I recently had an opportunity to play with Zyxelâ€™s new AG-225H wi-fi finder/usb adapter and liked what I saw.
The Zyxel AG-225H is a combination 802.11 a/b/g wi-fi finder and usb client adapter. The device, which is only slightly larger than other common wi-fi USB adapters can be used to scan the electronic environment and display a list of available wi-fi access points, showing their name (also known as an SSID), signal strength and whether they have WEP or WPA encryption turned on. The AG-225H is powered by an internal battery that recharges from the USB port.
As a Wi-Fi client, the AG-225H can be used to provide wireless access to a desktop computer or to provide access to 802.11g or 802.11a networks for a laptop computer that otherwise may only internally support 802.11b access. Also, my experience is that external wi-fi adapters tend to provide better range and stability than built-in internal adapters.
What is really unique about this device is that it is packaged with software that also allows it to be turned into an access point in order to share a single Ethernet, dialup or wireless connection with multiple devices (including, for example, a VOIP Wi-Fi handset that may not otherwise work through a public wireless access point that utilizes a redirected initial page that a user must click through or authenticate through). Although it is also possible to share a single connection using XPâ€™s built-in internet connection sharing function, the software-based access point packaged with the AG-225H is more flexible and easier to implement.