Hawking HWU54D high-gain USB wireless-G adapter review: Hawking HWU54D high-gain USB wireless-G adapter

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.8
  • Design and ease of use: 5.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 9.0
  • Service and support: 5.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Superspeedy maximum throughput; excellent range; WPA security; adjustable panel antenna; small form factor.

The Bad Extremely poor documentation; toll-based tech support; subpar support Web site.

The Bottom Line The HWU54D's convoluted setup guide will baffle newbies, but tech veterans capable of successfully installing it will love the adapter's awesome performance and versatility.

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Hawking HWU54D high-gain USB wireless-G adapter

The Hawking HWU54D high-gain USB wireless-G adapter embodies Wi-Fi's best and worst. The small device includes an adjustable antenna that can help improve signal strength, and its maximum throughput speeds are the fastest we've seen to date in a wireless USB adapter. However, the HWU54D's quick-installation guide and user manual are among the worst we've seen for any wireless product. If you're comfortable with the technology, get this device for its excellent speed and range. Those entirely unfamiliar with Wi-Fi should consider the Buffalo wireless USB adapter instead.

Like the Gateway WBU-110 , the HWU54D receives power through the USB cable that connects it to your computer, so it doesn't require an AC adapter. Its paddlelike antenna bends 180 degrees forward and back, helping you adjust it to point toward your router. Two LEDs on the front show when the device is powered on and picking up a Wi-Fi signal.

The HWU54D high-gain USB wireless-G adapter's quick-installation guide and user manual are so bad, they're almost laughable. The brief, pocket novel-size guide includes minidiagrams and screenshots with literally microscopic text. Each and every one of the screenshots in the short manual was captured at such a low resolution that text appears grainy at best and illegible at worst. At least the manual provides comic relief through suggestions such as using the device for "surfing the Web while you read a book in the park."

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Where to Buy

Hawking HWU54D high-gain USB wireless-G adapter

Part Number: HWU54D Released: Jul. 24, 2004

MSRP: $129.00

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jul. 24, 2004
  • Data Transfer Rate 54 Mbps
  • Connectivity Technology wireless
  • Interface (Bus) Type Hi-Speed USB