Buffalo AirStation Wireless USB Keychain Adapter review: Buffalo AirStation Wireless USB Keychain Adapter

Our Labs tests were a mixed bag, with 19.1Mbps throughput at close range--less than half the throughput of Netgear's WG111 device. While this bandwidth is more than adequate for tapping into the Web via a broadband access point, it's slow for file transfers. At 200 feet, where most radios are running out of range, the Buffalo Keychain Adapter pumped out 9.3Mbps of bandwidth, making this the Wi-Fi adapter for those with lots of territory to cover or dead spots. Notebook users should be careful because the device sucked down 40 minutes more battery life on our ThinkPad T43 than the laptop's built-in Wi-Fi adapter.

Buffalo provides a two-year warranty, which is a year shy of the coverage provided by Linksys and Netgear and far short of Belkin's lifetime guarantee. The company's Web site has general FAQs, current drivers, manuals, and an online registration page, but its knowledge base has no mention of the Keychain Adapter. Buffalo's Web site lacks helpful setup videos, an online chat room, and user forums, all of which can help reduce start-up anxiety among networking newbies. Should you have a problem, Buffalo provides 24/7 toll-free phone support, as well as an e-mail support center.

CNET Labs maximum throughput tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Throughput in Mbps  
Netgear WG111
44.4 
Hawking Hi-Gain USB adapter
23.1 
Buffalo AirStation Wireless USB Keychain Adapter
19.1 

CNET Labs long-range throughput tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Throughput in Mbps at 200 feet  
Buffalo AirStation Wireless USB Keychain Adapter
9.3 
Hawking Hi-Gain USB adapter
6.4 
Netgear WG111
6.2 

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Buffalo AirStation Wireless USB Keychain Adapter

Part Number: WLI-U2-KG54-AI Released: Nov. 1, 2004

MSRP: $89.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Nov. 1, 2004
  • Data Transfer Rate 54 Mbps
  • Connectivity Technology wireless
  • Interface (Bus) Type Hi-Speed USB