Recently my wife volunteered me to fix her friend’s old laptop. The friend is a teacher and had recently begun taking her notebook PC to school with her, but couldn’t connect t the school’s wireless network.
Within a couple of minutes of booting up the PC the problem jumped out at me – the old Toshiba Satellite lacked a wireless adapter. To resolve this I ordered the ZyXEL NWD2105 Wireless N Adapter from NewEgg. It costs just $9.99 and I got free 2 Day shipping.
The Wireless N Adapter is tiny so it doesn’t get in the way. It comes with a USB extension cord and an installation CD. The installation CD may not be needed with Windows 7 (I can’t remember the last time I needed one), but I did have to use it in this case – perhaps because the notebook was running Windows XP.
Start off by installing then the device drivers and ZyXEL utility and then reboot the computer. After restarting Windows you can plug the adapter into an open USB port. Windows installed the new device and within a minute or two it automatically connected to my home wireless network.
My experience with this device was brief – I couldn’t do any extensive testing since I had to return the laptop to it’s owner, but it worked flawlessly upon installation. $9.99 is certainly a small price to pay to, not just make an older PC more usable, but get it right up to the latest WiFi standard of 802.11N.