External Accessories / Peripherals Discuss any accessories used to enhance your Dell Inspiron Mini experience.

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fdalbor fdalbor is offline
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Default USB wifi network adapter - 02-14-2010, 05:49 PM

I know Dell mini's all come with a wifi adapter; but I was not aware of just how easy it was to use USB adapters with the mini. Adapter's that actually give better performance than the installed adapter.

I have been using a Belkin G Plus Mimo adapter with my disktops for several months and accidentally plugged it into my mini by mistake while worked on my cluttered computer table. To my amazment it booted up in Linux and displayed the choise of either the Belkin wifi or the Dell card. I chose the Belkin USB adapter and was not surprised to get twice as good reception as what I got with the Dell adapter.

I preceded to boot up in Ubuntu; Fedora and Mandriva and get great reception with all three distros. As the card only (Belkin) runs about 30$ at Walmart it would make a great addition to a mini owners stock pile.

Just a little note in case a mini owner is having trouble getting good reception with the Dell card. Oh by the way I did not realize how many people had wifi around where I lived. Take care and good luck. fdalbor


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reflex reflex is offline
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Default 02-15-2010, 04:03 PM

I like the uncluttered look of an internal card. But external USB WiFi adapters should work as well on the Mini as on any other computer (maybe better on the Mini, 'cause its small size means that it blocks less of the signal )


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dirtymoney dirtymoney is offline
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Default 02-19-2010, 12:13 PM

I am a prolific wifi *borrower*. And have found the strongest wifi adapters are ones like this... DealExtreme: $30.92 Afoundry High Powered 600mW 27dBm 802.11b/g 54Mbps USB 2.0 Wireless Network Dongle w/ Magnetic Mount

There are several other similar models on the site but I have the one in the link.

Drill a hole in the middle of a metal mixing bowl , insert the antenna and it becomes aim-able/directional.

I use it for when i am in my vehicle.

I use this ( USB +HIGH dbi Yagi Antenna 802.11 Wireless Wifi 2.4ghz - eBay (item 400103599998 end time Feb-19-10 17:21:57 PST) ) at home for long distance wifi signals. It is basically a wifi adapter wired into the antenna itself.

I am thinking about getting this ( DealExtreme: $18.43 2.4GHz 16dBi Directional High Gain 16-Unit Antenna for Wifi/Wireless Network (SMA) ) and using it with the wifi adapter I linked to above but removing it from the mixing bowl and using it as a mobile wifi antenna.

Note: I see someone on ebay is selling a yagi/wifi adapter combo here... http://cgi.ebay.com/500mW-Wireless-W...item3caa451bc0
You can buy the same components here ... http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.33016 .....and here.... http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.20646 about 6 bucks cheaper.


NOTE: If you buy from dealextreme... be prepared for a long wait time as it is coming from hong kong. I have ordered from them a bunch of times in the last couples of years.

NOTE: also... the wireless adapter I linked to doesnt seem to work well with netstumbler (a free program that allows you to aim a directional wifi antenna).
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fdalbor fdalbor is offline
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Default 02-20-2010, 12:39 AM

Thanks for the info; I too am always looking for something that works better than what I have especially if the price is right.

Before everything an its brother came with wifi; Hawking Technologies made a bunch of really good directional wifi adapters. The one I liked the best was the USB one that came with a dish and kicked your range up quite nicely. Too bad someone stole mine and I have not been able to find another.

Now you are seeing fewer and fewer non internal wifi equipment. I bought my main laptop (Compaq R4000/ Athlon 64) without a built in wifi adapter because I figured it would be better to use add on cards and USB adapters. That way you would be able to keep up to date. I have not been sorry.

With the advent of the USB equipment and the ease of moving them between computers it is starting to look like the way to go. Take care and thanks again for the info. fdalbor


Dell Mini 1010 XP--10.04/Mandriva One/Joli 1.2
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smithwarren1201 smithwarren1201 is offline
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Default 04-24-2010, 09:19 AM

My newly bought wireless adapter is a Dynamode, which costs around $4.50 at bargain store near my office.

The saleslady had a latest model for $10 which she promoted was faster. But I think this one is fine. I thought its size would bother me but I even like the clunky user interface. I haven't bothered to install the updated driver yet but works perfectly fine.

For the longest time, I'm Netgear all the way but Dynamode seems to confirm the theory that most of these devices use the same chipsets and all the brand name signifies is better packaging and support.


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fdalbor fdalbor is offline
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Default 04-25-2010, 12:50 AM

Indeed you are correct. Most of the common chip sets are supported by most of the common OS's. When I first bought the two Belkin USB wifi adapters I could not get either of them to work with Linux. When I emailed Belkin about Linux support they laughed at me.

Now either works with every Linux I try now. With drivers they both work with Windows even as far back as 98SE. My how things have changed.

Even though I am happy with the G and G+mimo I have I am probably going to be shopping for a N pretty soon. Fact is I am a little surprised how most new units are still shipped with G cards. Though in retail stores (even Walmart) I am seeing fewer and fewer G's. Mostly G+ mimo's and N's.

Guest we better get on the boat before we get left on the pier. Take care fdalbor


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