SOYO Aerielink Wireless Flash Combo

By Craig Ellison  |  Posted 2004-06-01 Print this article Print

The Wireless Flash Combo is a convenient two-in-one device that uses older technology. Unless you need both storage and wireless networking in one device, you're better off buying separate devices based on USB 2.0 and 802.11g technologies.

If your key ring is becoming cluttered with USB devices—say, a different flash drive for every feature—consider a multifunction device. The SOYO Aerielink Wireless Flash Combo (model AWUA1211) is an 802.11b wireless network adapter combined with a 128MB flash drive. It uses the slower and older USB 1.1 interface, though, so writing files to the drive will be slower than with other flash drives weve reviewed that incorporate USB 2.0 interfaces, such as the Iomega Micro Mini USB 2.0 Drive or the Lexar JumpDrive Traveler.

Installation of the Wireless Flash Combo on our Windows XP system was straightforward. The autorun CD installed the necessary drivers, and the wireless card connected easily to our wireless network using Microsofts Zero configuration client. Since the Wireless Flash Combo is based on older technology, the highest level of security available on it is WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). Newer USB networking products on the market offer a USB 2.0 interface for faster direct data transfers, 802.11g networking for improved performance, and WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) for improved security.

The Wireless Flash Combo ships with a 3-foot USB extension cable and a plastic clip so that you can attach it to your notebook screen. When clipped to the top of our notebooks screen, we saw good performance (for an 802.11b product) throughout the 160-foot length of our wireless test range. In fact, at distances greater than 60 feet, it provided better throughput than several PC Card-based 802.11b products recently reviewed by PC Magazine.

Click here to read the full review from PC Magazine.

Craig Ellison is PC Magazine Labs' director of operations. The Labs staff, in consultation with PC industry experts, develops procedures and scripts for the independent and impartial testing underlying all PC Magazine reviews.

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