The Trendnet TEW-429UB 802.11g wireless USB 2.0 adapter proved easy for us to install, thanks to its straightforward installation guide. To delve deeper into the adapter's features, we turned to the TEW-429UB's user guide, which is also fairly well organized (though in need of a spell-check). The guide provides solid explanations of both the adapter's hardware capabilities and its comprehensive software configuration utility. The network configuration utility allows you to create various profiles for the different networks you access regularly; manipulate security settings, such as WEP and WPA keys; and search for hot spots while the adapter is plugged into your computer. The utility also displays the same pertinent info on each network (channel, signal strength) that shows up on the LCD when the device is disconnected from your system.
In our anecdotal performance tests of the TEW-429UB, the adapter achieved acceptable data transfer speeds. Using CNET's BandwidthMeter, we tested the device at various times and locations, resulting in real-world throughput that ranged from 3Mbps up to 40Mbps. These speeds are more than sufficient for the basic tasks of the typical traveler, such as checking e-mail and surfing the Web.
Trendnet includes a generous three-year warranty with the TEW-429UB 802.11g wireless USB 2.0 adapter, though its telephone support terms are thoroughly disappointing. Not only are the support lines open only Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, the tech support number is not toll-free. The company's support Web site isn't much better: at press time, the site's FAQ database turned up a big goose egg for issues related to the TEW-429UB.