Linksys WPC54GS Wireless-G notebook adapter with SpeedBooster review: Linksys WPC54GS Wireless-G notebook adapter with SpeedBooster

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Service and support: 8.0
  • Design and ease of use: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Reasonably priced; good security features; helpful configuration utility.

The Bad Speed-enhancement feature works only with other SpeedBooster products.

The Bottom Line The WPC54GS offers a decent bang for the buck and is an excellent choice if you plan to use it with other Linksys SpeedBooster products.

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Linksys WPC54GS notebook adapter with SpeedBooster

The Linksys WPC54GS notebook adapter with SpeedBooster adds extra speed to the already fast data rates of 802.11g and is Linksys's answer to the speed-enhanced Netgear WG511T and the D-Link DWL-G650 XtremeG PC Card . In order to take full advantage of the WPC54GS's speed-enhancement feature, however, you'll need to pair it with Linksys's SpeedBooster router . The WPC54G also works with standard 802.11g and 802.11b gear, but it scales down its data rate to match these devices' slower data rates. With good security features and a low price of around $50, the WPC54GS is a bargain, and it's an excellent means of adding Wi-Fi to a laptop, especially if you plan to use your laptop with other SpeedBooster devices. However, if you already have speed-enhanced equipment from another vendor, we suggest that you stick with that brand so that you can take advantage of the increased data rates throughout your network.

Setting up the Linksys WPC54GS notebook adapter with SpeedBooster is fool-proof. The adapter comes with a printed quick-installation guide that walks you through the process, which consists of installing the software on the accompanying CD and inserting the PC Card into your laptop. This takes about two minutes. The guide also gives you instructions on how to disable the Wireless Zero Configuration tool built into Windows XP so that you can use Linksys's Wireless Network Monitor to configure the WPC54GS. You can use either utility to manage the WPC54GS, but we recommend that you use Linksys's configuration tool because it provides more granular information about available network connections. For example, the Linksys Wireless Network Monitor lets you see the operating channels of neighboring networks, which can help you avoid interference by identifying a less crowded channel for your own network.

The WPC54GS includes support for WEP and WPA encryption. This makes the adapter both backward compatible with networks using older and weaker WEP encryption and forward compatible with networks that have already moved, or plan to move, to the newer and stronger WPA encryption scheme.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Linksys WPC54GS Wireless-G notebook adapter with SpeedBooster

Part Number: WPC54GS Released: Apr. 1, 2004
MSRP: $69.99 Low Price: $14.98 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Apr. 1, 2004
  • Data Transfer Rate 54 Mbps
  • Connectivity Technology wireless
  • Interface (Bus) Type CardBus