The USB wireless adapter does not require you to open up your computer case for installation, so it is much less complicated to add to your computer than an internal network interface card. Netgear makes several models of its wireless adapter to accommodate different usage scenarios.
If your notebook computer does not come with wireless, a Netgear wireless adapter allows you to easily connect to your wireless network. Installing an internal card is rarely an option with a laptop, and smaller-scale laptops such as netbooks have a limited number of interface slots.
Older desktop computers may not be compatible with PCI wireless network cards, but the USB interface is supported without conflict. The USB wireless adapter gives the older computer a way to get on your wireless network for Internet access. USB wireless adapters are also useful for people who are not comfortable with installing a network card in their computer. The USB adapter installation process takes only a few minutes, and most of that is used by software installation.
When the onboard wireless networking capabilities of the computer are not working, the card may be damaged, dead or experiencing drive and incompatibility issues with another device on the computer. You can use the adapter to get Internet access on the computer you are troubleshooting without having to worry about replacing the malfunctioning card right away.
Netgear makes three different categories of USB adapters: simple-sharing, work-and-play and high-performance. The simple-sharing models are basic USB wireless adapters that have a straightforward installation procedure, low price and straightforward usage. Work-and-play models are compatible with wireless N networks for faster download speeds, along with backward compatibility with wireless G. High-performance Netgear models utilize dual band, so any wireless interference is minimized. The high-performance models are the most expensive of the three categories.