Loyal readers are aware that we are Preparing To Move Computer From Windows XP to Windows 8.1 in our office. We actually have a second computer running Windows XP, though it probably hasn’t been powered on in the last six months. Since there is nothing to salvage on that machine, it will most likely be use to test the Windows 8.1 install before installing on a more important machine.
There is one little problem, the machine is a desktop computer that currently connects to the Internet using a USB WiFi adapter that isn’t supported by Windows 8. Sure, it might work, but there is no official support for it or a current driver to be found. Luckily there are plenty of choices and they aren’t very expensive. Rather than crossing my fingers and hoping for a slim chance I can get the old one to work, I’ll simply get a newer USB adapter.
I’ve been researching the various choices available and my choice for an adapter that delivers the best bang for the buck is the Medialink 300 Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter shown above. It follows the 802.11n standard and is also backwards compatible with older WiFi standards. This means you get a wireless connection that is probably a lot faster than your Internet connection delivers.
For those of you who need to connect a desktop computer wirelessly, this is a very convenient choice. It also could be quite handy if the WiFi on a laptop has stopped working or uses an older standard that isn’t as fast. Of course it can also provide an emergency backup if the internal WiFi stops working. At less than $20, it is a valuable piece of hardware to have on hand.