(Alert -- I describe this unit below. It is selling for $34.99 with a $20 rebate at newegg until July 31. Sorry for the short notice. )
I've had one of these sitting in my supplies area for a while, waiting for me to get around to testing it. I finally got around to trying it out yesterday, and I was well and truly impressed with how well it works and how easy it is to set up.
What exactly does this do? First, it can serve as a wireless router. Most of us already have a wireless router, which takes the internet signal from a cable or DSL modem, and then broadcasts that internet signal to your wi-fi equipped computers and printers.
This device also serves as an Ethernet adapter or bridge, where it receives a wifi signal from my existing wireless router, and serves up the internet signal to a computer without a wifi receiver. For instance, in the basement, I have a 10-year-old Mac that I use to create prints on an old but still good large-format Epson printer. This Mac has a wired Ethernet port to connect to the internet, but it does not have a wifi card that would allow it to connect to my wireless network. This Asus unit, when set up as an Ethernet adapter (which was as simple as connecting it to a computer and selecting a button telling it to work as an Ethernet adapter), receives the wifi signal from my router upstairs, and transmits the internet signal to my old Mac, through the wired Ethernet port. Voila -- the old Mac now has internet and is now part of my home network, so I can transfer files easily to and from it.
I've tried devices in the past to make wifi/Ethernet bridges work, and it would take hours and hours of my time to figure out. I'd figure the thing out, spend another two hours documenting every step of what I did, then the power would go out or the device would stop working. I'd have to spend another hour going over my instructions and getting the bridge to work again. Not with this unit -- it took less than two minutes.
This device can also work as a repeater, where it will accept your wifi signal and then transmit it again, extending the coverage of your wifi network.
It's selling for $34.99 with a $20 rebate at newegg until July 31. I just bought myself another unit. Sorry for the short notice.