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Wireless-N300 USB

Adapter WNA3100 User

Manual

NETGEAR, Inc.

350 E. Plumeria Drive

San Jose, CA 95134 USA

202-10539-01December 2009

© 2009 by NETGEAR, Inc. All rights reserved.

Technical Support

When you register your product at http://www.netgear.com/register, we can provide you with faster expert technical support and timely notices of product and software upgrades.

NETGEAR, INC. Support Information

Phone: 1-888-NETGEAR,for US & Canada only. For other countries, see your Support information card.E-mail:support@netgear.com

Website: http://www.netgear.com

Trademarks

NETGEAR, the NETGEAR logo, ProSafe, and Auto Uplink are trademarks or registered trademarks of NETGEAR, Inc. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and Vista are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Other brand and product names are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.

Statement of Conditions

In the interest of improving internal design, operational function, and/or reliability, NETGEAR reserves the right to make changes to the products described in this document without notice.

NETGEAR does not assume any liability that may occur due to the use or application of the product(s) or circuit layout(s) described herein.

Maximum Wireless Signal Rate Derived from IEEE Standard 802.11 Specifications

Actual data throughput will vary. Network conditions and environmental factors, including volume of network traffic, building materials and construction, and network overhead, lower actual data throughput rate.

Safety and Regulatory Notices

FCC Statement

The Wireless-N300 USB Adapter WNA3100 has been tested and complies with the specifications for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules.

Operation is subject to the following two conditions:

(1)This device may not cause harmful interference, and

(2)This device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used according to the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which is found by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:

Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna

Increase the separation between the equipment or devices

Connect the equipment to an outlet other than the receiver’s

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Consult a dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for assistance

FCC Caution: Any change or modification to the product not expressly approved by NETGEAR could void the user’s authority to operate the device.

FCC RF Radiation Exposure and SAR Statements

SAR Statement

The NETGEAR Wireless-N300 USB Adapter WNA3100 has been tested forbody-wornSpecific Absorption Rate (SAR) compliance. The FCC has established detailed SAR requirements and has established that these requirements have been met whiletheWireless-N300 USB Adapter WNA3100 was installed in a host notebook computer.

RF Exposure Information

The radio module has been evaluated under FCC Bulletin OET 65C (01-01)and found to be compliant to the requirements as set forth in CFR 47 Sections, 2.1093, and 15.247 (b) (4) addressing RF Exposure from radio frequency devices. This model meets the applicable government requirements for exposure to radio frequency waves. The highest SAR level measured for this device was 1.380 W/kg.

Canadian Department of Communications Industry Canada (IC) Notice

This Class B digital apparatus complies with Canadian ICES-003andRSS-210.Cet appareil numérique de la classe B est conforme à la normeNMB-003etCNR-210du Canada.

Industry Canada Statement

This device complies with RSS-210of the Industry Canada Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions:

(1) This device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Radiation Exposure Statement

This equipment complies with IC radiation exposure limits set forth for an uncontrolled environment. End users must follow the specific operating instructions for satisfying RF exposure compliance. To maintain compliance with IC RF exposure compliance requirements, please follow operation instruction as documented in this manual.

Europe - EU Declaration of Conformity

Visit the NETGEAR EU Declarations of Conformity website at:

http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/11621/sno/0

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Product and Publication Details

Model Number:

WNA3100 v1

Publication Date:

December 2009

Product Family:

Wireless-NUSB Adapter

Product Name:

Wireless-N300 USB Adapter WNA3100

Home or Business Product:

Home

Language:

English

Publication Part Number:

202-10539-01

Publication Version Number:

1.0

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Contents

About This Manual

 

Conventions, Formats, and Scope ..................................................................................

vii

Revision History ...............................................................................................................

viii

Chapter 1

 

Installation with Custom Setup

 

What You Need Before You Begin .................................................................................

1-1

Observe Wireless Location and Range Guidelines ..................................................

1-2

Installation with Custom Setup .......................................................................................

1-2

First, Install the WNA3100 Software ........................................................................

1-2

Then, Install Your WNA3100 Adapter ......................................................................

1-4

Use Smart Wizard Automatic Configuration to Connect to a Wireless Network ......

1-5

Monitoring Wireless Network and the Internet Connections ...........................................

1-7

WNA3100 Icon .........................................................................................................

1-8

Smart Wizard Status Bar ..........................................................................................

