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How to Choose a Wireless Dongle

How to Choose a Wireless Dongle

It used to be the only way to network a group of computers together or access high speed internet connections was with wired Local Area Network cables and Ethernet cards. However times have changed and technology has stepped up for a newer form of networking and internet connectivity commonly referred to as wireless.  Most modern laptops and a growing number of desktops have built in wireless cards but most times these are flawed with poor performance, have limited range, inadequate drivers and can easily breakdown. There is now an easy answer to all of these issues with a Wireless Dongle.

Despite the funny name, a Wireless Dongle can really be a lifesaver by easily replacing the existing wireless fidelity (or WiFi) adapter that came with your laptop. These handy devices are also a great way to add wireless fidelity to a computer that did not have this ability before.  The word dongle refers to any mechanical device that plugs into a computer to access software, hardware, storage/recovery of vital information and there are even some animatronic toys that plug into a USB port. In the case of the Wireless Dongle, it allows communication access for a laptop or conventional desktop computer. There are certainly a lot of options when it comes to choosing the right Wireless Dongle for your needs.

The first thing to consider is what signal format you need or that your wireless hub utilizes. Most utilize the 802.11 G signal since it became widely used and adopted around the middle of summer 2003. The G signal has a maximum frequency transmission rate of 54 Mbps and an average throughput of 22 Mbps. The G signal is backward compatible with older hubs, which makes having to upgrade the router unnecessary. The newest standard is the N signal that you will find most Wireless Dongles utilize. This technology allows for multiple input and multiple output antennas, or MiMo that can utilize both 2.4 GHz signals and the little utilized 5 GHz signals to improve signal range and transfer rates dramatically.

The size of a Wireless Dongle is vastly different between manufactures. As the technology is improving and becoming more available to research and development firms, it is getting more compact without cutting range and signal strength. Size of the first generation wifi dongles were the size of current cell phones and had long antennas protruding even further. Now these devices are quite compact and comparable in size to thumb drives and micro receivers for a wireless mouse.

There are many places to purchase these wonders of technology. Local computer shops have a large selection, as do many large retailers and can even be found at some large truck stops. Online shopping will turn up a plethora of options to purchase a Wireless Dongle as well. Some companies are selling them through many online auction sites as well if you want compete against someone for a good price. Anyway you look at it a Wireless Dongle is handy to have. 

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