In an effort to help our fledgling economy, I’ll be posting lists of items that I think are great buys on the Internet. Many of these items (I hope) will make great gifts for your friends and families as well. My first list is related to the growing trend to make your home or office wireless! Here are my quick picks for 802.11b/g equipment that you can easily setup:
SMC Elite Connect Universal High Power Wireless PC Card
This neat PC card installs easily into your laptop and gives you *boosted* range for Wifi connections, including 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g. You’ll consume more battery power, but this is a great card to have handy in those situations where you need to grab a distant Wifi signal. This card has been a life-saver for me on several occasions, especially when I present at conferences.
D-Link Wireless Cable/DSL Router 4-Port Switch
Price: $58.99, after mail-in rebate: $34.99
If you have a cable or DSL modem at your home or office and haven’t shared the connection with an existing router and you want to eventually upgrade to wireless connectivity, this unit is a steal. It currently has a $25 mail-in rebate, so if you buy this at Buy.com, you’ll be paying about $34 for it. I thought this was such a great deal that I bought two! (Note that the rebate is only good for 1 unit.)
SMC Barricade g High-Powered 2.4GHz 54Mbps Wireless Router
Price: $80.07, after mail-in rebate: $55.07
This offering is pretty much the same as the D-Link router, but it offers a great range with the wireless coverage. I ordered this one in hopes that it will outperform my current Linksys WRTG54. Even in our 2-bedroom apartment, I lose connection to the Linksys router when I’m in the living room. With the extra signal boost in this unit, you should be able to increase the range of your coverage in your work environment.
Netgear Wireless Travel Router
Price: $78.88, after mail-in rebate: $58.88
I’ve saved the best for last. If you tend to travel to a lot of hotels that offer wired connections in the rooms, this little router is designed for you. It’s lightweight and has a much smaller form factor than a traditional wireless access point or router. Essentially, you can plug the wired connection in your hotel room to this travel-sized router, and bingo! You’re set up for instant wireless with your laptop. What I really like about this router is that many hotels charge _per machine or device_ for the high-speed Internet connection. With this device, you can get away with only incurring one charge with the hotel while sharing the connection with all of your devices, from your WiFi-enabled Pocket PC to your Centrino laptop or Apple PowerBook.