1-9

Wireless-N USB Adapter LED ................................................................................

1-10

Removing the WNA3100 Software ...............................................................................

1-10

Upgrading the WNA3100 Software ..............................................................................

1-11

Chapter 2

 

Network Connections and Wireless Security

 

Viewing Wireless Networks in Your Area .......................................................................

2-1

Joining a Network ...........................................................................................................

2-2

Using Push 'N' Connect to Join a Network ...............................................................

2-4

Creating a Profile to Connect to a Wireless Network .....................................................

2-4

Managing Profiles ....................................................................................................

2-6

Setting Up a Computer-to-Computer (Ad Hoc) Profile .............................................

2-6

Starting a Computer-to-Computer (Ad Hoc) Network Connection ...........................

2-8

About Wireless Security .................................................................................................

2-9

Wireless Network Name (SSID) and Security Settings ..........................................

2-10

Setting Up WPA-PSK [TKIP] or WPA2-PSK [AES] Security ..................................

2-10

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Setting Up WEP Encryption Security .....................................................................

2-11

Monitoring Statistics .....................................................................................................

2-13

About Your Smart Wizard .............................................................................................

2-14

Advanced Settings ........................................................................................................

2-15

Chapter 3 Wireless Network Performance

 

Optimizing Wireless Performance ..................................................................................

3-1

Optimizing Your Network Bandwidth ..............................................................................

3-2

Small Office and Home Office (SOHO) Networking Technologies ..........................

3-3

Assessing Your Network Speed Requirements .......................................................

3-4

Chapter 4 Troubleshooting

 

Troubleshooting Tips ......................................................................................................

4-1

Troubleshooting Your Wireless Connection ...................................................................

4-2

Occasional Windows XP Connection Problems .............................................................

4-3

Ad Hoc Mode Is Not Working Correctly ..........................................................................

4-4

Appendix A Technical Specifications and Factory Default Settings

 

Technical Specifications ................................................................................................

A-1

Factory Default Settings ................................................................................................

A-2

Appendix B Related Documents

 

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About This Manual

The NETGEAR® Wireless-N300 USB Adapter WNA3100 User Manualdescribes how to install, configure, and troubleshoot the Wireless-N 300 USB Adapter WNA3100.

Conventions, Formats, and Scope

The conventions, formats, and scope of this manual are described in the following paragraphs:

Typographical conventions. This manual uses the following typographical conventions::

Italic

Emphasis, books, CDs

 

 

Bold

User input, screen text

 

 

Fixed

Command prompt, CLI text, code

italic

URL links

 

 

Formats. This manual uses the following formats to highlight special messages:

Note: This format is used to highlight information of importance or special interest.

Tip: This format is used to highlight a procedure that will save time or resources.

Scope. This manual is written for theWireless-NUSB Adapter. For more information about network, Internet, firewall, and VPN technologies, click the links to the NETGEAR website inAppendix B, “Related Documents.”

Note: Product updates are available on the NETGEAR, Inc. website at

http://kbserver.netgear.com/products/WNA3100 v1.asp.

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Revision History

Part Number

Version

Date

Description

 

Number

 

 

202-10539-01

1.0

November

Original publication

 

 

2009

 

 

 

 

 

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Chapter 1

Installation with Custom Setup

This chapter explains custom installation for your Wireless-NUSB Adapter. With custom setup you can specify where the files are installed. You can also choose whether or not you want to install the Smart Wizard.

Note: For help with express installation, see theInstallation Guide for the Wireless-N 300 USB Adapter WNA3100.

What You Need Before You Begin

To install the wireless-NUSB adapter, you need:

A PC with a Pentium 300 MHz or higher compatible processor with an available USB port.

Note: The maximum speed of a USB v2.0 port is 480 Mbps. If your computer has a USB v1.1 port, thewireless-NUSB adapter is limited to that port’s maximum speed, which is 14 Mbps.

A CD drive.

10 Mbytes of free hard disk space.

Windows7, Vista, Windows XP Home, or Windows XP Professional. Some versions of Windows ask for the original Windows operating system installation files to complete the installation of the WNA3100 v1 driver software.

Note: Windows XP users must install SP2 or install the KB822603 hot fix (update), which fixes the USB 2.0 host controller driver. Go to this link to install the hot fix:http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/ details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID= 733dd867-56a0-4956-b7fe-e85b688b7f86

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Observe Wireless Location and Range Guidelines

For best performance, place the wireless-NUSB adapter at least 4 feet (over 1 meter) away from the wireless router or access point.

