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    Product Info
    Name: Netblaster II
    Company: Sohoware
    Price: Click To Find Lowest
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    SLCentralHardwareReviewsNetworking Aug 18th, 2019 - 8:21 PM EST
    Sohoware Netblaster II 802.11b Wireless Networking Kit
    Author: Chris Oh
    Date Posted: August 17th, 2001
    Rating: 8/10 SystemLogistics

    Installation

    This has got to have been the easiest installation I ever had. I think it was even a little bit easier than the D-Link units we tested. Software installation and drivers weren't so picky this time around and installed without a hitch. In my last review, I mentioned cross-platform compatibility between multiple OS'es. Here's the snip: "Several boxes with different OS's can communicate with each other regardless of their specs or contents. For the test, I set up the wireless AP in my living room with a connection to a D-Link switch in port 3 with 2 other computers connected in ports 1 and 2. A DSL modem is connected to the uplink port on the switch. In the directions, it says to make sure that the AP and adapters are a good few feet away from components that might cause interference such as a computer or a monitor. After installing the Access Point, I powered it up and went to install the wireless adapter in my sister's computer in her room about 125 feet away. There are about 3 walls to get through to get to her room so this is a good testing environment. The 3 computers all use different versions of windows. There was one with Windows 2000, one with Whistler Beta, and the other with good old Windows 98 (sister's PC)." The great thing is that I still have this setup so I can test the Sohoware unit on the same platform as I did the D-Link unit. When Installing, I noticed that signal strengths are indeed stronger as I moved the hub farther and farther from the computers I had. As for moving the adapter farther from the computer, this is a no-go since it actually goes into the computer. Installation this time went without a hitch again. I plugged the hub into my router and it fired right up and detected the connection and the adapter once installed, detected the signal coming from the access point. For the heck of it, I used a USB D-Link adapter also to see if I can make the it and the hub communicate effectively. I had my doubts, but when I changed a setting in the control panel of the D-Link unit, it detected the Sohoware hub and started to get signal from it too! I was really impressed at how this network protocol made everything so easy, even with units from more than one company. As soon as I got my network up and running with everyone visible on the network, I started the testing.

    Usage

    Nothing special at the least, until you think about all that data floating around your head. Since this acts like a normal Ethernet adapter, it's just not any different if you've experienced an Ethernet connection before. Filesharing, printer sharing, Internet access is all shared and available although not at breakneck speeds. I was a bit annoyed at the slow transfer times of music files but was satisfied at the speed of the Internet connection and effective sharing of the printer. I also noticed that the Netblaster II PC Card lost almost all signal reception, when I had my hand under the PC Card obstruction which is the antenna but reception was fine when I had my hand above it. This is not a plus if you do your laptop computing on your bed where the comforter can muffle the underside of the antenna and cut your signal to a crawl.

    >> Performance/Benchmarks

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    Article Navigation

    1. Introduction/IEEE 802.11b Networking In A Nutshell
    2. Specs
    3. The Kit
    4. Installation/Usage
    5. Performance/Benchmarks
    6. Pros & Cons/Conclusion

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