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Thread: Wireless adapters?

  1. #1
    * The Arctic Moderator * Sigman's Avatar
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    Default Wireless adapters?

    I'm going to link my son's desktop to the wireless router on my system.

    Any thoughts on whether to go with a dedicated wireless PCI card/adapter or one of those "portable" USB wireless adapters? I'm wondering if speed would be different on one vs the other?

    The "portable" USB adapter (Linysys) also comes with a 6' cable that can be used to get a better position for transmission/reception to the main router...so I'm thinking this may be the way to go?

    Then again, maybe I just want a card plugged directly into the motherboard...eh?

    Thanks for any thoughts/input/opinions!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* BatteryCharger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    The speed will be the same. If it's USB 1.1, then you'll only get full speed on an 802.11b network, if it's 2.0 you'll get full speed on a 802.11g network. I have 3 Airlink USB 2.0 802.11g adapters that I got for $10 each...they work great.

  3. #3
    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    I prefer a PCI slot because it acts more like a "real" ethernet connection. Most PCI cards come with a screw-on antenna which means that you can always attach an external high-gain directional antenna later if necessary.

  4. #4
    *Flashaholic* gadget_lover's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    I use the 802.11 linksys USB when I travel. The hotels don't always have a good signal at desk height. The 6 foot cable allows you to move it around. You can also place 1/2 of a coke can around it to make it directional. The speed's been acceptable.

    Daniel

  5. #5
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    How old is the son's computer? I had problems with putting a PCI wireless card in my wife's computer and finally the phone support told me that the "pci version" on her motherboard was not new enough. I ended up buying a new motherboard for her. I checked with some other wireless manufacturers and got basically the same answer (when I was considering returning that PCI card and buying a different brand).

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    I supported Linksys wireless gear until a few weeks ago and don't think very much of it.

    I recommend that you consider running an ethernet cable and use a standard ethernet NIC. You never know what RF conditions will be like in your house whereas the conditions in Cat5 are predicatble - optimum almost all the time.

    I don't recommend wireless as a primary means of connectivity for anyone - especially with discount consumer brands. It's nice with laptops as a convenience feature - so you can pay bills, get insurance quotes... whatever they feature all the deliriously happy people doing on TV with their laptops. Just keep in mind that you can move a laptop to the other side of the room - something you can't do very easily with a desktop.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    The USB style is much simpler to install and versatile in that it can be moved to another PC or a laptop very easily. I think it is a good way to go.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    I've had great luck connecting my laptop with wireless to the internet at various hotels across the country, much better luck than at the hotels that have wired internet in the rooms. I guess the installation and maintenance of that much wiring just doesn't agree with the hotel industry.

    I would have run wired at home but my wife is very picky about how wires are run along walls and so forth. I have yet to take the laptop out on the patio but one day I'll do that just because I can.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    I have the latest wireless G Linksys router with SRX and had problems with their wireless G PCI adapter on two different systems. I went with the portable USB and don't even need the 'extender' cable. I've been using Linksys products for years and haven't had any issues with them other than the PCI wireless G card.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* Lasernerd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    I use the NetGear USB wireless adapter works great

  11. #11
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    Here's my experience at work connecting to a Linksys wireless b & g access point (router) with some laptops and portable test computers:

    Linksys interal PCI cards are more touble than they are worth. We went through 2 of them in a single machine after they stopped connecting after a couple of months of service. One actually worked better with the antenna removed.

    Linksys external USB G adapter (WUSB54G) have performed flawlessly on every machine I put one on. That's at 4 machines and growing slowly. They have also consistently got better signal strength than the PCI cards. I also have not yet had any issues with one.

    Of course the other advantage is the positioning and portability of the USB interface. Be sure you have USB 2.0 though. If not, put a USB 2.0 card in that PCI slot and use the USB network adapter. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    --
    Jeff

  12. #12
    Unenlightened
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    My personal opinion would be to use the non USB ones when possible. USB adapters are usually part of the mother board on a computer and they don't have much reinforceing, and once you break you USB slot you need a new Mobo. Also USB slots are used a lot more then PCI slots. So there is a better chance of damaging a USB slot then a PCI slot.

    Hg

  13. #13
    Flashaholic* guncollector's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    Can a USB Wireless device work harmoniously with a laptop's Internal Wi-Fi? Do you have to deactivate one connection, and choose another?

    I'm curious, because as mentioned above, sometimes in hotel roomw the optimum angle/orientation of the laptop is not ideal for work and comfort.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    most laptops allow you to disable the internal wifi adapter

  15. #15
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Wireless adapters?

    Yes, and if you intend to use your laptop on an airplane you should familiarize yourself with this ahead of time.

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