Amazon.com Product Description Are you tired of running wires through your house to keep your computers networked and connected to the Internet? Have you recently purchased a wireless data card only to discover that you have to open up your computer to install it? Don't worry, help has arrived. With the Linksys WUSB54GC Compact Wireless-G USB Adapter, you won't need power drills or screwdrivers to connect to the Web anymore.
The Linksys WUSB54GC Compact Wireless-G USB Adapter converts a USB port into a 54 Mbps Wi-Fi connection.
All you'll need is an available USB slot. You simply plug the adapter into your USB port, and immediately you'll be connected to your wireless network. It can't get much simpler than this.
By incorporating USB 2.0 and Wireless-G protocols, the Linksys WUSB54GC can immediately begin delivering data rates up to 54 Mbps (five times as fast as 802.11b) without the trouble of running wires or opening up the case of your desktop computer. To install the adapter, you simply plug it into any available USB port. (It's compatible with both USB 1.1 and 2.0 ports, but 2.0 will yield the fastest speeds.) You can plug it directly into your PC, or you can use the included USB extension cord to put the adapter anywhere you'd like, up to five feet away.
Because the adapter gets its power through the USB connection, no power cord is necessary. The included setup wizard walks you through configuring the adapter to your wireless network settings, step by step. The Linksys WUSB54GC lets you put your computer almost anywhere in the building, as long as you have a wireless signal to connect to.
Once you're connected, you can keep in touch via e-mail, access the Internet, use instant messaging to chat with friends, and share files and other resources such as printers and hard disk storage space with other computers on the network. You'll also be able to connect with any of the growing number of public hotspots springing up in coffee shops, airport lounges, hotels, and convention centers.
The new push-button setup feature makes it easy to configure your wireless devices. Just push the button on the access point and on your other enabled wireless device to automatically create a safe connection, protected by the industrial-strength security of Wireless Protected Access (WPA) and 128-bit encryption. This means that your data stays secure.
What's in the Box
WUSB54GC USB adapter, USB extension cable, setup wizard CD-ROM, user's guide on CD-ROM, and quick installation guide.
83 of 87 people found the following review helpful
First off, the good. The stick gets pretty good reception, IMO.
Next the neither here nor there: if you follow the advice of the sticker and run the install CD, it will replace the standard Windows wi-fi zeroconf with Linksys's own utility. Zeroconf is not really all that great, but it would be decent of them to ask you first. If you are used to doing things the Windows way, you'd probably prefer to keep doing so. The Monitor software is not bad, but it has its own faults. You might prefer it t
o Windows, but don't expect any help from your resident Windows expert if you have problems with it.
Next the truly bad: the softwarte mucks around with windows settings (e.g. the notorious GTGINA.dll/logon problem) without asking permission, informing you, or giving you a clue as to who is responsible.
It is utterly amazing this thing earned a Windows compatibility sticker given this. When you buy something with the sticker, you should at least be confident you aren't going to be sucker punched by the software installing unasked for and unwanted "improvements".
This is why this software is not just BAD, it is GRATUITOUSLY bad. It's one thing to make software that is dreadful at what you buy it for (which indeed the Linksys drivers are not), it's another to spread dreadfulness around to completely unrelated functions (which the Linksys drivers do). There is no reason at all for Linksys to do this.
YOU might not have a problem right now, but in the future you may end up with mysterious and uninformative error messages which will have you digging through the Windows registry to track down.
For this reason, I strongly recommend that non-experts avoid this device. I understand that the changes this driver installs are intended to make life easier for non-experts. It may even succeed at this for some. But if you run into problems (particularly later), you are going to have to handle your resident Windows support guy getting very cranky. The problems the included software create are not only completely unrelated to the functions this device performs, they persist even if you don't have the device plugged in.
It is incumbent on a vendor, when replacing standard ways of doing things with a way that is supposed to be "better", to achieve 100% success. Otherwise they leave the poor user high and dry with no viable support. Better obvious flaws that everyone knows about than mysterious, untraceable flaws.
For Linux users, the device works flawlessly, but you have to do the following:
(1) compile the RT73 driver source and install the package.
