Not sure if it really helps but if you pair equipment from different manufacturers only the "compatible features" of their abilities will be used. The netgear Stick can go up to 108 Mbps (if paired with an Netgear router that supports the RangeMax technology under optimal conditions that is)
Quote: Originally Posted by Netgear
The RangeMax Wireless USB Adapter is optimized for use with the RangeMax Wireless Router which adjusts to the interference and physical barriers in your home, and delivers up to 500,000 square feet of coverage
while your Linksys under optimal circumstances goes up to 54Mbps
But even that would be much more than what you're getting now.
The main question is now WHY is your connection so weak ?
Is it because of the construction material in between (say floors done in steel armored concrete etc.)
In this case you could try a booster or a matching netgear router but that's kind of like a gamble.
Or is it just because the channel you're using is saturated by other wifi nets in the neighborhood?
If that's the case try to switch your router to a different channel. (check the manual
Also check this out: Top 10 Wi-Fi Boosts, Tweaks and Apps
You say CAT-5 is out of the question....I wonder...there should be existing cable channels going into your basement. (Ethernet 10BaseT or 100BaseTx allows for 100m cable length without any additional stuff) I assume you have at least power lines running down there
Granted running CAT-5 next to a power line isn't the best possible solution but always better than a weak wireless connection. A phone like channel would be optimal.