I work in a building where you can only get 3G or 4G reception when you are within 5 feed of the windows with "good" reception available only at certain locations. The closest spot is about 50 feed from my cube. Hotspots are great because I can put my $35/mo Virgin Mobile Overdrive at the window and use my laptop wifi to communicate with it. I get about 2Mbps-3-Mbs when wi-fi to the Overdrive in 4G mode.
This works great until about 9:00 AM when everyone comes in with their laptops, phones and hotspots. My computer then loses and regains connectivity every couple minutes. This make sense with the omnidirectional nature of my laptop antenna and the number of transmitting devices on overlapping and directly conflicting channels.
The Amped UA2000 USB Wi-Fi adapter has a directional antenna that increases the signal to noise ratio of the connection between your computer and the wi-fi hub (hotspot). It also reduces the strength of the interfering signals from the hotspots that are out of line between your UA2000 and the hotspot. Today I got 0.9Mbps with regular wifi and 5.8Mbs with the UA2000 in a quick speedtest.
UA2000 USB Connection
The UA2000 comes with two connectors. One is for communication and the other provides extra power to "Amp up" the adapter. I want to improve my connection without making everyone else's worse so I only use the data connection, leaving the "Amped" connection unplugged. I achieved these results without using the "Amped" connector.
I had no problem using the UA2000 with Windows 7 under bootcamp on my MacBook using the drivers from the web site. Windows 7 can only support one wi-fi adapter at a time. You have to disable all other wi-fi adapters when using the UA2000. You then have to re-enable the standard wi-fi adapter when you unplug the UA2000.
Mac OS/X 10.8 Support
Amped has OS/X 10.7 drivers on their web site that they say are valid for 10.8 but I was unable to get them working with Mac OS/X 10.8. The UA2000 uses the RALinkTech RT2870 USB Wifi chipset. I was able to get the UA2000 working with drivers available on the RaLinkTech web site. Make sure you install the drivers before plugging the UA2000 into the Mac. The Amped utility is a customized version of the OEM utility so the screens and instructions are identical.