Honey, I shrunk the Wireless-N USB adapter

Planex Communication makes a Wireless-N USB adapter that's tiny and works with game consoles.

UPDATED: Corrected the spelling of "GW-USMicroN".

Most laptops these days come with built-in Wi-Fi or even Wireless-N capability. However, if you have an old laptop or a game console that you want to hook to the Internet wirelessly, I've got some good news...and it's tiny.

The GW-USMicroN next its D-Link counterpart. Dong Ngo/CNET Networks

I just got my hands on the GW-USMicroN, Planex's latest USB Wireless-N adapter that the company announced at the end of last month. I've seen a lot of USB wireless adapters and I am generally not impressed with them.

The GW-USMicroN, however, is very different: it's tiny--just about a sixth of the D-Link DWA160, which is already rather compact among USB Wireless-N adapters.

Despite the small form factor, the GW-USMicroN supports Wireless-N with MIMO technology and is backward-compatible with Wireless-G. It supports all encryption standards and Wi-Fi Protected Setup, which allows you to quickly hook a wireless device to a network without having to enter the hard-to-remember encryption key.

I tried it out with our test laptop and got a good signal from it with about the same range and throughput speed as other regular-size Wireless-N adapters.

The GW-USMicroN has one more thing that makes it different from most USB Wi-Fi adapters: it's compatible with Xlink Kai. This means it works with games consoles such as the PSP, PS3, Nintendo Wii, and other Xlink Kai-compliant devices.

The GW-USMicroN will be available in the U.S. sometime next month and will cost around $30.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.


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