Computers can connect over wireless networks indoors at a range that varies significantly based on the physical location of the computer with the wireless-NUSB adapter. For best results, avoid potential sources of interference, such as the following:

Large metal surfaces

Microwave ovens

2.4 GHz cordless phones

In general, wireless devices can communicate through walls. However, if the walls are constructed with concrete, or have metal or metal mesh, the effective range decreases if such materials are between the devices.

Installation with Custom Setup

Note: For help with Express installation, see theInstallation Guide for the Wireless-N 300 USB Adapter WNA3100.

First, Install the WNA3100 Software

1.Insert the Resource CD in your computer’s CD drive. If the CD main screen does not display, browse the files on the CD anddouble-clickAutorun.exe.

2.Click Install the Software. The Software Update Check screen displays.

3.If you are connected to the Internet, click Check for Updates. If not, clickInstall from CD.

4.Accept the license agreement. Then select Custom and clickNext on the Setup Type screen.

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Figure 1-1

5.When prompted, browse to select the destination folder for your wireless adapter software, and then click Next.

Figure 1-2

6.Select one of the following methods to configure and manage your wireless network:

Smart Wizard. Manage your wireless networks with the NETGEAR WNA3100 v1 software and connect securely using Push 'N' Connect, also called WPS.

Automatically. Let the Smart Wizard automatically configure the settings for yourwireless-NUSB adapter.

Manual. Specify the settings for yourwireless-NUSB adapter in the Settings screen.

Windows Utility. Connect to and manage your wireless networks using only the Windows configuration utility.

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Then, Install Your WNA3100 v1 Adapter

You are prompted to insert your adapter:

Figure 1-3

1.Locate a USB port on your PC.

2.Insert the adapter into the USB port, or connect it with the USB cable.

Figure 1-4

Note: For best results, put the wireless adapter at least 4 feet (1 meter) away from your router.

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3.Click Next. The WNA3100 v1 software detects the adapter. Follow the onscreen prompts to install the driver.

4.Follow the prompts to complete the installation.

How you connect to a network depends on what you selected during custom installation.

For automatic configuration, see the following section, “Use Smart Wizard Automatic Configuration to Connect to a Wireless Network.”

If you selected manual configuration, the Settings tab displays. See “Joining a Network” on page 2-2.

To use a Windows utility, see your Windows documentation or the NETGEAR application note at http://documentation.netgear.com/reference/enu/winzerocfg/index.htm.

Use Smart Wizard Automatic Configuration to Connect to a Wireless Network

After the driver is installed, you are prompted to connect to a wireless network. 1. One of the following screens displays:

No WPS-capablenetworks in your area

WPS-capablenetworks in your area

Figure 1-5

If no WPS networks are in your area, select your wireless network from the list and click Next. If you select a secured network, you need to enter the passphrase or network key.

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If your router supports Push 'N' Connect (also called WPS) click Next. The following screen displays:

Figure 1-6

Press and hold the push button on the side of the wireless-NUSB adapter for 2 seconds. The LED flashes. ClickNext. Follow the prompts to push the WPS button on your router and connect.

2.The adapter connects to the network, which can take a minute or two. Your settings are saved in a profile, which you can name:

Figure 1-7

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3. ClickFinish, and the Smart Wizard Settings screen displays.

Profile name

Status bar

Figure 1-8

You are now connected to a wireless network!

The WNA3100 v1 icon appears in the system tray and on the desktop so you can open the Smart Wizard to make changes or connect to a different wireless network.

Monitoring Wireless Network and the Internet Connections

The wireless-NUSB adapter provides several ways to check the status of your connection to a wireless network and to the Internet:

WNA3100 v1 icon. After you install the WNA3100 v1 software, theicon appears on the desktop and on the right end of the Windows task bar. It is color coded to show the status of the connection. See the following section,“WNA3100 v1 Icon.

Smart Wizard status bar. Clickingopens the Smart Wizard. The status bar at the bottom of the screen shows details about your wireless and Internet connection. See“Smart Wizard Status Bar” on page 1-9.

Adapter LED. The LED on thewireless-NUSB adapter indicates the condition of your wireless link. See“Wireless-N USB Adapter LED” on page 1-10.

