W311M is an 802.11n compliant wireless high gain USB Adapter that provides up to 8x faster wireless speeds and 6x better wireless reception over 802.11g products while staying backward compatible with 802.11g/b devices. It connects your desktop or notebook computer with an available USB port to your wireless network for Internet access and file sharing. Desktop users can easily add wireless connectivity without having to open the PC case. It is best for lag-free online gaming, Internet calls or even HD video streaming wirelessly.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
If you want to get on a WiFi network and don't want to spend a lot of money, this is a good option. The drive is very small, is pretty quick to set up (tested on Windows 7 only) and comes with drivers for Windows, Linux and OS X. Nice to include all of that but there are a few drawbacks (see below). The adapter is actually identical in every way to the Zonet ZEW2547 - both are based on the Ralink RT5370 chipset. The only difference is the color and logo on the case.Drawbacks: First, the drivers.
Not included in a standard Windows driver database so you'll need the CD, or need to spend an eternity downloading them from the Tenda website. (Really - the Tenda website is very slow, it took close to 40 minutes on a broadband connection to download the 70 megabyte driver CD .rar file!) If your computer isn't already on a network you won't be able to set this up without the CD. But why would you be buying a WiFi adapter for a non-networked computer, right? Ha ha. On Windows the driver package tries to install a utility along with the driver. Unnecessary, you can skip this. In fact, you don't even need the Tenda driver - you can actually install the Zonet drivers instead, or just download the drivers directly from Ralink. The install package from Ralink or Zonet is smaller and a faster download anyway, and all three drivers seem pretty equivalent - except the Tenda drivers ask for a system restart after install, while the Zonet/Ralink drivers don't.
Second, the range isn't great. Testing alongside my iPhone showed that while my phone was getting a good solid signal from an 802.11n router three rooms away, a Windows 7 machine with this adapter installed was getting only one or two bars and couldn't maintain connectivity. Testing with a computer closer to the router worked fine, so there's no issue with function, just range.
Despite the downsides this is not a bad buy. In fact if you have an older Mac you want to network it might be great - the Tenda driver CD (or at least the download from their website) has two installers for this adapter - one Version 4 that installs on OS X 10.4, 10.5 or 10.6, but there's also a Version 3 installer that has drivers for 10.3 as well. I have an old iBook running 10.3 but haven't had a chance to test it yet... OS X users, note that there are no functional drivers from Tenda, Zonet or Ralink for OS X 10.7, the Zonet driver download doesn't have any functional installer for OS X (.dmg won't open!), and the Ralink site only has the newer V4 driver (so 10.3 users will want the Tenda driver download).
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I bought this cheap, slow, wi-fi dongle (Tenda W311M) primarily for experimenting with a Raspberry Pi computer board. I plugged this into one of the Pi's two USB ports with the Debian image "Raspbian" installed and was on my home wi-fi network, and thus the Internet, in minutes.After a little more research, I determined (and have verified) that this dongle does the two things I needed in order to turn the Pi into a wireless access point (WAP): first, this is based on the Ralink RT5370 chipset, t
hus Linux Debian drivers are immediately available; second, it supports AP (and AP/VLAN) interface modes. Because of this, if you look up how to set up a Pi as a WAP, it shouldn't take long (me: 30 minutes) to have the Pi working beautifully with this dongle. My Pi is doing so and humming along nicely as a stand alone web and ftp server - I can talk to my Pi through the dongle wirelessly to upload and download files, and generally interact with the Pi.
It's also a very small device and fits in nicely to keep the overall footprint of my Pi fairly small. The second USB port is right next to where the Tenda W311M is plugged in and I'm able to plug in a second USB device (a dongle for a SIIG Wireless Mini Multimedia Trackball Keyboard) with no problem.
I am NOT reviewing the speed and the range of the Tenda WM311M whatosever. I also don't care about installing the software since this is running seamlessly on a Linux (Debian) device. So, my 5 out of 5 stars rating is because it does exactly what I want, and it's cheap as dirt.
NOTE: I have bought about six Tenda W311M's so far and every single one works out of the box and exactly the same way.
A nice product in a small package. I have used tenda on all my PC's to connect to the wireless router. Never had any issues. It shipped in a nice box and arrived in a timely fashion. Product exceeds expectations;; installed without a hitch and found my router immediately.