Since launching earlier this year, the Alfa AWUS1900 has turned heads with its unique look, and its unique place in the market as a low cost USB AC1900 upgrade. If you own an 802.11ac router, especially one with three or four antennas, in addition to getting better range, the AWUS1900 will also give you improved bandwidth capabilities back to your network compared to an internal Wi-Fi card built inside a laptop or desktop.
Alfa AWUS1900 File Transfer Test
We transferred a 1.69 GB file to a network storage devices both with Alfa AWUS1900 and with a conventional 802.11n Wi-Fi card inside our laptop using a Tenda AC1900 router. With the laptop card, it took 350 seconds. The same transfer with the Alfa AWUS1900 took just 70 seconds. That went 5 times faster with the Alfa AWUS1900.
Kali Linux recently announced that packet injection is now supported in release 2017.1 for the Realtek RTL8812AU 802.11ac chipset, which is found in Alfa USB Wi-Fi models AWUS036ACH, AWUS036AC, and AWUS036EAC. According to their web site:
"A while back, we received a feature request asking for the inclusion of drivers for RTL8812AU wireless chipsets. These drivers are not part of the standard Linux kernel, and have been modified to allow for injection. Why is this a big deal? This chipset supports 802.11 AC, making this one of the first drivers to bring injection-related wireless attacks to this standard, and with companies such as ALFA making the AWUS036ACH wireless cards, we expect this card to be an arsenal favourite."
This announcement is extremely awesome in that it makes these products the first 802.11ac USB products capable of injecting in Kali Linux. Pick up yours today for a low price. Need Linux technical support? Visit our support page for details on what type of help our company can provide for Linux users.
2.4 GHz networks have been the most common type of network in the USA for more than ten years. In the last five years, dual band Wi-Fi routers have become more popular, even more so in the last 2 years with the introduction of 802.11ac routers that use both bands. The 5 Ghz band is a shorter range band but is less crowded and generally offers better throughput. The signal to which you are connecting has to be 5 Ghz though for the dual band adapter to connect on that band.
The FCC has more stringent power limits on 5 Ghz capable radios vs. 2.4 Ghz-only radios. Hence, single band adapters can have more power than even the highest powered dual band devices.
As we enter 2017, if you travel often, you will find there is virtually no place that does not offer a 2.4 Ghz signal, but 5 Ghz signals are usually only found in residential broadband modems and routers. Even public places that do offer 5 GHz capability will generally always offer a 2.4 GHz connection as well.
Therefore, if your goal is to be able to detect signals from the greatest distance when travelling, a 2.4 GHz high powered long range Wi-Fi receiver like Alfa AWUS036NH will be the best option. If you want to pick up from further away than your laptop’s stock card but do want to have 5 Ghz capability for home use also, Alfa AWUS036ACH is our highest powered dual band product.
Or, if you want to be covered for all situations, get both. With our low prices, you can get both items today for under $75.00 with free US shipping.
Now available for immediate shipping, Alfa AOA-2409N, a 9 dBi gain outdoor fiberglass Wi-Fi antenna with special heavy duty marine mounting bracket.
Alfa AOA-2409N vs. Alfa AOA-2409TF
Many of you are familiar with Alfa AOA-2409TF, our low cost 9 dBi outdoor antenna from Alfa, and will wonder about the difference. The antennas are almost identical, the key difference is AOA-2409N comes with a special heavy duty pole/PVC mounting bracket. This bracket is not backward compatible with AOA-2409TF because it requires that the connector stem of the antenna be longer in order to fit. Hence, AOA-2409N has a longer connector stem to fit the bracket.
AOA-2409TF is a great option for direct connection to an Alfa Tube USB adapter or Ubiquiti Bullet. AOA-2409N is a better solution when you need to mount the antenna separately.
When shopping for Wi-Fi products, you may have come across terms like 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac and wondered what they mean. Over the years, Wi-Fi technology has improved allowing for faster download speeds and greater range. 802.11ac is the newest form of Wi-Fi technology that offers the fastest speeds yet.Depending on your age, this may bring back memories or it might be a history lesson. In the 1990s, Internet access was commonly achieved at home through dial-up Internet access speeds of up to 56 Kbps (kilobits per second). As broadband permeated homes around the turn of the century, 10 Mbps (megabits per second) connections to a modem were achievable by using Ethernet cables.
