Monoprice's microSD Adapter simple, effective way to add Wi-Fi to your camera

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It's great that camera manufacturers are including built-in Wi-Fi on more and more new cameras, but options for adding wireless functionality to other cameras remain fairly limited.

The easiest way to do it is with a Wi-Fi-enabled SD card like Eyefi. But even those require a bit of effort to setup and use. Monoprice's Wi-Fi microSD Adapter, however, is the simplest around.

At less than $35, it's one of the cheapest options, too, though you have to supply your own microSD card (up to 32GB is supported). That's a negative and positive, though, because at least you're not stuck with one capacity or one card.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

No external network is required to use the card. You just put the card in your camera and power it on. Head to the Wi-Fi settings on your device or computer and you should see the card listed in available networks. Select it, enter the default password that comes with the card, and your computer will connect to the card.

Basically, the card creates a hotspot that up to five devices can connect to as they would to a regular Wi-Fi network. However, you will not have access to the Internet while you're connected, just to the card and its contents. Indoors the card has a range of 16 to 55 feet (4.9 to 16.8 m) and has a maximum outdoor range from about 82 to 164 feet (25 to 50 m).

Unlike other Wi-Fi SD cards, this adapter doesn't need special software or apps, only a web browser. (Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, Firefox, and Chrome are supported.) Open a window and you'll get a brief loading screen as it accesses the card. (If it doesn't start automatically, typing something in the address bar and hitting go does the trick.) You'll then be greeted by a screen full of thumbnails for the images on the card.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Clicking on a picture enlarges it and gives you a smaller thumbnail navigator down the right side of the picture. You can select single or multiple images to download or grab an entire folder with one click. For more than one picture, it will pack them in a TAR file, which can be opened with something like WinZip or StuffIt.

The transfer speed wasn't exactly fast at about 1MB per second for a 130MB TAR file. Single files downloaded swiftly, though, which means it's great for sending one image at a time to a mobile device, but if you're offloading gigabytes of photos to a computer, you're probably better off just using a card reader.

Also, although you can see and download raw formats and video, they're only visible as icons, and JPEGs were the only files with an actual image. If you typically shoot raw, you might want to switch to raw plus JPEG when using this adapter so you can see what you might want to download.

The adapter is powered by the camera, so using the card will shorten your camera's battery life. (The same goes for Wi-Fi built into cameras as well as other Wi-Fi SD cards, though.)

Lastly, since this is an adapter, it could potentially act as a bottleneck if you are burst shooting. My camera didn't feel any slower because of it, but that doesn't mean yours won't.

The Monoprice Wi-Fi microSD Adapter isn't perfect, nor is it feature-packed, but it's still pretty cool. If you want a simple option for viewing and transferring a great shot from your camera to your smartphone to share with friends or family, this is it.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Monoprice Wi-Fi microSD Adapter

Part Number: 111444
MSRP: $34.79 Low Price: $33.63 See all prices