- Created on 31 May 2009
The majority of people these days utilise wireless networks for their internet and content sharing. Of course in order to utilise wireless networks, the PCs or devices to be connected must be WiFi enabled. Various standards of WiFi connection are available from 802.11b through 802.11g to the latest standard 802.11n. Each standard allows for increasing maximum data transfer rates up to 150Mbit/s for the latest 802.11n standard.
Possible the easiest way for enabling PCs to use WiFi networks is through using USB WiFi dongle, which are very easy to fit (requiring only a free USB port) but the downside is that they obviously stick out some way from the port and are rather prominent. The latest Sandberg WiFi dongle aims to improve on previous dongles however and not only has a great set of specifications, but it also is considerably smaller than other WiFi dongles available on the market. The Sandberg WiFi Mini Dongle measures only 33mm x 16mm x 6mm (including the USB connector), therefore reducing the amount by which the dongle protrudes around the side of the laptop or PC it is employed in.
The specifications are excellent with support for the latest 802.11n wireless standard and back compatibility with the 802.11b & g standards. The dongle has a built in antennae and a transmitting power of 13-18dBN giving it a range of ~100 meters inside and ~300m outside and fully supports WEP, WPA, WPA2 and WPS encryption standards.
Setup is very simple, following installation of the Ralink wireless client, it is merely a case of plugging the dongle into a free USB port (preferably USB2.0) and then configuring the wireless connection security settings using either the Ralink client or Windows Wireless client. We found transfer speeds were as fast as expected when connected through the office Belkin N Wireless router. Range was on a par, if not better than, the internal wireless card of our Dell D420 laptop.
If you need to upgrade or make a laptop or PC WiFi enabled with the minimum of fuss, the Sandberg WiFi Mini Dongle is a good bet epecially given the excellent customer support the Sandberg provide with a dedicated helpline and also a 5 year warranty on the deivce. At ~£35 its definitely worth a look and certainly compares favourably to other more expensive USB WiFi dongles both in size and price.
Amazon: Sandberg WiFi Mini Dongle