Review: The Wi-Fire Wi-Fi Adapter

Monday Sep 21st 2009 by Joseph Moran
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The Wi-Fire costs more than most USB Wi-Fi adapters, but if you need long-range capability, you’ll be glad you spent the extra scratch.

Price: $59.00

Pros: Makes usable connections from Wi-Fi signals too weak for internal adapters to connect to or detect

Cons: Lacks 802.11n support; not available from popular retailers

Sometimes you come to the realization that the equipment you have isn't quite up to the task at hand. A good example (albeit fictional) is in "Jaws," when Chief Brody tells shark-hunting fisherman Quint, "You're gonna need a bigger boat." Similarly, when you want to access a distant Wi-Fi network or one with an otherwise feeble footprint, you can't always count on a notebook’s internal wireless adapter and antenna to find it or pull in enough of a signal to make for a usable connection.

Fire In the Sky

The Wi-Fire Wi-Fi adapter from hField Technologies can greatly improve the ability of a notebook--or a desktop, for that matter--to find and make use of evanescent Wi-Fi signals. We first reviewed the Wi-Fire over a year ago, but there’s now a new iteration (the third generation, model HFWFG200)--a more refined version of the previous design, which it replaces. Considerably more compact than its slab-sided predecessor--hField says the new model is 40% smaller and 30% lighter--at $59, the new Wi-Fire also rings up $20 less expensive. 

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