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My laptop's internal Wi-Fi antenna is horrible. At my school especially, it can only connect half the time, and when it does, rarely actually assigns me an IP address. I'm looking for a USB adapter that can help me actually get Wi-Fi at school (and anywhere else I might need it too). I'm wary of doing this, because I already have a USB Wi-Fi dongle (Netgear wg111v3), but it's pretty much as bad as my internal one.

I have done some research, and narrowed it down to these two being best for my budget:

So my question is: Which one will give me better reception and reliability?

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From a pure numbers standpoint, the Hiro's 5dBi antenna beats the Panda's 2dBi antenna, and both beat the Netgear's tiny on-board antenna, so it's likely the Hiro will give you the best reception of the three.

You don't specify your budget, but it looks like about $20-ish. If you're willing to go up to $30, the Alfa AWUS036NH has a powerful transmitter paired with a 5dBi antenna. I've connected to access points with one from as much as half a mile away. Assuming you're correct that your connection problems are due to low signal levels (and not high noise levels), it's a good choice.

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  • hmm, i will check out the AWUS036NH. Have you gotten a chance to use it on Linux? A nice feature would be plug and play with linux EDIT: Nevermind, it appears it does work with linux, but needs drivers
    – Blaine
    Jan 8, 2016 at 10:51
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    Works just fine on Linux, and every distro I've encountered has the drivers pre-installed.
    – Mark
    Jan 8, 2016 at 19:15

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