USB WiFi adapter?
September 7, 2012 10:16 AM Subscribe
I think I need to get a USB WiFi adapter. Any recommendations? (Bonus points if it also provides a USB port on its other end. Additional information inside, including, perhaps, a question about drivers.)
posted by nobody to Technology (8 answers total)
This laptop (2008 Mac Book Pro running XP SP3 with an internal "Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter") has always had problems with its WiFi card, with the card or driver periodically failing completely and coming back up a minute or two later. During the failure period audio playback seems to stutter. After (or during) a failure period, attempting to disable or "repair" the card/driver usually results in the computer freezing up completely and requiring a manual reboot. (I can safely disable the card/driver right after rebooting.)
I never bothered to fix the problem -- other than a fruitless attempt to update the driver a couple years ago -- since I was almost always using the computer within reach of an ethernet cable, but now I'm at least temporarily in a situation where running a cable isn't feasible.
So far I've just been dealing with the intermittance, but I think it's probably time to get a USB WiFi adapter.
Any recommendations? As mentioned above, it would be great if it also provided a USB port so I could plug other devices into that slot simultaneously, but if that makes for a huge price difference I might go with the cheaper one. (I think I have a USB hub somewhere.)
Alternatively, if it would work, I assume it might be possible to get a WiFi adapter that'll fit in the "ExpressCard" slot, but my googling thus far has suggested those may not work when booted into XP?
Lastly, if someone happens to have a reliable link to a more up-to-date driver to try installing, I'm game for trying that out. (An old discussion thread I found linked to a driver that was hosted by HP that reportedly worked, but following the link leads to a page that only lists Vista drivers now. It's also possible that the driver I'm currently using is as a result of following that link a couple years ago, but I'm not sure. I'm using driver version 18.104.22.168, with Device Manager reporting a date of September 2009, but with the .sys file having a February 2008 date modified stamp.)
Thanks for your help. Apologies for the scattered question here.