updated 01:05 am EDT, Thu April 28, 2011
Features amplifier, high-gain antennas for boost
The UA600EX High Power Wireless-N 600mW Professional Series USB Adapter by Amped Wireless is aimed at indoor and outdoor use where a directional antenna coupled with a wireless amplifier can significantly enhance range and strength of signal (up to four times normal, claims the company), including buildings, RVs, boats and other normally-challenging environments. It allows PCs, Macs and mobile devices to connect to 2.4GHz 802.11b, g, or n Wi-Fi networks, and features a weatherproof enclosure and indoor and outdoor mounting kits.
The USB adapter also includes a 26.5-foot weatherproof dual-connector USB 2.0 cable for connecting to a computer or USB-equipped router from where it gets its power. While users can use only one USB connector for basic operation, two are used to achieve maximum performance.
The unit is unusual in that it features 600 milliwatts of output power versus the more-usual 50. When paired with the high-gain single-directional antenna (most Wi-Fi routers have antennas with no gain at all), the device maximizes range output signal strength in a single direction.
The UA600EX does not support the 5Ghz frequency sometimes used by "n-only" networks, but works with the 2.4GHz frequency for maximum compatibility with earlier 802.11 standards. The unit can be mounted on a desktop, wall or pole with the included mounting kits, and features output power of up to 29 dBm, a sensitivity of -95 dBm, and supports WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA Mixed, and WPS security protocols. System requirements for Mac are OS X 10.4 or higher, and for PC are Windows 2000 or higher. Drivers for both platforms are included, and the unit retails for $110 with a street price just under $100.