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on 16 October 2013
I've been using this kit for over two years now and I can thoroughly recommend it. It's a MUST HAVE for seasoned travellers not wanting to get ripped off with high broadband charges.

I first saw it being used by a German yachtsman in Mahon Harbour (Menorca). He said that he could pick up the free WIFI signals of harbour-side restaurants from his boat moored 1 mile away across the other side of the harbour. Considering its bargain price against the very high tariffs of all those other WIFI suppliers I thought it worth a try.

And it works!

For example, I spent a weekend at the Malvern Hotel last year where broadband was available free via WIFI in the reception area downstairs but chargeable in the rooms (via a plug-in cable). I tried my Toshiba NB250 Netbook (great little tool because I really need a hardware keyboard) in my room. No joy. I plugged in the Alfa kit and it immediately picked up the free WIFI service from way downstairs. Great.

I've also used it on a cruise ship where I could pick up the free land-based Wifi services as we entered harbour.

Today I'm in the Algarve using the same little netbook to write this review. I also have with me a Macbook Pro, an iPad and a Samsung Mega smartphone (OK. I'm a writer). I am staying in a sprawling development of single storey apartments and the free WIFI service is based around the manager's office some 100 yards away (and behind another building). None of my equipment can access this free Wifi service further away than about 10 metres so I started off by checking my emails on my phone as I walked past the office after parking my car.

But I am writing and sending this review sitting inside my apartment (with its steel patio doors open) and my Alfa kit is providing me with a very strong free Wifi service from the same office.

That's why it's great.

The software's easy to use too. It scans for signals, tells you their strength and security system and you click the one you want and off it goes. It remembers the details of your previously accessed services too.

And the kit includes a host of aerial mounts too. The basic one is the box with the aerial. This can be stood on a desk. The aerial has a universal joint at the bottom so it can be swung in any direction. I have always found vertical to be the best direction. Then there's a cradle to hold the box that holds the aerial. This has a strong bull-dog type clip at the rear. This is what I use with my laptops. I clip the holder onto the top of the screen with the holder behind it. Then I adjust the aerial to Vertical. The connecting cable is nice and short too though easily long enough to plug into one of the USB sockets. Finally there's a sucker which also attaches to the cradle. This allows the aerial to be mounted on a window (such as a car window). There is no situation I've found where I couldn't use one of these options to mount the aerial.

Buying this signal booster is a no-brainer - especially if you're fed up with high broadband or Wifi charges. It will pay for itself in the space of 2-3 hours.
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on 14 July 2011
First off I should say I got great customer service from the seller. However, the device doesn't work under Windows 7 64-bit, because the drivers are wonky. If you've ever dealt with WLAN driver issues before, you'll recognise Realtek's dancing blue crab icon as a clear signal to "steer well away", and that's definitely the case on Windows 7.

On my MacBook, I plugged it in, fired up KisMAC, switched to the correct driver (RTL1817) and it worked great, so I know there's nothing wrong with the hardware. However, installing the Mac drivers also failed under Snow Leopard.

So... I now have a piece of kit that I know works, but comes with totally rubbish drivers that make it unusable. I hear it works fine under XP> Make your own mind up whether to buy.

UPDATE! I did manage to get it to work on my MacBook Pro. To do this, I installed Windows XP Pro in a VMWare Fusion virtual machine, downloaded the drivers for XP and installed them in the virtual machine. Then plugged in the Alfa and told VMWare (Windows) to control it. Works perfectly (though only from within Win XP). A compromise, but at least it works somehow!
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on 14 April 2011
I had suffered from poor bandwidth (1-2 'bars') for several months living in a rented apartment in Greece. I had previously tried a couple of USB 'boosters' which did nothing to improve things. One last try - and I bought this gizmo. After considering the reviews from users, I opted for the cheaper 1000mw model. Absolutely wonderful. Reception raised to 5 'bars' and several additional wifi 'hotspots' revealed. I can even use my netbook several rooms further away from the wifi aerial where I never used to be able to receive a signal at all. Wonderful value for this piece of kit, and delivery was the usual excellent couple of days. I CANNOT RATE THIS BOOSTER TOO HIGHLY. If you are having wifi reception problems, do not hesitate - BUY NOW. (The suction cup attachment works wonderfully well also, even if it does look a bit Heath Robinson.)
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on 31 March 2014
Before I say anything negative I want to point out that it works fine.

