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I access a wireless network with my Macbook Pro. The signal is a little weak and I am seeking to increase the reception without moving the computer or modifying the broadcast, so I am looking at USB wifi adapters. Two questions:
- Do these really result in better reception?
- I see that I can spend as little as $8 or as much as $50.  Does $50 get better reception than $8?

asked 10/25/2011 11:50

allelopath's gravatar image

allelopath ♦♦


13 Answers:
If the Macbook pro is the old module and you have wireless N then the you might get better signal with usb wireless adapter.
 
however if your mac is new and you have wireless N. then it won't do any better.

- as for second question, the low quality one might give you many problems (it could also work fine). it depends, but sometimes I don't trust the very cheap ones much.
hope this helps
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fm250's gravatar image

fm250

the first line should read:

If the Macbook pro is the old module and you have wireless G
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fm250's gravatar image

fm250

So, why don't you check your wireless adapter first and post back!
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fm250's gravatar image

fm250

If you get a USB wireless adapter, check first to make sure it comes with Mac drivers.
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strung's gravatar image

strung

How do I determine if I have wireless N or G?
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allelopath's gravatar image

allelopath

Pull down the Apple Menu to About this Mac and hit More Info. You should find the Airport adapter under the Hardware Tab.
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strung's gravatar image

strung

Nothing under Hardware with respect to wireless.
I see Network -> AirPort, so I will assume this is the correct place to look.
Under there I see:
Interfaces:
  en1:
  ...
  Supported PHY Modes: 802.11 a/b/g/n

So I have both G and N?
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allelopath's gravatar image

allelopath

Yes you have wireless N which supports previous ones G and B.

therefore, you don't realy need a usb adapter. you may look to upgrade your wirless router if it is G. You may also change your DSL if it is too slow.

hope this helps!
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fm250's gravatar image

fm250

Some other recommandations to try are:

- Move your wirless router up on the wall
- put it where there is no solid blocking walls
- turn it off for a while and then turn it back on

hope this helps!
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fm250's gravatar image

fm250

What about something like this? I think this might help because the location of the Macbook Pro is kinda down low.

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allelopath's gravatar image

allelopath

Unless it has Mac drivers, it probably won't work.
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strung's gravatar image

strung

allelopath,
It won't do any good if the signal is already low. if your wireless is far away you may try wireless bridge or extender, it will extend the signal for  you.  

http://www.amazon.com/Nyko-Wireless-Net-Extender-Ethernet/dp/B0000C6EDH

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Networking/Wireless-Network-Extenders/pcmcat161100050044.c?id=pcmcat161100050044  
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fm250's gravatar image

fm250

just as stated in previous comments, a USB adapter will not improve your wireless signal.
you can improve the signal by making sure that your router operates on wireless N only (not the so called mixed mode, aka b/g/n mode)
if the router is already on wireless N only mode and you still experience low connection speeds then your options are to extend the signal either by repeater or wired extension.
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maximus5328's gravatar image

maximus5328

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Asked: 10/25/2011 11:50

Seen: 1145 times

Last updated: 11/02/2011 06:52