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AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter
Break out of the crowded 2.4GHz wireless band and achieve blazing wireless speeds using this AC1200 Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter from Monoprice!
This adapter allows you to add dual-band wireless connectivity to your PC, Mac, or Linux desktop or laptop computer. It provides up to 300Mbps bandwidth on the 2.4GHz band and up to 900Mbps on the 5GHz band. It supports Wi-Fi® Protected Setup (WPS) and includes two detachable 5dBi antennas for improved wireless range. The package includes a USB extension cradle with a 68" cord for the adapter, so it can sit on a desk instead of being tied to the location of the USB port on the computer.
This adapter is compatible with Windows® XP or later, Mac® OS X® 10.4.x or later, and Linux.
Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of Wi-Fi Alliance.
Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple Inc, registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Questions and Answers
Of course, this is still a pretty new SKU, and only a small cause for unease but given the churn that can be expected with major upcoming operating system release(s), it'd be a lot more reassuring to know someone was maintaining the software to keep this thing running well into the future.
PROS: - Surprisingly good build quality, much better than my reference point of a PID 8076 from a few years back
- Better reception than PID 8076 (3-5 bars about 40 feet from the AP with a lot of other Wi-Fi networks in the area, vs. 1-2 bars from the 8076)
- The USB extension cable/dock is nicely built, and actually pretty stable despite its small size
CONS: - Current drivers aren't easy to find.
- As you'd probably expect, the included "management" software is just silly. Unless you really need to use some of the super-obscure features, don't bother installing it: just point Windows' driver update dialog at the Driver\Windows\RTWLANU_Driver directory on the CD.
PROS: Adapter worked great with AC1200 router with previous Mac operating system. Prompt RMA service.
CONS: Driver and therefore adapter won't work with current Mac operating system.
PROS: Works as advertised
CONS: Can't seem to find the drivers on the internet, so the CD is necessary to install into Windows.
PROS: Once you get the drivers, it works. Mine's currently about 50 feet from the router and hasn't cut out at all. It's only been in use a few days so far. Looks pretty futuristic on the desk.
CONS: As a novice Linux user, I failed to install it using directions on the provided CD. Luckily, another monoprice customer (Thanks, MW!) posted helpful instructions. They require an ethernet connection, however. The adapter's antennae are bulky, so the extension cable is a must.
PROS: Had no problems getting this to work once the drivers were installed. Take note that I did not use the CD.
CONS: None so far
Using in an old 32-bit original edition MacBook in OS X 10.6.8 to get some more performance than the built-in 802.11g Airport (54 Mbps spec) when used with Apple 802.11ac Airport Extreme WiFi router..
It does improve performance markedly. Was getting about 20Mbps (Megabits/sec) with original, am now getting about 150-160Mbps, nice cheap upgrade. Will test on newer computer to see if USB 2 (nominally 480Mbps, but usually half that or less in real life) is throttling performance. Testing was done by transferring 760MB .mp4 file between 2 computers on my LAN, not over Internet, so the speed results are fairly pure.
Install was not as given in the little booklet. The Icon for the connection in System Preferences Network is for Ethernet (double-ended arrow, not 4-bar fan like Airport), a bit disconcerting. The installer reported my AppleUSBEthernetHost.kext was improperly installed but it worked anyway.
Testing: I turned off built-in Airport to ensure using the new one, and the pref pane showed it but it was inert. Starting the included Wireless AC Network Utility got me most of the way there, and typing and confirming the WiFi password for the router got me connected. It nicely named and saved the connection info including passwords. Be sure to keep this utility handy in your dock, as removing and reinserting the dongle or its USB cable connector requires running the utility again to reconnect. System Preferences may not be needed for setting up/reconnecting.
Be nice if the included utility showed some basic info as seen when OPT-clicking the icon for the native Airport in the menubar: PHY mode (802.11b/g/n/ac), channel , transmit rate, width of band (20/40/80 MHz), and provided more controls so I could try to tune things, maybe correct mis-settings, but it does give a nice speed boost as is.
BTW my Mac Mini situated 3-4 feet away typically gets 190-224 Mbps to the same router using 802.11n with an 80MHz channel when moving huge files.
PROS: Inexpensive, gets decent speeds compared to 802.11g wifi in older computers
Cable and stand are nice, keeping this alien visitor-looking device at a distance, and allowing placing it closer to the router by a few feet
Utility uses only a bit of CPU power and can be quit after establishing connection
Utility has room to remember a number of profiles (for different routers/passwords/locations)
CONS: Not enough info availableabout the wifi channel characteristics nor controls to help select appropriate parameters. I don't know whether I'm running n or ac
Installer a bit wonky as is the icon in 10.6.8 Network prefs
Instructions don't quite match real-world installation experience
I have also used the adapter a little bit with a Windows 7 laptop. There is not much documentation that I found, so it is a little confusing about what to do although I eventually got it working after installing. Seems to work OK although I'm not sure how it has affected my builtin wifi networking when I don't have the adapter connected. It seems like the builtin wifi is now working a little differently but I'm not sure. The adapter does improve my PC laptop connections in the difficult wifi environment where I use the PC ad Mac laptops.
PROS: much improved reception for G and N networks
CONS: sometimes the driver app has to be restarted on Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9.5
The laptop had another wi-fi driver and hardware installed. Immediately upon installing this extender the system hung on boot up. I was using the USB bus for this unit and so I would not expect a collision for the drivers. I backed this driver out and was fortunate enough to get the system back. I would have uninstalled the native wi-fi driver the laptop came with but I didn't want to risk it. The laptop was not the primary target for which I wanted to use the extender. So not a show stopper problem here.
However the desktop that I put it on has also had problems. The system boots OK and some times gets a broad array of wi-fi signals in the area. The problem is that it is flaky. Way flaky!
I've had some times when it has worked quite well for an hour or so. Then I've had times when the Windows 7 system seems to be having some kind of sporadic problem causing an audible and video "hiccuping" when booting up. After a time it works itself out.Then I may or may not see the wi-fi signals around me. Many times there is no signal at all. This desk top is a brand new system that has had no problems until this install. NETGEAR Nighthawk X4 AC2350 Smart Wi-Fi Router is the unit I'm trying to hook up to. Sometimes it gets connection but cannot see the internet. I'm going to re-install the driver because it seemed to work better when first installed. I'm will now uninstall and reinstall the unit again and see where I am at that point. The desktop has no other wi-fi unit to interfere with this unit. I'd sure want this unit to work I will report back.
PROS: Seems to have good range.
CONS: Driver problems. Serious to the point of not being usable.
Thank you for your review and truly sorry to hear about your experience with PID 11443. For troubleshooting purposes have you tried adjusting the antenna or testing in a different room? Another thing you can try is changing the Wi-Fi channel to see if the connection improves. Please let me know if anything changes after reinstalling the unit. Thank you in advance!
PROS: Good construction
Included base/extender stand allowing best placement
CONS: None found
To my surprise it did!
PROS: As soon as I plugged it in I noticed the difference. I work from home quite often and for the price this was just what I was looking for.
CONS: Have not experienced any cons yet