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Old 11-01-2019, 04:06 AM   #1
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WiFi Adapter For Your Notebook * How To Connect To A "Hotspot" From The Parking Lot

To connect your PC or Laptop to a "Hotspot" when you are visiting Walmart or Home Depot or Lowe's, we have had very good success with this ASUS USB (5GHz) Antenna Adapter which is also very small and you just plug it into your usb port!

https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-USB-AC68...595543&sr=8-22

Can Anyone Do Better Than The ASUS USB-AC68 WiFi Adapter With High Gain Antenna at any price under $300 or $400?

I have used other usb antenna adapters before... however, I had to buy this one in Aug-2019 because my old WiFi USB Antenna Adapter-drivers would not work with my new laptop.

I'm; not sure why. I think it's because the new notebooks have USB-3.0. (Does anyone know for sure?)

Anyway, this Asus WiFi antenna works very good. I can park outside of Lowe's or Home Depot and log on to their hot spot and get very good data rates.

Note 1: I'm not saying you can stream video, but I have when I get 2+ bars!

Note 2: The mini-CD driver that comes with the Asus Adaptger is a joke; but I suppose it's the cheapest way to ship a driver with the antenna. ...And since my notebook does not have a CD-drive, I just went to Best Buy and copied the mini-cd to my usb stick on one of their machines, and that worked.

I don't know i Asus provides a driver download. I think they do, but I was on the road without internet so I had to improvise. Consequently, I would recommend you obtain a soft copy of the Asus Driver for Windows 10 before you install this antenna adapter on the road.

Closing point: An "Adapter" will bring up a new network setting. So to use these antenna boosters you may need to "right-click" on your WiFi icon and select the Adapter. In addition, these "Adapters" are not the same as a Range Extender.

===

Here's another "Adapter" that may work, but I have not tested their drivers out. This one was very much like the old Adapter I use to have and the antenna gain was very good. However, I did find the long antenna wire to be a problem, but if you want a roof mount WiFi Antenna... this one might be better then the Asus. TBD I may test it out in a couple months.

TUOSHI 2.4Ghz Outdoor Long Range Wi-Fi Antenna | 36dBi High Gain USB Wi-Fi Extender Antenna for RV & Marine & PCs

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...GY70NXYH&psc=1


Note: Usually a 2.4GHz signal will travel further distances vs 5.0 GHz, but a 5-GHz signal will most usually download 2-4x faster depending on the signal strength.

Therefore, the Toushi at $40 maybe better for us RVers in general; and it's cheaper! ...But then again, if you connect faster and easier with the Asus Adapter, because it's newer technology, you may want to pay the higher $80 price.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:10 AM   #2
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Very interesting. I may just get one. I do suspect that there is new software to make it work with Windows 10 or a new laptop. I have run into problems lately because most Home Despots and Walmarts have shut down their outdoors wifi, probably to discourage people hanging out in the lot. I have to get signal from the peripheral stores which are weaker. I wonder if it works even better if stuck outside the window.

Answering your question there are serious WiFi antennas available in that price range and they tend to be connected to routers via Ethernet cables. Some are even directional.USB looses to much signal. I asked that question in an P2P discussion board and got answers but I can't remember which. Keep looking. I am going to try that ASUS one myself!
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:32 AM   #3
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I would think the store WIFI is for customers while shopping, not someone who is parking for free staying overnight.

Please don't kill overnight parking for those of us who have their own WIFI on board.
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:50 AM   #4
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Help me here. I have found myself left far behind in the bewildering world of modern electronics.

How do these ‘gadgets’ work on a laptop that already has a built in radio and receiver like mine does. Is there an worthwhile advantage gained?
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firedoc View Post
Help me here. I have found myself left far behind in the bewildering world of modern electronics.

How do these ‘gadgets’ work on a laptop that already has a built in radio and receiver like mine does. Is there an worthwhile advantage gained?
It’s basically a booster. It will amplify the signal/make it stronger. Example would be just like the OP stated, if you’re inside say a Lowe’s, the signal is pretty good, but if your several hundred feet away in the parking lot you might not be able to connect, these antennas can increase the signal/range allowing for connectivity.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanK View Post
I would think the store WIFI is for customers while shopping, not someone who is parking for free staying overnight.

Please don't kill overnight parking for those of us who have their own WIFI on board.
WiFi at establishments like these are not secure and they are not monitored by anyone looking to see who is connected. It’s not a big deal.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:35 PM   #7
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Antenna Gain Picture + Computer WiFi Adapter

This is how I look at the problem & solution:

You need a router for your PC to "handshake" to. This establishes a WiFi connection.

Your PS has a Network Adapter (driver) that does ???? (Who cares.)

So on one hand you have a hardware device (the antenna and your PC); and on the other you have software driver technology (with or without updates). And together you can amplify your antenna so it has a longer range to RECEIVE & TRANSMIT data.

