The only difficulty I've had is with cloaked networks. The HWU54D has some trouble maintaining the connection if the AP is not broadcasting the network SSID. It doesn't seem to matter whether you use the Hawking provided software or WZC so I'm guessing the problem is in the driver.
I spoke to Hawking about the SSID issue, but I got no indication that they would fix it ... cloaking the SSID is non compliant with the WiFi standard so Hawking technically doesn't have to support it as a mode of operation.
Apart from that, I'd say the product is excellent. At the beach where the airwaves were quiet, I was able to leach off an open 54G network from over 2/3 mile at 11b speeds. In my very noisy neighborhood where I am surrounded by a dozen other wireless networks, its effective range is still about 500 feet.
This USB 2.0 54G adapter seems to get rave reviews for speed and range, partially because it has a 6dbi antenna built into the design. Supposed to have horrible documentation and web site is mediocre. But the hardware is claimed to be first rate.
Apart from the cloaking issue (see below), the unit has worked flawlessly for me. I have knowingly used it with Netgear, Linksys, Belkin and Cisco APs.
It has no problem with either flavor of WEP. I have not tried it with WPA and the Hawking provided Envara software (at least the version I have) does not support WPA. However you can ignore it and use WZC instead.
I have never seen a cloaked network in the wild ... I only discovered the SSID thing because I am an engineer and I had a new toy. I tested it in various configurations with my own Netgear equipment and then on a friend's Linksys gear. I didn't try cloaking without WEP as I figured that was a pointless combination that I would never run into, but I did try both flavors of WEP. In every case the HWU54D worked flawlessly as long as SSID broadcast was on and acted up if it was off.
When the network is cloaked the unit repeatedly loses and regains the association. It works fine for a couple of minutes, disconnects, reconnects and then repeats the cycle again a couple minutes later.
This sounds a lot like either (A) unwanted beacon scanning, or (B) failed 802.11 authentication, but it is neither. I don't let my system scan normally ... I have multiple net profiles, one for scanning open networks and one for each closed network I use. Each closed profile is configured for a single prefered network so there is no scanning once connected. I have 802.11 authentication disabled in every profile because it's meaningless for an open network and none of the closed networks I deal with use it. Also, both scanning and authentication will afflict any connection and this only happens if the network is cloaked.
I have Netgear (WG511T) and Linksys (WPC11) cards in addition to the HWU54D. I have run them simultaneously with the Hawking unit and neither card has any difficulty with cloaking (though it seems to limit their range somewhat). The cards continue to work fine while the Hawking goes into fits. Since all of them are configured the same and only the Hawking has difficulty, I have to assume it's at fault .... it's difficult to account for the difference in behavior otherwise.
I don't think the HWU54D's difficulty with cloaking is a real problem in practice ... I just reported it because you asked about warts and I have no knowledge of your intended use ... it might be an issue for you.
WRT more conventional use, cloaking is a questionable security measure and is not compliant with the WiFi standard. If I were to run into the problem in a legitimate circumstance, I would have a chat with the network administrator.
This is a stretch but it kinda sounds like 802.1x authentication is running and failing when it tries to regularly re-authenticate. If you're using Windoze XP and either WEP or no encryption, try turning off 802.1x authentication, and see if it helps. Control Panel -> Networks -> Wireless Devices ->
Properties -> Authentication With WPA, 802.1x authentication is required and cannot be disabled.
I haven't played with the Hawking HWU54D. I like the general concept of supplying a directional antenna on a USB radio instead of the traditional and inferior omnidirectional antenna. I've tried to push various companies in this direction for about 3 years without success. Even the ubiquitous Pringles and coffee can modifications to produce a directional device has not gotten much attention from the manufacturers. Although I have some trivial reservations about the Hawking packaging, the concept is excellent. If successful, I seriously expect other products to follow the concept and supply devices similar to the more expensive USB-Ant:
the radio is intergrated with a directional antenna.
Windows XP SP2 network connection properties wireless networks Authentication panel says: "IEEE 802.1x authentication can not operate on peer to peer (ad hoc) networks or on networks for which data encryption is disabled."
It is grayed out on a non-encrypted profile. Maybe that is an improvement with SP2.