News

February 23, 2016

Understanding mode switching in Realtek RTL8812AU 802.11ac Windows drivers

So you just received your brand new 802.11ac USB adapter, capable of 867 mbps, and you plug it in and run a diagnostic program and wait, what’s this? It says it is a USB 2.0 device? You run another diagnostic program and it says the same thing! You know that USB 2.0 is only capable of 480 mbps. So the adapter is not really 867 capable after all….hmmmmm...but wait, actually it is.

The reason this happens is because the driver switches between USB 2 and USB 3 modes as needed.

These devices are backward compatible with older networks that have speeds below 480 mbps, such as 802.11n 150 and 300 mbps networks. The default mode of these USB 3.0 devices according to diagnostics is USB 2.0. When you are not connected to any network, this is the mode that will be displayed. When you connect to an 802.11n network, or a 1T1R 802.11ac network, the adapter will stay in USB 2.0 mode because the max speed of 480 for USB 2.0  is more than your network connection rate.

But connect to an 802.11ac network above 480, such as an 867 mbps 802.11ac 5 GHz network, and then check diagnostics again. Now it shows USB 3.0 as the mode. The chipset uses smart switching to go into either mode depending on what type of network to which you are connected.

Read more →

April 11, 2015

Video guide- how to update Alfa R36 firmware

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.

Read more →

March 14, 2014

Alfa AWUS036NHR v2 Windows 8.1 Driver/Client Utility now available

Incompatibility issues with Alfa AWUS036NHR v2 and Windows 8.1 appear to be over with the release of this updated Client UI/Driver release from Alfa Network, Inc. We have tested it to be stable. Previously Windows 8.1 use would result in a crash on plug-in of the AWUS036NHR adapter, or shortly after plug-in unless the Client Utility application was manually uninstalled via Control Panel first.

Many have asked us how they know if they have Windows 8.1. The short answer is unless you purposely upgraded from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 in the Windows app store, you have Windows 8. But to be sure, it is easy to check. On your Windows 8 home tile screen, pull up the search box and type "Control Panel". Inside Control Panel, click "System and Security" and then click "System". Look on that screen for "Windows Edition". If it says Windows 8, you have Windows 8. If it says Windows 8.1, you have Windows 8.1.

If you have problems with this driver update and need help, please click the Support menu option up top and contact our support department. Blog comments are not regularly reviewed by our staff.

Read more →

August 31, 2013

Alfa AWUS036NHR v2 (version 2) now in stock!

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.

Read more →

October 26, 2012

Alfa AWUS036NHA open source driver information for Linux

The Alfa AWUS036NHA uses the Atheros AR9271 chipset and does not support Linux directly. There is an open source driver available for Linux use.

http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/ath

Please note we post this link as an informational resource only and are not currently able to provide support for this open source information or for installing or using AWUS036NHA in Linux.

Update 10/31: Alfa Network, Inc, has posted this useful how-to on their blog.

Read more →

August 01, 2012

Alfa R36 for AWUS036NH and AWUS036NHR now available

We now have Alfa R36 for AWUS036NH and AWUS036NHR in stock. This is the new version that does not support AWUS036H. We also carry the AWUS036H version here.

R36 is a unique WiFi router from Alfa Network, Inc. which allows you to share a WiFi connection from your AWUS036NH or AWUS036NHR WiFi USB adapter. It is the only router on the market that allows the input to be a USB WiFi adapter (the USB WiFi adapter must be Alfa brand, and must be one of the compatible models listed). Using its repeater mode, you can receive a long range WiFi signal on the R36 and share it with other WiFi enabled devices like tablets, game consoles, and other computers.


Read more →

February 24, 2012

Alfa UBDo-nt8: 150 mbps outdoor Wi-Fi client + 12 dBi antenna

If you have been in the market for an outdoor weather resistant Wi-Fi client, the new UBDo-nt8 from Alfa Networks is an excellent choice. It features a 150 mbps 802.11n wireless receiver built into an outdoor weather resistant casing. It contains two mast-o ring mounting rings and a 8 meter (~24 feet) USB cable with a special dual-Y USB connection end that goes into your computer (features both a power/data connector and a secondary power-only connector so that you can use 2 USB ports on your computer to provide full power to the device without needing an external power source for it). Read more...


