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Amped Wireless UA600EX

Wi-Fi signal a little feeble in your marina?
Try improving it with this powerful directional booster.

Sad but true: Wi-Fi service in many marinas—even in some of the big, opulent major-leaguers—is often frustratingly weak and occasionally unusable these days. Take the midsize marina I recently employed as a test bed for the Amped Wireless UA600EX Pro USB Adapter, a nifty device advertised as a Wi-Fi booster, with a powerful 600mW amplifier and an internal high-gain directional antenna. Prior to hooking up this gizmo, I found I could barely maintain Wi-Fi connectivity from the slip I’d docked my boat in, despite the fact that the harbormaster’s office—the source of that connectivity—was less than 150 yards away and my laptop is up to date and sports an effective Aircard.

Amped Wireless UA600EX Pro USB Adapter

Jeesh! The best I could get from the wireless status monitor on my laptop was two bars (low signal strength) and a connectivity speed that hit 24.0 Mbps once in a while, with much lower readings predominating.

The UA600EX made a big difference, though. After first loading some Windows-compatible software (the device is advertised as Mac-compatible as well), with an over-the-phone assist from PMY’s IT guru Richard Rebman and then stationing the UA600EX’s weatherproof portable antenna on the foredeck so it was aimed at the harbormaster’s office, I simply plugged the two USB connectors (on the opposite end of the 26-foot antenna cord) into the laptop and presto!

My status monitor? It cheerily reported four bars (very good) and a rock-solid connectivity speed of 48.0 Mbps. Moreover, while I hadn’t been able to receive large files from New York prior to hooking up the UA600EX, adding it fixed the issue in a flash. In fact, once I’d put the trusty Amped gizmo into service, I was able to both receive and transmit very large color images without any trouble. Cost: $109.

Amped Wireless
(888) 573-8830.

This article originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.