**Warning: Wordy review with some useless details.** I was using this Wintec FileMate PCI Wireless-N Network Adapter for nearly a month with no problems at all until two weeks ago. It was literally working one minute and then decided it wasn't going to connect anymore the next. There was no movement or tinkering involved and it was installed by someone I know who's worked with computers for a little over a decade. [NOT Geek Squad.] I could still see all the wireless networks in my area but it just wouldn't connect-- I kept getting an error message telling me to refresh the list because available networks may have changed. And Windows XP's Device Manager told me the card itself was still working properly. Being well-educated in computer "stuff" myself, I was stumped. I tried everything from putting the modem right next to it, changing slots, switching computers [red flag came up at this point], rebooting and bringing it to an expert [I repeat, NOT Geek Squad] -- but still nothing. The "ACT" [I'm assuming that stands for "Active"] light just kept on blinking and the "LINK" light never came back on. The [Realtek Wireless LAN Utility] software that comes with it is decent, but to be honest I stuck to using Windows Zero Config while it was working. With my current problem all it would tell me was "Not Associated" anyway, even though my modem's signal clearly reaches. [Yes, I quadruple-checked the network key and other wireless settings like I always do.. *Dramatic eye-roll.*] The software itself is kind of outdated but it's not a big deal. Rather, it doesn't make much of a difference. But I'm the type of person who likes to have the most recent version.. so I just downloaded the newest one from the Realtek website. For now I guess I'll just return it, get the same model and see what happens. If the same problem happens again then it's definitely not worth getting a third time. If anyone can figure out what caused my problem [other than the device being faulty, which it probably was], kudos to you and I hope you can post a solution up for everyone else to see. P.S.
I also bought CNET's CWU-906 Wireless-N USB Adapter at the same time and it works just fine on the same computer [which is located one floor and three rooms away from the modem] and every other Windows XP computer I've plugged them both into. [Sorry, haven't tried it on that Vista crud or the awesome Windows 7.] It uses the same "Realtek Wireless LAN Utility" software as the FileMate. In my opinion this little white stick was the better half of what I bought. It might work better with an extension cable for some, since its size unfortunately half- to partially blocks the USB ports around it. P.P.S.
If you've made it this far congrats and thanks for reading. I hope this was at least a little helpful.
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