The stronger your antenna reception and transmission the more data your computer can gobble up at either frequency range. Note: Newer router-transmitter-extenders are now broadcasting at 5GHz; and this newer technology will let you receive more data (and bandwidth) vs. the older 2.4GHz technology. (See previous bar graph.)

I think your laptop only produces 3 millivolts of power. So your PC alone only has so much antenna range "built-in." And some laptops receive WiFi better than others, but for the most part they all are about the same these days. (1x to 1.5x let's say.)

When you hook up one of these 10x USB "Adapter" units (Acer 5GHz or Tuoshi 2.4GHz) they will come with a software driver you need to install. Fortunately, these manufactures provide relatively easy driver installation software. Just click on the setup.exe or some other file they instruct you to open. Unfortunately, not all driver software is compatible with today's USB-3.0 port or maybe the bluetooth option in my laptop causes USB problems? I don't know. The point is that you just have to try it and see if it works for you or not. And if it does not, then you can return it.

The Toushi 2.4GHz may have longer range or it may not. I have not tested it. But I did have a very similar Adapter-Antenna, made by a LG division in China, and it worked quite well. It also came with 20' of cable, but I never installed it on my roof. If you want to do that then you may or may not get better range. Note: Pointing these antennas at your target "hotspot" may or may not work either. You just have to try.

Driver Installation: When you install another "Adapter" it will show up under a "New Name." And you need to select it when you plug in your USB antenna. (Right-click your mouse when you hover over the WiFi symbol in the bottom right corner of your screen.)

Now your computer will have more antenna gain, because the USB power can boost the signal strength by 10x. (I think.)

This results in a dB gain, but it's never as high as these USB Antenna/Adapter people tell you it is. However, it's good enough and is a life saver when you are on the road.

Forget about buying one of these Adapter-Antenna things at Best Buy. They only sell Router Extenders and these require you to set them up through your router log-in software... which you don't have access to. This is one reason that makes connecting to a "Hotspot" different than when you are connection at home.

The picture below shows you a 3D look at how antenna gain can be made directional. As for antenna theory, it's been around as long as AllanK. So I'm sure he knows what he is talking about. (Haha)

Side comment: I think everyone should have one of these things too!

That and this portable LED LiIon Light for less than $20 on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:36 AM   #8
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This Just In: BearFi 2,4/5.0 GHz Adapter On Amazon

I'm going to order this 5.0 GHz "Adapter.Antenna" and will let you know what I think about its performance in a couple weeks.

https://www.amazon.com/Bearifi-BearE...APBR6W7HRWF23E

As you can see, I think the hardware is the same "China-Stuff." If so, then it's the software driver upgrades that are taking advantage of the higher data rates and bandwidth.

If anyone finds a better "Adapter-Antenna" please let us know.

Note: Manufacturing is from China, but the technology is coming out of LG-Korea. At least that's a possibility. So don't be surprised by this. Why? In the USA we have cell phone towers everywhere, but in China and other parts of the world they lead in Inverter Technology (For Cheap) and in "Adapter-Antenna" technology. They lag in software development, but that's changing fast.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:37 AM   #9
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I have to add that, with most small adapters the advantage is not that they work any better but just that I can put them on a short extension and dangle them out the window thus getting past the Faraday cage that is an RV.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:47 PM   #10
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Review of BearFi AC 5.0 GHz Adapter-Antenna vs. ASUS-USB-AC68

So I ordered the BearFi AC 5.0 GHz Adapter On Amazon and it's working great!

I do like the performance a little better than the 5.0GHz ASUS model mentioned above, because the BearFi has better signal strength and very good data speeds.

Turns out that both use the same "Chip" in the antenna and the same RealTek Driver, which was easy to install once you download the right driver off the BearFi website:

https://bearextender.com/support/Bea...11AU-Mar19.zip

Note: Both come with a CD to install the driver from, but this will not do you any good if your laptop does not have a cd-drive.

To purchase the BearFi AC Adapter-Antenna go to:

https://www.amazon.com/Bearifi-BearE...APBR6W7HRWF23E

===

If you just need a small antenna with very good antenna gain and 5.0GH/2.4GHz bandwidth then go with the ASUS "Y" Antenna Adapter. However, if you have more room for 25' of cord and a larger antenna, then go with the BearFi AC Adapter-Antenna.

And since the BearFi antenna is made for outdoor installations, you could drill a hole in your roof and mount the antenna on top of your roof. This may or may not give you better antenna gain. (TBD) Also you can point the antenna at your desired target, but to be honest with you the gain is sufficient where that will not be necessary.

Both the ASUS and the BearFi are the best Adapter-Antenna on the market we know about for under $500.... and both are priced in the $50-$90 range. The BearFi AC unit is less expensive, but then again it's bigger.

https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-USB-AC68...595543&sr=8-22

Can Anyone Do Better Than The ASUS USB-AC68
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