Netgear RangeMax Wireless USB 2.0 Adapter? Don’t Waste Your Money
So I’ve been looking for a way to get better wi-fi reception with my laptop and stopped by CompUSA on the way home from work on Friday to see what they might be able to suggest. The sales clerk at CompUSA (I know, perhaps the last person you should ever listen to) suggested that I try the Netgear RangeMax Wireless USB 2.0 Adapter. On the box the RangeMax Wireless USB 2.0 Adapter claims, “up to 1000% more coverage and speed than standard 802.11g.” It also has a claim to “turn dead spots into hot spots.”
My experience? The thing is completely useless. It works no better than the built in wi-fi that my laptop already had. Even when I plugged in the long USB cord and stuck the USB adaptor on the end of it (I assume so that the cable would act as an antenna of some sort), I still received no better reception.
In teeny tiny print on the box is a disclaimer by Netgear that reads, “maximum performance when used with WPN824 RangeMax Wireless router.” When I asked about the requirement to use this so called WPN824 RangeMax router at CompUSA the sales clerk said yes that it would be better with that but that it should boost reception for any signal. I didn’t actually need 1000% more coverage. I just needed a little more coverage to get the free wi-fi signal that now is being run in the Ferry Building (that I’ve yet to be able to connect to by the way even within proximity of the router which I’ve been told sits near the Ferry ticket stand downstairs — I can see the signal downstairs but it won’t connect).
So with this adapter I still can’t even see the free signal being broadcast inside the Ferry Building from the Ferry Building itself and it looks like I’ll need to make one more stop on my way home from work today to return this $110 gizmo back to Comp-USA.
I might not be as bummed about this except the last time I had to return something to CompUSA (a Seagate 300 gig external USB storage drive that was completely non-functional) it took me over 45 minutes to do so.