I have the old Alfa awus036h which after intense use has become slower and sometimes required unplugging to get re connected. I did drop it some time ago and also got it slightly hot when in a vehicle I am glad I got this one, although I have yet to see any benefit in the 9db antenna. The signal is about the same with the smaller one. This adapter is much faster than the old one though, and page loads are faster. Installation of the software is a pain, but may go smoothly for some of you. On the third try it was a success, just don't give up, it does work eventually, and do not remove the disc before you have fully used it, strange one that. With the old I was getting like, 1.3mbps, with this I can get 1.5 or more, but am reluctant as I may overheat it, so I advise a restriction of data to about 1mbps and keep an eye on the heat. I am only guessing, but heat is a major killer of modern miniature electrical components, so I always blow out the fans with compressed air, making sure battery is out and unplugged with the laptop. I think, keeping this item cool will prolong life, as I did not with the last one. The only niggle I have is that damn bright blue LED. So I have taped a coloured paper over it and now it is bearable. I give this item and the last 10/10, as without these I would be running a three dongle at twice the cost. You will not suffer dropped connections if the signal is low, when this is plugged in, I just wish the UI was more windows friendly **Update 03/11/2013 This self installs windows 8....but, still insert disc and follow procedure to avert later problems as the UI is there for a reason. when installed it is an idea to go to my computer/prog files and search for the software and create a shortcut to the Ui so you can view details about connections and strength etc regards positioning of the item for best signal ***Update 10/11/2013*** Speed of this is quite impressive, I have observed 2.6mbps and no overheating or hard disc overload due to processing that many packets a second. Seems the software has been improved over the Awus036h model as I did have hard disc problem in processing at about 1.1mbps. Also this item has sort of developed a connect/disconnect issue on start up. This lasts for the first 30 seconds when computer is starting, but I have tested it and the same occurs if I start and then plug it in to when a profile is stored. When no profile is stored, ie, no auto connect then the issue is absent. this is for win 7 only. The 9db antenna is either a fake, or useless or I am doing something wrong. I intend to test and will re post, last time, when I have done this, about six/twelve months. The best part of this purchase is the lovely pouch and clip that I use mostly instead of the sucker, which I am always aware may lose grip damaging the adapter in the ensuing fall from wherever it is suckered to. I would recommend this particular seller very much with this exact item as the luxury model has all you will ever need, except the magnetic mount, *****LAST UPDATE 1st june 2016***** My dropping of signal seemed a windows 7 issue, or if the signal was weak, just because it is showing three bars does not mean the signal is strong enough. to test strength i use wirelessnetview, a free piece of excellent software, clunky, but dependable and if refresh rate is set to max it is really not beaten by any paid for signal tester on windows other than inssider (free version) . I have two of these, but the blue model is the faster of the two and more efficient. This item will also provide a satisfactory replacement if your wireless adapter inside your equipment is destroyed as this is a complete separate entity, i have used it in many cases on very old machines or towers that donot have wireless and it has not failed yet, also with the improved range it becomes invaluable.