The MN-730 wireless PCI adapter is one of several new Wi-Fi-certified 802.11g networking products in Microsoft's broadband-networking product line. We tested it together with the and were pleased with its ease of use, performance, and security features.
Sure, a USB adapter such as thewould be easier to install--the MN-730 requires opening up your PC--but not everyone has a free USB port, and other people may prefer to use an available PCI slot and leave their USB port free. To Microsoft's credit, the software and the documentation for the MN-730 make the process impressively painless. When you run the Setup Wizard on the included CD, it gathers the necessary information before you install the adapter, then it configures Windows networking on your PC once the adapter is in place. The Setup Wizard also installs the Broadband Network Utility for configuring the adapter once you've installed it, a straightforward process, although Windows XP users can use their OS's Wireless Zero Configuration service instead. Possibly the most daunting step--opening the PC and locating a free PCI slot--is covered thoroughly in the included Start Here booklet. Microsoft also gives you a detailed printed user guide with complete installation instructions, a wireless networking primer, and a lengthy FAQ.
We did uncover a bug in the Setup Wizard software that prevented the application from completing normally when we attempted to use a workgroup name that contained a period. Microsoft tech support worked quickly to determine the cause and promised a fix in a future release.
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|The MN-730's antenna is removable and can be replaced with a directional antenna for increased range.|