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WNA3100 v1 Icon

The WNA3100 v1 icon is on the desktop and in the Windows system tray, on one end of the taskbar in the Microsoft Windows desktop. The WNA3100 v1 icon changes colors depending on the condition of the adapter. The following table describes the colors and conditions indicated.

Color

Condition

Description

 

 

 

Red

The adapter is not connected

The wireless-NUSB adapter cannot link to any other wireless

 

to a wireless network.

node, or the link is lost. Check your configuration, or try

 

 

moving to a location where the wireless signal quality is better.

 

 

 

Yellow

The adapter is connected to a

The wireless link is weak. Move to a better location, such as

 

wireless network.

closer to the router. Also, look for possible interference such

 

 

as a 2.4 GHz cordless phone or large metal surface.

 

 

 

Green

The adapter is connected to a

Your adapter has established good communication with an

 

wireless network.

access point, and the signal quality is strong.

 

 

 

If you right-clickthe WNA3100 v1 icon in the system tray, you can disable Internet notification by clearing the check mark. If you do so, then only the IP address is shown.

Figure 1-9

In Microsoft Windows 7 and Vista, there is one more option: Enable NETGEAR Smart Wizard.

Figure 1-10

If you clear the check mark for Enable NETGEAR Smart Wizard, the NETGEAR Smart Wizard is disabled, and you must set up the wireless adapter with Vista autoconfiguration.

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Smart Wizard Status Bar

Click the icon to open the Smart Wizard Settings tab. The status bar is located at the bottom of the Settings tab.

Security

Channel

Connection status

Data rate

Wireless

Signal strength

network

 

Join a Network

Figure 1-11

The following table describes how to interpret the Smart Wizard status bar.

Understanding the Status Bar

Wireless network

Identifies which wireless network you have joined.

 

 

Security

• A closed lock indicates that security is enabled.

 

• An open lock indicates an open network without wireless security.

 

 

Channel

The wireless channel used by the network. If many wireless networks in your area

 

use the same channel, they can interfere with one another.

 

 

Data rate

To optimize the wireless data rate, connect to a network with a high-speedrouter or

 

access point and a high-speedInternet connection. SeeChapter 3, “Wireless

 

Network Performance.”

 

 

Signal strength

More dots indicate a stronger signal. Usually, you experience higher data rate when

 

the signal is strongest.

 

 

Join a Network

Click Join a Network to start the Connection Wizard.

 

 

Connection

The status of your network connection.

status

Connected to Internet. The wireless Internet connection is OK.

 

Connected to Router. The wireless connection to the router is OK, but the router

 

is not connected to the Internet.

 

169.254.x.x or ___.___.___.___. The wireless connection to the router is OK, but

 

there is a problem with the router.

 

 

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Wireless-NUSB Adapter LED

The LED on the wireless-NUSB adapter indicates the condition of the wireless link, as described in the following table.

Wireless-NUSB Adapter

LED

Meaning

 

 

 

 

Off

• The wireless-NUSB adapter is not plugged in to the USB port.

 

 

• The wireless-NUSB adapter is in power save mode (default

 

 

from power up or reset).

 

 

 

 

Blinking

• The wireless-NUSB adapter is scanning for a network.

 

 

• The wireless-NUSB adapter is sending or receiving data.

 

 

 

 

Solid

The wireless-NUSB adapter is connected to a wireless network,

 

 

but it is not sending or receiving data.

 

 

 

Removing the WNA3100 v1 Software

To remove the wireless adapter software:

1.Use the Windows Start menu in either of these ways:

Select All Programs > NETGEAR WNA3100 Adapter program group > Uninstall NETGEAR WNA3100 Software.

Select Control Panel > Add or Remove Program, and then select the NETGEAR WNA3100 wireless USB 2.0 adapter.

2.The following screen displays:

Figure 1-12

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3.Select the Remove radio button and then clickNext.

4.Follow the onscreen prompt to disconnect your adapter. A message displays confirming that the software has been removed.

Upgrading the WNA3100 v1 Software

Upgrades might be available at the NETGEAR website. To install an upgrade:

1. Open the Smart Wizard and click the About tab to display the following screen:

Figure 1-13

2.Click the Software Update Check button.

If a newer version of firmware is found at the NETGEAR website, the following screen displays:

Figure 1-14

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3.Click OK. When the file has been downloaded a message like the following displays:

Figure 1-15

4.Click Yes. Follow the installer instructions, and if prompted, restart your computer.

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