Ethernet hookups grew in popularity as broadband speeds increased, but this limited connectivity in multi-computer homes. With prices of PCs dropping, demand for wireless access to home networks grew, and the answer came in the form of 802.11b wireless networking (Wi-Fi), allowing computers up to 11 Mbps of wireless data transfer.
802.11b wasn’t the first type of Wi-Fi but this guide is only meant to touch on past common W-Fi standards. 802.11b had very limited range. In 2003, the first 802.11g standard Wi-Fi products hit the market, offering expanded range and speeds up to 54 Mbps. As time passed and online video streaming and gaming grew in popularity, 802.11n products were introduced- first as drafts, and finally as a standard in 2009.
A brief history of Wi-Fi
|1999||802.11b Wi-Fi introduced, limited range, speed up to 11 Mbps|
|2003||802.11g Wi-Fi introduced, better range, speed up to 54 Mbps|
|2007||802.11n Wi-Fi introduced, increasing speed up to 150/300 Mbps|
|Today||802.11ac offers better range, speed up to 1000 Mbps (gigabit speed)|
Among 802.11n products are varying options, the most common of which are 150 and 300 Mbps. All three of these standards use the 2.4 GHz band. Dual band 802.11n products integrate the 5 GHz band as well. We won’t get into 802.11a, an earlier 5 GHz standard, as it was not commonly used in homes. Here we are in 2014 and we have yet more numbers and letters to deal with: 802.11ac.
What can AC do for me?
802.11ac increases the maximum speed on a network up to 1,000 Mbps (Megabits per second).
When 802.11n was introduced in 2007, most computer manufacturers including Apple chose to use only one or two antennas resulting in a maximum of 150 to 300 Mbps on 802.11n. Therefore 802.11ac is up to three times faster than most 802.11n computers and Macs.
Wi-Fi speeds compared
According to an article by Stephen Shankland, we can expect a billion 802.11ac Wi-Fi devices by the end of 2015. 802.11ac operates on the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands and offer speeds up to 1000 Mbps from your home router. So 802.11ac will be the new norm, but what benefits does it bring beside faster theoretical maximum speeds? After all, your home WiFi has only a 25 Mbps downstream, isn’t 300 Mbps 802.11n sufficient for you?
802.11ac brings the ability to handle more users and traffic from one access point. This prevents congestion and bottlenecks as more users and devices join the network.
According to a Cisco white paper on 802.11ac entitled “802.11ac: The Fifth Generation of Wi-Fi." 802.11ac routers can provide “more available bandwidth for a higher number of parallel video streams.” Sometimes that video buffering message we get on Netflix or Youtube can be attributed so slower ISP speeds. But it can also be because somebody on another computer in your house is trying to watch a video or do a large download at the same time, causing a bandwidth bottleneck. 802.11ac is designed to fix this.
The Cisco white paper goes on to add “802.11ac achieves its raw speed increase by pushing on three different dimensions:
- More channel bonding, increased from the maximum of 40 MHz in 802.11n, and now up to 80 or even 160 MHz (for 117% or 333% speed-ups, respectively)
- Denser modulation, now using 256 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), up from 802.11n's 64QAM (for a 33% speed burst at shorter, yet still usable, ranges)
- More multiple input, multiple output (MIMO). Whereas 802.11n stopped at four spatial streams, 802.11ac goes all the way to eight (for another 100% speed-up). “
A new technology called “Beam Forming” allows 802.11ac to focus Wi-Fi signals where they are needed, rather than broadcasting all signals in a 360-degree pattern.
When signals are broadcast in all directions, the result is a weaker and slower connection. Beam Forming is a “Smart” way of sending and receiving Wi-Fi signals based on where they are needed.
For example, if your router is downstairs and your Mac is located in a bedroom upstairs, rather than broadcast signals in all directions at the same power (including to your neighbors), Beam Forming technology focuses signals toward your bedroom thereby improving your speed and connection.
802.11ac devices are backward compatible with 802.11n and g routers, but you need an 802.11ac router at home to take advantage of 802.11ac specifications. You can still get 802.11n routers in big box stores, but eventually all router offerings will be 802.11ac. New computers will include internal 802.11ac cards, but getting an 802.11ac USB WiFi device for your current computers would be wise. You can use your current internal Wi-Fi cards to connect to an 802.11ac router, but performance will be the same as you get with your 802.11n router.
Alfa Network, Inc. and Rokland are delivering 802.11ac solutions
Alfa Network, Inc. and Rokland LLC have partnered together since 2007 to bring you the best products of the 802.11n and 802.11g standards. We continue to do so with new 802.11ac equipment. This month we have available several new 802.11ac USB upgrades for Microsoft Windows computers, as well as a brand new 802.11ac Wi-Fi router from Alfa, model AC1200R. Click on the items below to learn more about each one.