It feels cheap, it is clearly cheaply made, however as a piece of tech it works great. I used to get 2 bars (whatever that actually means) and now I get 5 most of the time. I plugged it in and it worked straight away. It did seem to die for an hour or so inexplicably however that seemed to be a one off. I have had this for quite a few weeks now and have not encountered any other problems. 3 stars because it works but it's a ugly and feels cheap. (I'm a designer who needs fast internet access and this does the job).
It was a good price at the time of purchase, it arrived quickly and work well. Overall it's worth buying if you need better signal "capture".
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on 28 November 2013
I got this because i want to have wireless in some parts of my office that are 2 far from the rooter and couldn't get any signal.

With this device i can get 4 or 5 bars of signal and the speed test gets me 15Mbps download and 5Mbps upload. So from no signal i get all of this. (got 100Mbps internet when connected by cable)

I read on some US reviews (there are some really tecnical ones..) that you should turn off youre wireless card while using this one to avoid conflict, don't understand why but i do it and it works great. To use in windows 7 t is just plug and play! coundn't be easier.

I spoke to a friend and he told that this device dowload and upload speeds would always be limited to the usb cable. So i did a test, 1st connected by my internal wireless card on a place where i could get 5 bar connection to my internet. Got 50Mbps download and 11Mbps upload.

In the same spot i turned off the wireless card (pressing the button that all laptops have today) and connecting this antenna. Got 18Mbps download speed and 5Mbps upload. This gave me a good idea what my friend was saying, that the usb connector limits your speed. If youre getting this it is because you can't get wireless or your signal isnt good enough.

Would recommend this to anyone and i'm getting 2 extra ones for my girlfriend and one for my vacation house.

Really well impressed, good job!
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on 29 September 2011
Quality wifi card for use with BackTrack 4 and 5 because it can go into monitor mode and does packet ejection. Great for pen testing.

However, this isn't a card for a beginner to use in Windows XP who has no clue about computers as the disc that always comes with the Alfa's are always REALLY bad. Does work in Windows 7, I use it in that sometimes, but it was a pain to get the right drivers. They are on the disc, it's just working out which one to use.

Regarding the ones that have given this one star. Semi ignore them because they, no disrespect, don't know what they are doing, but they do highlight how complicated it is to get working properly at times. Suddenly rebooting back into Windows and finding a login screen has nothing to do with the Alfa or what it has done.

Works out of the box in Backtrack 4 and 5 though.
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on 8 July 2015
Wasn't impressed with this. I did order the wrong one by accident, but realised that this is a very old product being sold at the same price and often more expensive than the modern equivalent. It doesn't support modern Mac OS, and of course it's only 802.11b/g. Drivers seemed clunky on Windows, and was the antithesis of plug-and-play.

My advice - unless you particularly need something that supports older standards, get the new version, it's £2 cheaper, and ships in much less time.
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on 10 July 2013
I purchased this because I'm studying for the CEH v7 exam, and this uses the Atheros chipset which is widely regarded as the most compatible with Aircrack-ng / airodump.
It's a pretty handy piece of kit, particularly if you use a Linux variant since they all support this chipset natively.

The only downside is that it doesn't support 802.11n over 2.4Ghz, but what do you expect for £20?!

I also wish I'd purchased the directional antenna for a few quid more. I've come across a couple of wireless network troubleshooting situations where the higher gain and directional capability would have been handy.
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on 10 October 2010
Great Item for sniffing and playing with wifi. I used it on linux, and it worked right out of the box. A note however, it starts at 500mw, you have to manually change the value to 1000mw. Can find networks that are out of range for most wifi adaptors, although it might not connect to them. Great injectability to other networks. However, it does crash if you monitor and inject at the same time, not always, but in some cases. Nevertheless a great adaptor if you know what you are doing.
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on 25 May 2014
First point I like to make is, THIS IS GENUINE ALFA, I did get ripped off on a site Aliba or something, fake alfa no antenna and half the price, This is genuine the signal is great and the potential for this product is great, 14dbi panel can gain a much longer range I will be testing that soon, but I live in a tower block, my old adapter picked up 3 wifi signals this picked up 23! I live away from the road and i even managed to pick up bluestar bus wifi from my bedroom as it went past looking out the window the bus was a good 30 meters away. I will have some fun with this when I get different antennas. Great product got it next day, all genuine. Couldnt ask for any more
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