Simplified Networking with a Wsky USB NIC

I used to share an office with my wife. We both needed Internet connections, with both desktops needing Ethernet cables. That was fine when my DSL router was in the office, but at some point we got a new provider and the connection to another room, where we put the new router.

That was an interesting time as I needed to get a range extender when range extenders were rare. Many people used OpenWRT to flash one of a few devices and build a range extender. I almost did that, but discovered a Securefi Almond router that would to the same thing, give me Ethernet locally and extend my wi-fi. That worked for years, but seems to have lost some capability recently. Despite this being connected to a UPS and surge protector, it can’t find some networks and loses its range extender capability about once a week. The speed has also been flaky, seeming to lose some bandwidth at times.

I’m alone in the office, but still need Ethernet, or so I was thinking. As I priced range extenders, I realized that I really only need one port, and I don’t need more range anymore. So I looked at wireless NICs instead. I found the Wsky Wireless adapter, with lots of capabilities, good reviews, and low cost. I ordered one and when it arrived, I started the install.

It comes with a mini-CD, but I don’t have a CD drive anymore. I mean, why? So I found the driver on their site and downloaded it. I ran install, rebooted, then plugged in the adapter. It found my network, I entered the password, and inside of 5 minutes of opening the box, I was connected.

My wife has tried 3 or 4 different USB adapters, with various success. All seem to die in 9-12 months, which isn’t what she wants, but most of them are < US$20, so it’s hard to be too upset. Both of us remember paying $100 for NICs in our careers.

I’ve had this a week, and it appears to work better than my Almond was working. We’ll see how things work over time, but for now, this cleans up my spectrum of wireless devices (2 other routers) and I have one less thing to plug in.

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