Read more →

February 07, 2012

Alfa AHPE305 200 mbps powerline bridges- very small form factor

New to Rokland is Alfa AHPE305. These 200 mbps powerline ethernet bridges offer fast throughput to your ISP, while leaving room for other devices to be plugged in at the outlet. Sleek and lightweight, AHPE305 is the perfect powerline bridge for home or travel.



Read more →

January 05, 2012

Top 5 Alfa Network indoor USB Wi-Fi adapters

Need help deciding which Wi-Fi adapter to get? We make it easy with our new feature that ranks indoor Alfa Network Wi-Fi USB adapters by both range and speed. When you are buying an Alfa adapter, you really can't go wrong either way as all Alfa models get good range and speed. But our new rankings show you the ones that get the best overall range and the best overall speed so you can decide which will be the best for your needs.

Our range rankings were created based on a test of which adapter could see the most networks in total. Our speed rankings were created first based on which adapter had the fastest overall connection speed to the router. For those adapters that had the same maximum connection speed, we sorted those based on which had the fastest overall throughput speed to our ISP based on a throughput test. Because this can vary based on ISP and router model, we also averaged in feedback from customers about which model had the fastest througput.

We did not include outdoor models from Alfa, these rankings are just for indoor models.

Read more →

December 14, 2011

Twelve Days of Savings at Rokland

Every day from December 13th through the 24th we will have different daily deals as part of our "Twelve Days of Christmas" promotion. To see what items are on sale on a given day, just click here.

Note the coupon code at the top of that page- to save on the items displayed you will need to enter that coupon code during checkout.

Read more →

November 29, 2011

Alfa AWUS036NEH compatible with the Viewsonic VMP75

If you are an owner of the ViewSonic® NexTV® VMP75 Full HD 1080p network media player, you might be happy to know you can increase the range of your Wi-Fi connection with the AWUS036NEH long range wireless USB adapter from Alfa Network.



Alfa's AWUS036NEH is a sleek yet compact 802.11n Wi-Fi USB adapter with an external RP-SMA antenna port. You can use it with the included 5 dBi gain antenna, or upgrade the antenna should you require even longer range. Note the above images are not to scale with each other, the AWUS036NEH is smaller in size vs. the VMP75.


Read more →

November 21, 2011

Now available- Alfa R36 USB-enabled Wi-Fi router for use with AWUS036H

This may just be the coolest product ever made by Alfa Network. Have you ever wanted to pick up a Wi-Fi signal from far away? Well of course, who hasn't. And Alfa has their AWUS036H 1000mW USB adapter for that very purpose. But have you ever wanted to have all of your Wi-Fi capable devices- like your iPhone, iPad, wireless printer, TiVo DVR, and laptop- all connect to a Wi-Fi signal far away? Perhaps you're living in an off-campus apartment and you already own an AWUS036H from Alfa. That lets your laptop easily pick up the campus Wi-Fi network, but it doesn't do any good for those other devices, putting you in quite a fix.



Exit fix, enter R36. The R36 is a new USB-enabled wireless router from Alfa Network, Inc. that allows you to attach your AWUS036H Wi-Fi adapter from Alfa directly to the router itself. Then you can scan for and connect to far-away networks using the admin utility built into the R36. This creates a new local Wi-Fi signal right in your room so all of your Wi-Fi capable devices can pick it up. Think of the R36 as a normal Wi-Fi router, but instead of using a cable or broadband DSL modem as the Internet source, it uses the Wi-Fi signal detected by the AWUS036H as the Internet signal. The R36 then repeats this signal around you as a new signal. The base package does not include an AWUS036H Wi-Fi receiver, but we do have this special kit that includes both.

Alfa's R36 can also be used with Alfa receiver models AWUS036EW and Tube-U(G).

Read more →

October 28, 2011

Now available- Alfa AIP-W411 low-cost 802.11n wireless router/access point

Rokland now carries AIP-W411 from Alfa Network, a 150 Mbps Wireless 802.11n router designed specifically for small business, office and home networking. With a built-in 4-port Ethernet switch, and an RP-SMA antenna connector, AIP-W411 gives you everything you need at a fraction of the price of today's retail-shelf routers with similar features. You can connect the included 5 dBi gain antenna to the router, or use a higher gain antenna you already own or may plan to buy. Many of today's 802.11n routers do not have an external antenna port which means you cannot upgrade the antenna if you range requirements demand.



AIP-W411 also features an on/off switch. For most routers, in order to power-cycle (soft reset) or turn the router off you have to directly unplug it, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back into the wall. Having the on/off switch is more convenient and allows you to quickly turn off the router so you can conserve power if you will be out of town of don't plan on using the router for an extended period of time.

