Alfa AWUS036NHA Wireless-N Atheros AR9271 802.11n USB Wi-Fi adapter

Model AWUS036NHA, an 802.11n wireless USB adapter from Alfa Network, Inc. with a top connection speed of 150 mbps.

This unit has a similar form factor and specifications to Alfa's popular AWUS036NH wireless USB adapter, with a few key differences. First, this has an Atheros AR9271 chipset. For consumers shopping for an Atheros-based 802.11n adapter, this is a good option. Click here for more information about this chipset model.

While the overall specifications are similar, the Atheros chipset offers faster true throughput speeds to your ISP compared to the AWUS036NH and other 150 mbps 802.11n products. Conversely, the AWUS036NH has the edge in overall signal reception and range. We recommend this low-cost AWUS036NHA to home network users who are looking for a wireless USB adapter with an external antenna connection and faster throughput to your Internet service. This unit is ideal for video-streaming, online gaming, and large downloads.

It is not as long a range as other options from Alfa including the aforementioned AWUS036NH, the AWUS036H long range G adapter, and the AWUS036NHR 802.11n USB adapter. If you are not sure which is best for your needs, we recommend the AWUS036H for overall/802.11g range, the AWUS036NHR for overall 802.11n range, and this model- the AWUS036NHA for 802.11n speed. While this has the same max connection rate (150 mbps) as other 802.11n products, we have found the true throughput speed to be better.

This is a single band (2.4 GHz) 802.11n adapter with maximum transfer speeds of 150 megabits per second (mbps). This is for one brand new (in retail box) AWUS036NHA wireless adapter with USB cable and 5 dBi gain antenna. Also included in the retail box is the installation software on CD. Some Alfa models include a bonus mount accessory, this one does not.

The AWUS036NHA works with any computer that has a USB port and one of the compatible operating systems listed below. It is perfect for netbooks, laptops, and desktops. It features an external RP-SMA connector which is a must have for RVers or boaters that need a USB Wi-Fi receiver to connect to a high gain outdoor antenna they already own or plan to buy.

  • Compatible with IEEE 802.11n, 802.11b/g/n wireless standards
  • 2.4GHz frequency band
  • Complies with Universal Serial Bus Rev. 2.0 specifications
  • High speed transfer TX data rate up to 150 Mbps
  • Supports wireless data encryption with 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2, TKIP, AES
  • features Atheros Align® technology
  • Compliant with FCC Part 15.247 for US, ETS 300 328 for Europe
  • Works with Windows XP 32/64, Vista 32/64, Windows 7 32/64.

- Frequency Range: 2.412~2.483 GHz
- Receive sensitivity 11b: -96dBm, 11g: -91dBm, 11n: -91dBm@HT20

Receive sensitivity numbers come from the factory specifications and designate the overall sensitivity for the given standard. This is not an indication of range. It is possible for one brand product to see more signals than a second one, but for the second one to get stronger signals to common networks even though it sees fewer APs overall. Please read through our full advertisement for an explanation of how well this model works compared to other Alfa models on the market.

This AWUS036NHA vs. Alfa's popular AWUS036H 802.11g adapter: We have compared this model to the 1-watt AWUS036H adapter from Alfa. The AWUS036H saw more signals, and had stronger reception to common signals that were 802.11g standard. The AWUS036H is only 802.11g standard though, whereas this AWUS036NHA is 802.11n standard and offers faster speeds when used with 802.11n standard access points.

For example, at 100% signal with both products, video streaming via YouTube was faster with the AWUS036NHA connected to our 802.11n 150 mbps router than with the AWUS036H connected to the same router. Because 802.11n is a newer standard, many of the access points around you (in neighborhoods or places you travel) will still be 802.11g. However over the next year, many technology publications indicate that a high number of people and businesses will be upgrading their wireless networks to 802.11n to meet the growing need for faster speeds.

The AWUS036NHA will work with these new 802.11n signals as they begin to spring up everywhere, and will work with them faster than the AWUS036H and other long range Wi-Fi products on the market today. If you are trying to decide between the AWUS036H and the AWUS036NHA, what it boils down to is how you want to use the product.

If you plan on using mostly with 802.11g signals and are trying to get the strongest signals and cover the greatest distance, the AWUS036H is the best option. If you are trying to improve your speed to 802.11n networks while also having an external antenna port, the AWUS036NHA is the best option.

FAQ- some common questions about Alfa AWUS036NHA 800mW USB adapter w/ 5 dBi antenna kit:

Can I manually adjust the output power?

- Output power is controlled internally by the adapter. It is not user adjustable. Though you may find a utility that lets you tinker with that, we do not have any guidelines regarding that.

Since this has 800mW output, it will have the longest range and stronger signals than any other product with lesser power, right?

- Sometimes retailers have a tendency to promote a specific attribute of a product as if it is the only thing that matters. In fact, while higher output is a good thing, it is not the only thing that determines your range and signal strength.

How far away can I pick up signals with this?

- For this question there is no exact answer. Wireless range is an imperfect science. The range you get with any adapter will vary markedly depending on the strength and quality of the wireless access point being used, as well as obstacles and interference in the area. Keep in mind that interference can often be invisible.

I am planning to upgrade to 802.11n. Is this all I need?

- To take full advantage of longer ranges and faster speeds offered by 802.11n networking, both the router and adapter must be 802.11n standard. You can connect to 802.11g networks with this, but you will not experience the longer ranges and faster speeds of 802.11n networking unless the router is also 802.11n standard. Additionally, for optimal performance your 802.11n router should be set to 802.11n-only mode, and not mixed G/N mode.


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