The D-Link Wireless N Nano USB adapter (DWA-131) is a perfect networking component that will add Wi-Fi functionality on your Desktop or any just about any PC with minimal protrusion. This device is very compact yet quite powerful. The installation is easy and you can connect to access points with push button security.

I have subscribed to the MTNL Xpress broadband plan and will be using that with Tata Photon plus as my backup connectivity. I have an old Linksys broadband router (WRT54G version 7.0) but that was not compatible with the MTNL broadband (which required ADSL modem) and had to go with the MTNL Wi-Fi modem.

One option was to buy an ADSL modem and use the Linksys router with it. But my concern was the Wi-Fi range -my MTNL telephone line is installed in one end of my house and the Desktop is at the other end.

D-Link Wireless N Nano USB Adapter
D-Link Wireless N Nano USB Adapter box pack

If you have an old Wi-Fi router the firmware can be upgraded and you router can be turned into a repeater which will repeat the signal and help increase the coverage area. More details at Sadly my Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router model no. WRT54G version 7.0 is not supported.

D-Link Nano USB
D-Link Nano USB box

My first step was to get Wi-Fi functionality to my existing desktop. I then got myself the D-Link N Nano USB adapter; it is very small in size but works excellently. The best part is that this Wi-Fi device makes use of the USB port, so I can use it on any USB enabled device which it supports. And being small in size it can easily fit into any USB port without occupying too much space around it, ideal for crowded areas.

DWA-131 N 300 Nano USB adapter
DWA-131 N 300 Nano USB adapter from D-Link

The installation process is simple, just plug in the Wireless USB adapter and insert the CD and install the drivers. Once done the device is automatically detected and ready to use, setup the network by running the wizard or do it manually as you prefer.

The Wireless N 300 comes with intelligent antenna technology that will receive signals even at farthest corners of your home by transmitting streams by bouncing then off walls. What you get is more range and high speed up to 300 mbps (this is the device communicating speed do not confuse it with your broadband speed).

I have a netbook with Wi-Fi enabled and I have tested it with the MTNL Wi-Fi modem. If I take the netbook near the place where my desktop is, the signal drops to almost zero or fluctuating, sometimes showing 1 bar but I cannot surf. If I take the netbook a little further from the desktop towards the source I get decent connectivity. The Wi-Fi range it seems is short of 5 to 6 feet from my desktop.

After installing the D-Link Wireless N Nano USB adapter I still found it difficult to get a good static signal. But ultimately I got 75% signal by making few changes. I have a hall with a passage and a room where my desktop is installed. Both the MTNL Wi-Fi modem and the desktop are placed at the corners and are nowhere near the door or passage.

How I got a better Wi-Fi signal strength

  • I placed the MTNL Modem on a heighted area and pointed the flexible antennae towards the wall opposite to the passage area.
  • I already had an extended USB cable which I am now using to connect the Wireless Nano. With a little bit of cable length I could move the nano and position it on the desktop, over the screen as need, pointing the adapter in the direction of the door which I have to keep open, the door leads to the passage. So both the source and the receiver are now angled such that the signal either bounces off the walls or in-directly pointing to any open space.
  • I am now getting stable 75% signal (3 bars out of 4). However if I close the room door the signal is lost.
MTNL Wi-Fi Modem 450TC1
MTNL Wi-Fi Modem 450TC1
MTNL 450TC1 Wi-Fi modem angle
MTNL 450TC1 angle

The other option would be to use a repeater which will increase the Wi-Fi range and you will get the signal comfortably in any corner of your house without bothering about the angle.

D-Link Wireless N Nano USB adapter price in India

MRP : Rs. 2,310 | Best Buy : Rs. 1,099
Box pack contains: quick start guide, nano wireless device and installation CD.

By Rajeev Rana

Founder and Chief Editor -