The Alfa AWUS052NH is a USB WiFi adapter built for long range and can be a big improvement over a built-in laptop wireless card or other WiFi dongles without the long range antennas.
It is dual band and used MIMO with speeds at 300Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 867Mpbs on 5 GHz range.
This makes it nice for speed but with it being a USB 2.0 adapter it will bottleneck at 480Mbps which is the max USB 2.0 can run.
Most home internet speeds range from 5-100Mbps so this shouldn’t be much of a barrier.
The AWUS052NH main goal is distance and receiving a WiFi signal from as far away as possible.
This makes Alfa products favorites of wireless hackers an Pen Testers for many years due to their robust Chip-sets and big dBi antennas that can easily be unscrewed and new units put on depending on the scenario.
The average person can also take advantage the range such an adapter can give getting much better wireless connection to a router at a distance than most standard units.
There is a few things to keep in mind though one being even if you can receive a signal a weak receiver such as a router may not be able to receive on the other end.
So while your laptop setup with the AWUS052NH can get a signal when transmitting back something simple as a mouse click may get lost on the other side.
There are ways to improve this such as a router with better range, WiFi range extenders, or even increasing the power output if the Alfa card.
There are a few ways to solve a bad receiver problem.
The main goal of the ALFA AWUS052NH is to improve the distance a signal can be received which it does very well.
The AWUS052NH uses two 5dBi external antennas which will likley be good in most network setup.
If you need more range than larger antennas can be bought and screwed onto the SMA connector.
It is a Wireless-N adapter so it doesn’t use the new 802.11ac.
802.11ac while faster at data transmission works in the 5 GHz band which does not travel as far as the older 2.4 GHz frequency.
This simply has to do with lower frequencies able to travel and propagate better though walls, distance, or other obstacles.
5 GHz was introduced to help relive the congestion on the 2.4 Ghz band.
The AWUS052NH is dual band so it will work on the 2.4 Ghz and 5 GHz range to see which works best for you.
Although it is mainly used with Linux or Windows machines it is also compatible with Macs.
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Alfa Long-Range Dual-Band MIMO Wireless USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter w/2x 5dBi External Antennas – 2.4GHz 300Mbps/5GHz 867Mbps – 802.11a/b/g/n
The Alfa AWUS052NH is a good adapter on many levels and well worth the buy for those looking for a reliable long range WiFi adapter.
Alfa cards are known to be more for the professional and geared toward the techies.
This makes it useful for the many plagued with a bad laptop WiFi card or other computers with a bad signal.
while other factors can also create a bad WiFi environment often the most common and simplest fix is a external wireless USB adapter with antennas that can get a good signal at range.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.