(2) obtain the RT73 firmware deb or RPM (From the same soruce as the driver) and install it.
Once you do this, when you plug the device in the system should recognize it as a wifi network adapter and give it the device name "rausb0". You then use the method normal for your Linux distro to configure it, either iwconfig on the command line, or the KWifi program for KDE users (also Ubuntu Gnome users).
If you have never compiled a kernel module before, have no fear. Just google for "wusb54gc rt73 compile" and you'll find directions. Follow them step by step and you'll have success.
98 of 108 people found the following review helpful
At first glance, the WUSB54GC Compact Wireless-G USB Adapter is a simple solution for connecting any computer to a wireless network with support for industrial-strength WiFi Protected Access security (this is abbreviated as WPA and includes the newest version "WPA-PSK2").
This is a value option that doesn't require you to open up the computer to install a network interface card. Therefore, it is conceivable to install the USB wireless adapter by following four simple steps:
Step 1. Open the pa
Step 2. Insert the included CD in your CD-ROM drive and install the driver,
Step 3. Plug the adapter into an empty USB port/socket on your computer (do NOT plug into a USB hub as you won't get enough power),
Step 4. Setup the adapter with available wireless network.
I've been using Linksys networking products for twelve to thirteen years, and I've been pleased most of the time with the functionality and simplicity of their offerings at a value price. Through the years I've gradually upgraded from my first Linksys product (a primitive, but also inexpensive, router...sharing a dial-up modem connection on a wired network with a tangle of cabling to match) to my current, fully functional, wireless/wired network that has seven Linksys products attached to it.
This WUSB54GC adapter is the first Linksys device I purchased (or replaced within warranty) that did not require a call to tech support for help to hook it up. USB devices are almost always very straightforward and user-friendly out of the box, but unfortunately I ran into a snag right away.
When it took more than a few minutes to "install" the new hardware and my Windows 2000 plug and pray OS didn't find the new device, I thought that my latest Linksys acquisition was DOA (dead on arrival). Having had more than my share of networking "experience" and dreading the thought of calling Linksys about as much as...[insert bad memories here], I downloaded the latest driver (there was a newer version than the one that came on the CD with the adapter) and installed it. A search of the Linksys website for "Easy Answers" revealed none, and the User Guide included on the CD provided no help. Before giving up and returning the adapter (after checking to make sure the bar code in the package was not destroyed while unpacking the unit), a closer examination of the USB port on my notebook computer revealed "the problem" -- the plug end of the adapter is a flat rectangle that's 1" across with no tapering and the USB socket on my laptop is 1/2" across and recessed about 1/4" so the USB plug wasn't fully seated and the adapter wasn't getting power. Now, you might possibly run into this issue, too, so check your USB ports for clearance BEFORE purchase unless you want to progress to the next step.
Step 5. While unpacking the bubble pack in Step 1 above, you might wonder why this wireless adapter comes with a 5 foot extension cord. I plugged in the extension cord, plugged the adapter into the cord and it worked. So...now I have a wireless adapter with a five foot dongle (oh well...my wireless adapter isn't totally "wire-less"), but my old Linksys PCMCIA network adapter that cost almost twice as much as the WUSB54GC didn't support WPA security.
WINDOWS XP USERS: You will have an issue if you use Fast User Switching (you are using FUS if you have the welcome screen where all of the user names appear); Linksys has a workaround for that problem on their website.
The Linksys WUSB54GC network adapter is small, lightweight and it works well; the connection is very reliable and fast, installation is minimally invasive and the adapter monitor that's part of the driver makes connecting to your network a breeze. It also comes with a three-year warranty.
Here's hoping your installation goes as smoothly as 1,2,3 and 4; if so, your rating will be a 5.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Beware! If your OS is Windows XP and your computer is configured for multiple users who use login screen of Windows XP, this device will disable user login. Linksys support will not provide assistance as they say this product was designed to purposefully prevent use of multiple user login interface built into Windows XP. Search the Internet on:Linksys WUSB54GC Windows XP Userto see many descriptions of this problem.