm avoiding Vista as long as possible). The speed of data into your PC is more likely to be compramised by your ISP and servers than the WLAN card you're using but the difference in price between the slowest and the fastest is so tiny you may as well go for the quickest.
Maybe I'm being unfair to the D Link 120+. It may have a fault but I'd certainly choose Belkin over D Link from now on all things being otherwise pretty much equal (price, spec etc.)