In summary, 802.11ac is the latest and greatest in Wi-Fi networking and does provide a number of real world benefits from speed increases to the ability of a single access point to manage more connections at once. To make sure your network is compliant, you need an 802.11ac standard router, and it is advisable that all computers on your network have 802.11ac functionality.
This article contains portions reprinted from a trade article with permission
At Rokland, all products on our site ship free every day, with no minimum like $35.00, and no $99.00 yearly subscription for the privilege. The price you see for the item is what you pay, and many of our items have quantity discount boxes on the item page starting at just two pieces, so you can save if you need multiple units.
Low price guarantee
Our sales staff checks on a weekly basis to ensure we offer the lowest prices available online. If you see a price including shipping from another authorized retailer for the identical part, just let us know and we can match the price (quantity restrictions may apply).
In-house customer support, located in the USA
In a recent online survey, one of the most frustrating parts of buying from online big box retailers was a lack of dedicated customer support. Survey takers cited runarounds as the biggest issue. When you want help you don't want to email the big box site to be told to call the retailer to then be told by the retailer to call the manufacturer, to then call and get an overseas call center representative who has never even used the product you are calling about. At Rokland, our techs have used all of our products, and all work out of our Gainesville, Florida office. When we don't know the answer, we will find out for you. We have a selection of online guides and videos to help you, as well as e-mail and phone support.
Replacement or Refund guarantee
If you have a problem with a purchase, we will replace or refund it with the advertised return period, your choice. Almost all Alfa brand products on our site come with a full 1-year warranty (unless otherwise specified) and that warranty is handled in the USA for our US buyers. Some big box cites do not give you a choice or have shorter return policies like 14 days. We understand you need time to test a product and make sure it suits your needs.
Now available is our video guide showing you step by step instructions for updating or changing the firmware version of your Alfa R36 router. Generally if your R36 router is working fine then you do not need to update the firmware. But if you need to change what adapters is supports (for example you own an R36 router used with your old AWUS036H adapter and you just bought the new AWUS036NHV and want to make your R36 compatible) then a firmware update could be necessary.
If you are running Linux and are looking to upgrade your Wi-Fi to the latest 802.11ac standard with speeds up to 867 Mbps, the AWUS036AC is a great option and the guide will show you how to install it.
Also, be sure to check out the HackThis web site for a wide variety of Linux related projects, tutorials, and product reviews.
We are excited to announce the launch of Alfa's AWUS036AC 802.11ac Wi-Fi USB adapter, available today. Supplies will be very limited until July, so be sure to get yours now.
Alfa AWUS036AC brings long range 802.11ac technology to PCs at lower cost than competing 802.11ac products from brands like Netgear and Amped Wireless. It is a new long range dual antenna 867 Mbps Wi-Fi USB adapter compatible with Windows XP through Windows 8. It features two RP-SMA antenna ports, and two 5 dBi dual-band antennas. The antennas are detachable and can be upgraded.
AWUS036AC is capable of receiving and transmitting on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz bands. With 802.11ac standard routers, AWUS036AC can acheive throughput speeds up to 867 Mbps, almost three times that of the 802.11n maximum of 300 Mbps. This adapter is backward compatible with 802.11b and 802.11g networks, but will have limited speed with those networks. An 802.11ac router is required for the maximum throughput.
Each unit includes a USB docking base for optimal range placement. Stock will be limited as demand is expected to be high at this low price point.
***Update June 12, 2014- AWUS036AC is now in stock and available for purchase here.
Available in May June, Alfa's AWUS036AC is a new long range dual antenna 867 Mbps Wi-Fi USB adapter compatible with Windows XP through Windows 8. It features two RP-SMA antenna ports, and two 5 dBi dual-band antennas.
AWUS036AC is capable of receiving and transmitting on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 Ghz bands. With 802.11ac standard routers, AWUS036AC can acheive throughput speeds up to 867 Mbps, almost three times that of the 802.11n maximum of 300 Mbps.
The dual antennas and high receive sensitivity also allow it to pick up Wi-Fi signals from up to 2 times newer internal 802.11ac Wi-Fi cards.