Read more →

September 29, 2011

Now available- Alfa AWUS036NHA high speed Wi-Fi receiver w/ Atheros Align® technology

Now in stock at Rokland- the Alfa AWUS036NHA, a high speed Wi-Fi USB adapter featuring the Atheros AR9271 chipset with Atheros Align® technology. AWUS036NHA offers better true throughput to your ISP compared to other Wi-Fi USB adapters. It is perfect for video streaming, large downloads, and online gaming.


More from the manufacturer:

"Atheros Align® technology leverages the 802.11n 1–stream specification to provide the optimal upgrade path from legacy 802.11 solutions. The single-stream feature enables a new class of Wi-Fi devices that deliver performance enhancements over the existing 802.11g technology, at comparable price points. Align® solutions are forward compatible to higher-performance, multi-stream, MIMO–based 802.11n, and are available in reference designs to serve the networking, PC and consumer electronics markets. The enhanced throughput of Align 1–stream solutions improves network efficiency by occupying the wireless channel for shorter periods than slower 11g devices – reducing congestion and increasing capacity for additional wireless devices."

Alfa AWUS036NHA is now in stock and available for immediate shipment. It comes with a 5 dBi gain external antenna, USB cable, and driver CD. It is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

Read more →

September 16, 2011

New- Alfa 5m USB active repeater extension cable

New from Alfa Network- a 5m (16 feet) "active repeater" USB extension cable. This is a special type of cable that buffers power over the distance of the cable. Standard USB extension cables- the kind you may find online or in office supply stores for a few bucks- are "passive" cables that do not buffer the power signal and therefore lose power over the length of the cable. This means they cannot offer enough power for high consumption devices, such as Alfa's line of long range Wi-Fi USB networking adapters including AWUS036H, AWUS036NH, and AWUS036NHR. This also has special shielding to insulate against power loss- you will notice out of the package it is quite a bit thicker than standard USB cables.


 
This allows you to put your long range Wi-Fi USB adapter further away from your computer to help improve the range.

Read more →

September 07, 2011

If it works on a Mac, will it work on an iPhone or iPad?

As Apple Inc. makes Macs, iPhones, and iPads, it is normal to wonder whether a wireless USB product that we advertise as Mac compatible will also work on an iPhone or iPad. The answer is no- for two reasons:

  1. Operating system- modern Macintosh computers run Mac OS X, and our Mac compatible wireless products generally require at least version 10.3 or 10.4 (also known as Panther and Tiger respectively). The iPhone and iPad run a completely different operating system called “iPhone OS” and software for Mac OS X cannot be used on iPhone OS devices.

  2. USB port power- even if our manufacturers wrote iPhone OS compatible software for their products, it is unlikely any of our current products would ever work with iPhones or iPads because of the power limitations of the USB port option for iPhone/iPad. These devices do not have a USB port themselves, but they do have camera connection kits that have a USB port. However the ports on these emit a very low amount of power- 20 mA to be precise. Long range wireless receivers typically require 350-450 mA to function. A USB port on a standard desktop computer emits 500 mA. Apple has designed the USB port on the camera connection kit to work specifically for file transfer only- 20 mA is not even enough to power a digital camera, but of course digital cameras have their own power supplys to compensate.

Technology changes all the time, and it probably won't be long before these obstacles are overcome. But for now, unfortunately it is not possible to use a long range USB Wi-Fi adapter on an iPad or iPhone.

Read more →

August 26, 2011

Rokland n3 Mac OS Lion beta now available

We now have a Mac OS Lion beta package available for users of the Rokland n3 long range 802.11n wireless USB adapter. This beta may also work with Alfa's AWUS036NH model. This beta package has been tested at our location on multiple Mac OS 10.7 Lion systems as well as a beta test group. Most users in the test group had no issues, but some did. Therefore we are not ready to call this a stable release. We are continuing to develop a stable Lion driver, and appreciate feedback from anyone who tries this beta package. At this time we are not able to provide technical support for use of the beta software though, but we will publish any known issues/fixes.

Read more →

August 25, 2011

New- an outdoor weather resistant case for Alfa AWUS036H, AWUS036NHR

If you are in need of a long range outdoor Wi-Fi solution, before you consider a pricey $100+ outdoor receiver, why not simply put your indoor long range Wi-Fi adapter outdoors? Now you can use your Alfa AWUS036H, AWUS036NHR, or Rokland n3 wireless USB outdoors with our weather resistant case mount enclosure.



