Computers, Networking, Reviews

Hands On: Netgear WNCE2001 Universal WiFi Internet Adapter

WNCE2001

Introduction

The following picture is a graphical representation of the Local Area Network in my home.

jc_network-netgear-htpc

What this “graphical” representation does not portray is the actual physical layout of those devices in my home.  For example, one of the Xbox 360s is 6 feet away from the router, while the other Xbox 360 is a few rooms away.  In order to get Internet access to this second Xbox 360, I have to run a 50 foot Ethernet cable up and down walls, along baseboards, and …  Well, you get the picture.

Then I saw this WiFi adapter from Netgear.  No drivers.  Hook it up to anything with an Ethernet port.  Just what I needed for that Xbox 360, I thought to myself, as there was no way I was going to spend ~$100 for a Microsoft WiFi adapter for that gaming machine.  Many things I review are neat to check out, from a reviewers point of view.  Sometimes, there are products that I actually *want* to try out, not just as a review item, but from a personal perspective.

This is one of those products.

Introducing the Netgear WNCE2001 Universal WiFi Internet adapter.

wnce2001_3-4lft_lores18-5792

If this thing works as advertised, this is one of those items that I will probably put on someone’s Christmas list.  I would just love to get rid of that Ethernet cable.

What’s In The Box?

Before we get to what is inside, we have the front

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and back

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of the package which gives one an idea of what you are getting.  Digging down deeper,

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we have a Quick Installation Guide

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and the hardware consisting of the WiFi adapter, a power adapter, USB power adapter, Ethernet cable, and some Velcro strips.

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A closer view of just the adapter.  On one end, we have the Power, LAN and WLAN LEDs.  On the

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other side are the controls and connections.  From left to right: reset pinhole, Wifi Protected Setup (WPS) button, Ethernet port, and power port.

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Hello. I’m from the heartland of the U.S. Lots of corn and beans, although Iowa is a lot more than just farmland. It also has a few computer enthusiasts (no, not me!). I’ve been around PCs since I got my 1st PC XT aloooong time ago. WGS is one of the first sites I found centered around WHS. And the best. Every once in awhile, I do get away from the KB and enjoy time with and my wife and our 4 kids. And I do have a day job.
  • Jon

    Also it works as a bridge for multiple devices. I have 7 different devices sitting behind it.

    • Allan

      Just trying to get my head around that comment. You mean you have a switch conmnected to the the Netgear Adapter with seven devices hanging off the switch?

      • boggy4062

        Yes, that's what he meant…. I bet B)

  • Ga

    Not quite 'universal WiFi' when it only works on 2.4GHz … 2.4 is very busy where I live (central London) so 5GHz a must if you want reliability / speed.

    I use the Buffalo Ethernet converter … works flawlessly and also includes a 4 port hub.

    http://www.buffalotech.com/products/wireless/clie

    Roughly rhe same price too …

  • Brendan

    I have seen a few "reviewers" mention that they use it as a bridge/with a switch hanging off it to support internet connectivity to multiple devices via just one Netgear WNCE2001. I am seriously considering buying it for just this feature, and was hoping a more in depth reviewer could test that option and post?

  • richard

    it is a good device but the on thing i have trouble about it after i have been
    playing my 360 for about an hour it drops out and my 360 say that u are disconnected for xbox live what should i do

    • mommie

      Go outside and play for awhile….

  • I am using BT Vision (a TV service that uses the network to download old TV episodes and is tightly-coupled to the router) so I need to keep my existing router but I want to upgrade the speed of wifi in my home to '-N'. I am assuming I can connect this to my router via ethernet and use the bridge in reverse? Can anyone see why that would not work?

  • Sparky

    Doesn't work at all. Plugged into my computer and the setup screen doesn't come up. OK, I think, I'll use the mywifiext.com and mywifiext.net sites that they suggest as a backup. Neither site is live. Just connection errors. Piece of trash.

  • Rich Long

    Ya right it works with anything 😛 I configured it my linksys e1000 router shows it as being connected I plugged it into the LAN port of my Gateway computer that runs on win xp media center edtion version 2002 the computer icon says connected just as when I was hard wired into the internet yet I can not browse the internet nor can I connect to the world of warcraft servers . Sure it works just fine on the xbox 360 but doesnt work at all on the Gateway computer no matter what I try to do with it or the settings on the computer.

  • CHRISTINA

    we have it hooked up to our Directv DVR (downstairs) so that we can get "Direct on Demand" works like a dream since our computer, modem and router are all located on the second floor of our home. Now if I can only figure out how to use it on more than 1 device.

    • Hendri

      I heard this will work: instead you plug the Ethernet cable to your DVR, connect it to the switch that has multiple ports so you can share the internet to more than 1 device. But saying that all those devices are closer to the switch.
      I don't have it yet, but will get one and connect to the switch to share the internet connection.

    • Kenneth palmer

      Hi christina, great that its working for you. Same thing with me but no internet! Its cnnected to the network but cannot get it to connect to theinternet?
      help please.

  • Wilson

    if your are unable to open the UI to configure the device then use the reset button in the back to reset the router. The reset button is difficult to reach, you will need a thin pin like a safety pin to do it. Once you reset, connect to a PC and then type the command ipconfig on command prompt. You will see an IP displayed for the router now and you can type http:// followed by the listed ip to see the configuration page. Beacuse of security settings the router I got would not connect to the wireless using push n go. I had to manually configure. The device works fine with the sony blu ray player that I got. The only problem that I have is that the WAN light is most of the time amber even though the wireless router is not to far away from it. There are no streaming issues though.

  • Scemo

    My router is about 20 feet away in the next room. My WLAN light is solid red. The thing is worthless to me.

  • Anonymous

    Worthless, I'm trying to get it setup to the Xbox 360, and it is an absolute matter of LUCK. Sometimes I can get it hooked up. Other times, not so lucky. When it refuses to connect, it says it "Can't pick up an IP address from the router. Try using a static IP adress." OK, so when I try to do that, it says "Static IP adress not working. Try using automatic." So frustrating…..

  • Hello. Incredibly worthwhile information discovered here. Favorited. Saved me from further searching.

  • guest

    got it working, but it took a while. installed it w/out wps, using http://www.mywifiext.net. it would see the network but wouldn't connect. manually chose the network. had it connect wpa2/aes. still wouldn't connect. googled for a solution, and came across a comment that encryption had to be "normal", so i disabled wep on my router, and i finally connected

  • Ron

    okay, just picked one up today to bridge my blu-ray to the router.  Set up was painless and quick.  Performance on the other hand is dismal…..streaming netflix has to reload every minute or so….   sat in same room with laptop and streamed same show without a hitch….moved router closer but still located in another room same floor.  Nada….will be returning adapter in morning

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