AWUS036AC is backward compatible with 802.11n and 802.11g Wi-Fi equipment. The faster connection speeds allowed by 802.11ac require connection to an 802.11ac standard router. 802.11ac technology cannot increase ISP speed on a specific computer. However it can improve network-wide performance if all computers and the router on the network are 802.11ac compatible. This is because one of the improvements of 802.11ac Wi-Fi is the ability to handle more users on the same network with better bandwidth management. Though ISP speed cannot be improved, throughput to the ISP can be in this case.
Alfa's AWUS036AC will be available for sale here at Rokland.com in May. Rokland is a leading authorized distributor of Alfa Network equipment. We have been doing sales, service, and installation of Alfa equipment since 2007.
Chances are, if you are searching for a new laptop or desktop computer these days, many have low-star reviews primarily because of Microsoft Windows 8.
Microsoft Windows 8 was designed for touchscreen devices, plain and simple. For desktops and non-touchscreen laptops, Windows 7 is a better option. You can't get a new system from a major retailer with Windows 7 anymore, but you can make your Windows 8 computer run like Windows 7 with a few easy tricks.
1. Get your Start Menu back by installing Classic Shell
Classic Shell is one of a number of applications you can download that put a Start menu back on your Windows 8 desktop for easy access to file searches, programs, your control panel, etc. We like Classic Shell because it's free.
2. Boot right to your Windows 8 desktop
The Windows 8 live tile home screen is actually a nice feature- if you have a touchscreen computer or you only need to go back and forth between Internet Explorer and Windows Live Mail. Others may prefer to boot right to their Windows 8 desktop so they can get to work quickly. We can't make the instructions any simpler than Rick Broida of PC Magazine did, so we'll just link to his instructional article.
3. Disable touchpad gestures
Microsoft knew Windows 8 would be deployed on non-touchscreen computers, so they created touchpad gestures that allow you to simulate different taps and slides normally done on a touchscreen. The drawback is this can cause unintended program and screen changes when you are just trying to scroll a page or move your mouse arrow. Chris Hoffman at Makeuseof.com has three ways you can do this.
4. Just Google it!
If there is something else you don't like about Windows 8, just Google it! Chances are other people have already voiced complaints about it somewhere online, and other people have commented with solutions or fixes. What, you want a link to Google too? Okay, here you go.
Alfa AWUS036NHR v2, the newest long range WiFi USB adapter from Alfa Network Inc. is now in stock.
AWUS036NHR v2 features a redesigned interior that enhances quality and functionality. Use it to get much better Wi-Fi range on your desktop or laptop PC. No built-in Wi-Fi card is required, this is a standalone Wi-Fi receiver. Featuring a high end Realtek RTL8188RU chipset, Alfa AWUS036NHR has markedly improved receive sensitivity compared to its predecessor, model AWUS036NH. If you have been holding out on upgrading your 802.11g standard Wi-Fi adapter or your store-bought basic power 802.11n adapter isn't getting it done, now is the time to end the holdout. Alfa's AWUS036NHR combines the fast speed of 802.11n with long range reception for both 802.11g and 802.11n WiFi standards.
Now includes Windows 8 install software on CD
AWUS036NHR will work with any computer that has an available USB port and Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8. It ships with a Linux driver, but this driver comes with no warranty or support. Linux is a user supported operating system and at this time we do no have install guides for specific Linux installs. We recommend searching online using the chipset name RTL8188RU to find out if this is compatible with your Linux distro.
This works on Microsoft Surface Pro tablets running Windows 8 (requires driver download) but does NOT work with Windows Surface RT tablets or other tablets/laptops running Microsoft Surface RT, which looks like Windows 8 but is actually a locked down version of Windows that does not support 3rd party drivers.
Windows 8 users: Get the Rokland Windows 8 app beta today! Just go to the app store in Windows 8, and search for Rokland. Download our app for a new shopping experience.
This app is in beta and will be improved in the coming weeks, so be sure to pass along your feedback.
(Update July 6, 2015: it appears Microsoft's online database now includes the latest INF file for this device which is from Realtek from 12/2009. So you may not need to go through the manual process outlined in the video. Try the following process first, then try the video if no luck: You must be connected to Internet first through internal Wi-Fi or Ethernet for this to work. Go to Device Manager, go to Other section, and right click "RT81787" device, and select Update Driver. Then select "Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software". Allow wizard to finish. Note this process will not work if you do not have Internet access through your internal Wi-Fi card or built-in Ethernet when doing it.)
We have tested the Alfa AWUS036H 1000mW long range WiFi USB adapter on Windows 8. There is also a range comparison to the on-board WiFi card at the end.
