News

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.



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January 25, 2012

Rokland will be closed Friday, January 27th

Rokland.com will be closed on Friday, January 27th, for a relocation. We will resume normal business hours on Monday, January 30th. Orders placed Thursday, January 26th, up to 5PM will be shipped out that day. Orders placed after this time will be shipped Monday. Phone technical support will not be available Friday through Monday. Please contact us via email for technical support assistance. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

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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.

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December 23, 2011

Holiday Hours of Operation

Rokland will be closed Monday, December 26th, and Monday, January 2nd, so that our employees may spend time with their families. UPS and the US Post Office will also be closed these days.

Technical support: our phone lines will be closed these days however email support will still be available.

Order shipment: We ship orders within one business day after they are placed. Please note that these days above are not considered business days as they are also government holidays. They are also not considered transit days, so a purchase made with UPS 2 Day Air shipping that would ship on Thursday, December 29th for example, would not arrive until Tuesday, January 3rd.

Happy holidays to all!

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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.

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December 01, 2011

Connection speed vs. throughput speed

One question we get via email quite often asks how come two different model Wi-Fi adapters with the same connection speed to the router (example: 150 mbps) have different Internet download speeds? It would seem if they both get a 150 mbps connection to the same router, and both have a 100% signal, that the data transfer rates should be identical.

This will not always be the case. Though they may be comparable, it is possible for one of the adapters to download or stream video faster with one particular router, but be slower with another. This type of speed is called 'througput speed' and this is the actual data transfer rate the adapter is getting to the Internet. Different Wi-Fi radios have different technology even though they may be the same standard (such as 802.11n). Therefore, while the connection speed to the router could be 150 mbps with both adapters, one may have a 25 mbps throughput speed to your ISP while the other may have 18 mbps. Transfers between the adapters and the router (such as a computer to computer file transfer) should be about the same with either device. But downloads from the Internet may be slower with one vs. the other.

So if both model Wi-Fi adapters you have get similar range, but model A gets faster throughput to your router than model B, does that mean you should toss model B? Not necessarily. Model A may be faster when connecting to your model router, but it could be slower when connecting to a different model router. An interesting experiment for those who have access to multiple adapters and routers is to do a througput speed test with each adapter to each of the different model routers and compare the rates. In some cases there may be a clear winner, while in other cases you may get a split decision.


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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.


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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).

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November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Holiday Shipping Schedule

Happy Thanksgiving! Rokland will be closed on Thursday, November 24, so that our employees can spend time with their families.

As we ship orders in one business day, orders placed on Wednesday, November 23, and Thanksgiving Day, will be shipped out on Friday, November 25.

Our customer service department will also be closed on Thanksgiving Day (for both phone and email support) but will experience normal operating hours on the 23rd and 25th. We hope all of you enjoy a safe and relaxing holiday.

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November 11, 2011

Our 802.11n Wi-Fi USB adapter for Apple Mac is now 10.7 Lion compatible!

Yes, our 802.11n Wi-Fi USB adapter for Apple Mac is now 10.7 Lion compatible! Effective immediately, all units shipping will have Lion install software on the enclosed CD-ROM. Customers who do not have a CD drive or who already own this adapter can download the Lion software in DMG format here.


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November 11, 2011

Rokland n3 Mac OS 10.7 Lion RC1 software now available

We now have our RC1 (Release Candidate 1) Mac OS Lion driver package available for the Rokland n3. You can click here to download it. The RC1 package is not currently on the CD that ships with the n3, so if you are a potential customer planning to buy the n3 for use with Lion, you will need to download the RC1 package.

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November 02, 2011

Let us know your favorite holiday promotion!

Black Friday is just three weeks away and Rokland is getting ready for some awesome holiday sales. What kind do you prefer? Let us know by voting in the poll below.


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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.

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October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs, 1955 - 2011

Steve inspired so many of us here at Rokland. Our prayers go out to his family.

http://www.apple.com/stevejobs/

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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.

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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.

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September 16, 2011

Wireless Network Efficiency Tip #1

Have you noticed your home Wi-Fi network has slowed down? Do you sometimes get dropped connections or are unable to connect to your network altogether? When this happens, it is normal to think there is a problem with your wireless network adapter or on-board laptop Wi-Fi card. You might even decide to buy a brand new one, thinking your old Wi-Fi card is broken.

In fact, many Wi-Fi connectivity problems can be solved just by restarting your Wi-Fi router and cable or DSL broadband modems. Wi-Fi routers are a lot like computers- they have on-board software (similar to how your computer has a hard drive with an operating system). Just like computers, over time with a number of different connections and operations running, they can slow down and even freeze up. The easiest way to reset a wireless router is to unplug it, wait about 20 seconds, and plug it back in. This does not erase any of your settings such as your network password. We also advise doing the same thing with your broadband modem. Wireless routers can also break down over time. So if you are having connectivity issues with your Wi-Fi router, try resetting it first. If the problems continue, before deciding if it is necessary to buy a new Wi-Fi card or adapter, have a friend or family member come over with their laptop and try to connect to your network. If they also have problems, your Wi-Fi card could be just fine and it may be time to replace the router.

If you find the computer that is hard-wired (connected via Ethernet cable) to your router works without issue but multiple computers in your home have trouble connecting to it wirelessly, that could also indicate a need to reset the router, or a problem with the router.The Ethernet component of wireless routers is a different part of the router from the Wi-Fi AP (access point) built into the router. Sometimes a wired connection may work just fine but a wireless connection will not. This is where doing a reset can help- it restarts the internal AP in the router, the same way rebooting your PC from time to time unloads your computer's internal memory and makes your computer run smoother.

As always, we recommend contacting a Rokland associate for further guidance to troubleshoot any Wi-Fi networking issues you may be experiencing.

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September 09, 2011

Rokland n3 Mac OS Lion beta v2 posted today

We have posted version 2 of our Mac OS Lion beta package 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 but has not yet been introduced to any beta test groups for further testing. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.



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August 19, 2011

New- review and rate your purchase!

This Friday we rolled out a new feature on our site- the ability to review and rate items you have purchased. We had this feature on our old site, and have ported many of those reviews to our new site (yes, even one that did not get five stars). On each item page, you can scroll below the item description to see reviews and ratings left by other buyers. You can also leave your own review. We test all of the product models we carry to make sure the items we carry are the best on the market. But we appreciate honest reviews so we know how our customers feel about products we carry.

If you ever have trouble getting an item to work, please contact our support department for assistance. Of course you can discuss technical problems in your review, but Rokland staff does not monitor reviews daily, so contacting our support department directly will ensure you get quick assistance.


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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


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