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Wi-Fire – WiFi antenna promises extended range


The Wi-Fire WiFi Antenna is designed to provide an extended range for your Wi-Fi connection, so you can theoretically access the Net wirelessly from up to 1000 feet away from your router. The guys at the company sent me one to test out, and so I put it up against the latest and greatest Netgear Wireless N router/USB dongle combo, which is supposed to be the bees knees in terms of range and effectiveness.

Installing the Wi-Fire was easy, and in minutes I was testing the thing out on an aging Tosh Tecra I have lying around. The result was a tie. I found that the Wi-Fire and Netgear dongle both gave me around 2 bars when used out in my back garden, which usually fails to grab any signal at all. So in one way the Wi-Fire definitely works, but then again, upgrading your WiFi kit to the N spec would also seem to do the trick. Neither of the two gave me anywhere near 1000 feet of coverage by the way, so we’re still in bogus fantasy land as far as this goes.

The big difference between the two options is price. The $59.00 purchase price for the Wi-Fire is less than you’d spend on upgrading your modem/router to N spec, and not a lot of older laptops support the upgraded spec anyway, so you would probably have to invest in a matching dongle too. From this point of view, the small antenna is probably a better bet. I’m going to keep testing it to see whether I can get improved results, maybe on different machines

 The Wi-Fire is a compact, range-extending USB device that enables you to access a wireless Internet connection from up to 1,000 feet away–three times the range of your internal wireless adapter. The Wi-Fire uses a powerful directional antenna, highly sensitive receiver and proprietary software to find and enhance normal WiFi signals. With it, you can connect wirelessly to the Internet–even at low signal strengths–faster, more reliably and with a more consistently strong connection–than you are able to with an internal wireless adapter.

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