On our Toshiba notebook, it was plug and play, no driver needed. In this video we also show how to install the driver manually in case it is not plug and play for you (for this part, expand the video window or put in full screen mode to see on-screen text clearly). There is no official Windows 8 driver for this product yet, so this video details how to install using the Windows 7 driver. The Alfa Client Utility program is not currently compatible, but you can use the Windows 8 Connection Manager to scan for and connect to networks. Let us know in the comments section below if installation was also plug and play for you.
Update 11/15/2013: No video? No problem. Click here to see an online Windows 8 driver install guide for AWUS036H from Alfa Network, Inc. Note that this guide pertains to any Realtek RTL8187L based device from Alfa including AWUS036EW, UBDo-gt8, and Tube-U(G).
Update 7/13/2014: Several buyers have referenced they had an easier time doing the install by taking these steps:
1. Computer must already be connected to Internet using internal WiFi, then plug in AWUS036H adapter
2. Press Windows key + X key on Windows 8 desktop screen and select "Device Manager" from the popup menu
3. Under Network Adapters, click this device once to highlight, then right-click and select Update Driver Software
4. Cick "Search Automatically for updated driver software
This may not work for everyone.
Update 3/19/2016: Our staff and some customers have found that the above process also works for many Windows 10 PCs. Some customers have not had success so this should be seen as a possible solution and not a guarantee of Windows 10 compatibility.
Omni-drectional antenna solutions: Our 8 dBi and 15 dBi gain outdoor omni-directional antennas are both great options for any outdoor need. They concentrate gain in a 360 degree horizontal pattern and are ideal for picking up signals in any direction. Mobile craft like boats and RVs are ideal places for mounting an omni-directional antenna.
Directional antenna solutions: Our 10 dBi panel and 16 dBi yagi outdoor directional antennas concentrate gain all in the direction they are aimed. This helps penetrate obstacles and interference in that direction. While directional antennas can be used on boats and RVs, they are ideal for fixed location mounting. An example would be attempting to cover the long distance between a main building and an out building. The directional antenna can be mounted outside the out building and aimed toward the signal broadcasting from the main building.
Alfa’s AWUS036NHR is Linux
compatible. It also works with Backtrack 5 (BT5), but is not plug and play. Driver
installation is needed (note: at this time it does not appear to be possible to
get AWUS036NHR into monitor mode AND have 802.11n capabilities at the same
time, see Alfa’s AWUS036NH or Rokland’s n3 for 802.11n and monitor
mode capability in Backtrack 5).
The following is a quick-install guide for Linux users. This should allow you to use your AWUS036NHR for Wi-Fi access in most recent Linux distributions running kernel 2.6.38, but as noted, monitor mode does not appear to be supported by this driver. Further down we have a link to a driver that is reported to allow you to use AWUS036NHR in monitor mode, but the corresponding web page notes the device will only have 802.11g functionality.
To install your Realtek RTL8188RU based AWUS036NHR in Linux, first download the driver here. The following steps were taken on an HP laptop running Backtrack 5, but the steps should be similar for other recent Linux distros.
*If you are not able to unzip the driver download file in Linux, you will need to download the file to a Windows computer to unzip and then copy the contents to your Linux computer via flash drive or another method.
1. When you have the files
extracted on your Linux machine, open a terminal window and navigate to the
location of the drivers.
2. Type ./install.sh to install the driver package
3. If installation completes successfully, then you can connect the Alfa adapter to the computer and open “Wicd Network Manager” from the Internet menu to connect to networks. Inside Wicd, click Preferences and change the network device to the AWUS036NHR adapter. If you are not sure of the device name, in a terminal window type “iwconfig” without quotes and it will list it there. Commonly the device will be called wlan0, wlan1, or wlan2 depending on whether you have other wireless cards installed on the computer.
4. If you receive a makefile error about “no rule to make target modules”, you may need to prepare kernel headers. As root, at the command line run these commands (you will need to have Internet access on the computer already):
cp -rf include/generated/* include/linux/
5. Upon completion, repeat step number 2 above to complete driver installation. Then connect the adapter to the computer and proceed to step 3.
There is a driver called urtwn which specifies compatibility with RTL8188RU chipset-based devices, and allows for them to be put into monitor mode. The documentation for the driver explains that 802.11n functionality is not supported, so RTL8188RU devices will only operate in B/G mode. Rokland has not yet tried to use this driver with AWUS036NHR and is not able to offer installation assistance or support. You can visit this site for download information and more details: