Travel Skills: Wireless Internet Access
Finding an Internet connection on the road can be really tricky, but if you're near a city or town it shouldn't be completely impossible. Sometimes you will find yourself just a little bit too far away from a signal to be comfortable. My advice in this sort of situation is to find yourself a bigger antenna and more power. Pictured to the right is a 1W wireless network adapter from Alfa, which should boost your broadcasting and receiving power enough to double or even triple your range.
As a caveat, know that the USB ports on a computer only output 500mW (that's half of 1W) of power, so it may not be possible to reap the full benefits of one of these guys. I have heard that one can purchase special dual-plug USB cables that harness the power of two USB ports, but I've yet to try one.
Make sure to get ahold of the wireless adapter long before you leave home, because you'll want to test it as much as possible to make sure it works. This can require quite a bit of fiddling and research, as the proper hardware drivers are not always available. These guys are for those times when you really need a broadcasting boost to connect to that distant access point.
Another handy feature of the Alfa external adapters is that they have a replaceable antenna, so you can always swap it out with something more specialized, like a directional antenna. Read more about antenna choice at RadioLabs. Do not be afraid to experiment, but make sure to test out your equipment at home before you need it desperately abroad.
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