It features a USB cable hole on the bottom and an antenna/antenna extension cable hole on the top. Also included are eight screws- four wood screws designed to fasten the entire encasement to a surface area, and four smaller screws designed to keep the lid onto the case. This comes with 4 pieces of 5 lb test double-sided adhesive which allows you to fasten the container to an encasement without using the wood screws. This may be ideal for use on the outside of an RV or a boat. The 5 lb capacity of the adhesive is enough to hold any Wi-Fi adapter that will fit and antennas up to 9 dBi.

Read more →

August 19, 2011

Two new long range Wi-Fi equipment bundles available starting this week!

For those that need multiple items- such as a Wi-Fi adapter, outdoor antenna, and antenna extension cable, we are expanding our "Wi-Fi Bundles/Kits" category to include more discounted offerings. Our two new addtions this week are:

Alfa AWUS036H 1000mW USB + 16 dBi Yagi antenna + 5m LMR-200 extension cable

  • (1x) Alfa AWUS036H 1000mW long range wireless USB adapter, new in retail box with 5 dBi omni directional antenna, (1x) 16 dBi gain outdoor directional yagi antenna with 16 elements, and (1x) 16-foot LMR-200 shielded antenna extension cable to go between the Wi-Fi adapter and antenna. Individually these three items retail for $70.91, so save money with this special kit.

16 dBi gain Yagi antenna + 5m LMR-200 RP-SMA extension cable

  • Perfect for those who already have a long range Wi-Fi adapter with external RP-SMA antenna connector, this package deal includes (1x) 16 dBi gain outdoor directional yagi antenna with 16 elements, and (1x) 16-foot LMR-200 shielded antenna extension cable to go between your Wi-Fi adapter and the antenna.  LMR-200 shielding is industry recommended for low gain loss.



Read more →

August 16, 2011

Alfa AWUS036NHR is Backtrack 5/Linux compatible

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):

prepare-kernel-sources

cd /usr/src/linux

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.

URTWN Driver:

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:

http://resin.csoft.net/cgi-bin/man.cgi?section=4&topic=urtwn


Read more →

July 28, 2011

Alfa AWUS036H 1000mW USB plug and play in Backtrack 5 (BT5)

Just a quick note to let people know that Alfa's AWUS036H long range 1000mW USB Wi-Fi adapter has tested plug and play in Backtrack 5. This means that no messy Linux driver installation was needed to use the device to hook up with our office AP and go online. We have not done any advanced testing with any programs included in BT5, but as the RTL8187L Linux driver it uses has been around for some time there is no reason to think it will not work with the same programs it works with in BT3 or BT4.

Read more →

July 25, 2011

Alfa AWUS036NHR now in stock!

 If you snoozed on our pre-order deal, grab your AWUS036NHR now for just $34.97 with FREE SHIPPING within the US!



Alfa's AWUS036NHR is the long-awaited successor to their popular AWUS036NH long range 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter. What's different? Even...longer...range...to both N and G access points! Based on the sensitive Realtek RTL8188RU chipset, AWUS036NHR gives you the fast speeds of 802.11n and stronger signals than most existing 802.11n Wi-Fi products. Not convinced? Check out this range comparison test vs. Alfa's AWUS036NH model:



Read more →

July 21, 2011

Alfa Network's AWUS036NHR coming next week, pre-order now and save 10%

Alfa Network's newest 802.11n long range Wi-Fi USB adapter, model AWUS036NHR, launches next week. To see how it compares to Alfa's current long range N model, AWUS036NH,  check out this video:


 
Then you can pre-order AWUS036NHR directly from our web site and save 10% by using coupon code "AWUS036NHR" during checkout.

Read more →

July 03, 2011

Introducing Alfa Tube-U outdoor long range Wi-Fi receivers

One of the many new products we have on our web site this month is Alfa Network's new Tube-U series of long range outdoor Wi-Fi adapters. They are great for use on boats or RVs. There are two flavors- Tube-U(N), which is an 802.11n model, and Tube-U(G) which of course is an 802.11g model. Tube-U features a high-powered Wi-Fi receiver in weather proof casing, as well as a special shielded 16' USB cable designed to prevent against signal loss. It also comes with mounting ties and features an N-male antenna connector. Check out this video:


Read more →