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Edimax EW-7718UN Draft N 2.0 USB Adapter - Edimax EW-7718UN Draft N 2.0 USB Adapter
Although the selling point here is the aforementioned Draft N support, you can of course use any of the older standard wireless connections should you need. This also extends to security, with the adapter supporting older and frankly insecure WEP encryption as well as newer and the more secure WPA and WPA2 standards that use secure AES encryption. Ultimately this is as thorough a feature set as you're likely find, while the price at just over £25 is by no means extortionate either.
Installation is as simple as you would expect from a USB device. You simply plug in the device and the device driver will install itself - it's a genuine plug & play experience. Should you require a few more advanced features you can install Edimax's own predominantly competent if slightly complicated wireless management software, however the great majority will find Windows' wireless management more than adequate.
Performance is decent too. An important requirement of any wireless adapter is that it is reliable, and in this the Edimax nMax cannot be faulted. Having used it extensively in all sorts of environments it has never let me down, never dropping a connection unexpectedly or freezing up. Unlike some adapters it doesn't run too warm either, so it's unlikely to overheat and die during prolonged use.
This reliability proved particularly useful during frequent marathon sessions of Team Fortress 2, with connection speeds remaining unwaveringly consistent throughout. Much the same can be said of streaming video and music, which was smooth and hassle free.
Wireless range was excellent too, both in Draft N and other wireless modes. It managed to pick up decent signals from several wireless networks around the house, while signals weren't lost the moment you moved location.
Overall then, this Edimax Draft N Wireless Adapter performs admirably and can be relied upon for all sorts of tasks. It would make a great addition to a Home Theatre PC for streaming video wirelessly, with the Draft N also allowing for greater signal strength and range. It's keenly priced too, making it something akin to an impulse buy if you were already considering moving to Draft N. Moreover, though it's unlikely too many changes to the standard will be made before certification, this adapter is cheap enough that were that to happen it wouldn't hurt too badly.
If you want Draft N Wi-Fi on your media PC or notebook then this is a great option. It's reasonably priced and well featured and performs reliably and consistently, which is all one can really ask.
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