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Old 2007-09-03, 21:24   Link #1
guest
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Join Date: Nov 2003
wireless card/router?

Hello, I just found out that my desktop doesn't come with a wireless card so it can't use wireless connection. What wireless card would you recommend? Is internal better than external, in term of stability and speed? I have to make this work with a router. Does this make any difference? I am running on Vista. Thanks.

Oh, is there a difference in connection, as in SATA connection vs. ATA or something like that? Is there some thing I should know about when choosing a wireless card? The router can work on both: wireless and landline.
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Last edited by guest; 2007-09-03 at 22:12.
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Old 2007-09-03, 21:32   Link #2
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 28
A wireless card is going to come in the form of a PCI card. SATA and ATA refer to connections used by drives like your hard drive or your CD drives. A PCI card is more like a graphics card or a sound card in that respect.

Most wireless cards have a little antenna, unless they're for laptops. I don't know of any wireless cards that are external, but if you run across any, post the link and we can check it out.

My only advice would be to consider the manufacturer. If your connectivity really matters to you, it may be better to go with more highly rated networking companies' products than with a no-name brand, even if there's a relatively large price difference. Some of the more highly rated companies include D-Link (my new favorite), Belkin, Netgear, and Linksys. Also, to ensure maximum compatibility (especially if you want to use a draft-N connection), get a wireless card from the same manufacturer as your router, if possible.
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Old 2007-09-03, 22:01   Link #3
Irvine
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ohio
If you search around websites such as Best Buy and Circuit City, you can find wireless adapters that plug up via usb port. I have this Lynksys adapter plugged up on my old desktop computer which connects to a lynksys router, and I couldn't be happier.
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Old 2007-09-03, 23:21   Link #4
SeijiSensei
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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With Vista you need to make sure the drivers are available. I'd avoid buying older hardware unless you're certain there's a Vista driver available from the manufacturer. We just installed a couple of these Linksys PCI Adapters which came with Vista drivers. They worked fine with a non-Linksys wireless router from Verizon. I would have used the corresponding wireless router from Linksys, but it was less trouble to use the router Verizon provided with their DSL service.

I chose the Linksys products after looking at reviews of devices implementing the new, higher-speed Wireless-N (802.11n) standard. I was installing a network in an office so reliability mattered more than speed. This particular wireless-G implementation by Linksys with its "speed boost" technology, though somewhat slower than wireless-N, got universally better reviews than most other products I examined in both speed classes.

I like PCI adapters because they reduce clutter. USB adapters are nice when you might want to move them from machine to machine, or you don't want to muck around inside your computer. I haven't seen performance comparisons between the two technologies, but I suspect they don't differ all that much in practice. In principle, connecting the adapter to the PCI bus should be faster than a USB 2.0 connection, but both these technlogies transfer data at rates considerably in excess of wireless speeds. Perhaps others here have seen direct comparisons?

There are small USB adapters that look like USB storage devices (so called "key-chain" devices). They work pretty well and are unobtrusive. They don't usually have external antennas so their signals don't propagate as well as the PCI or external USB box-type adapters. Still they're easy to install; again just make sure you can get Vista drivers.
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Old 2007-09-03, 23:34   Link #5
Potatochobit
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buy an external USB as recommended. the reason is you can move it to any computer u want. what router are you using now? wireless G is cheap now, but if you plan to replace your router anytime next year, look at the wireless N usb adapters.
buying the same brand for adapter and router doesnt matter unless you are planning to use their built in software. if you choose netgear, do not use their USB software for wireless G just use the windows xp and let it install the drivers off their disc. and never buy a netgear router.
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Old 2007-09-03, 23:41   Link #6
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I am using Linksys from RCN. I don't need to move around this computer or exchange between machines so USB or PCI, I guess it won't matter much. I may prefer PCI because I can save USB port for something else, maybe. Does anyone know about stability and speed difference between PCI and USB types?

One thing I notice from you guys is that there is an anntena for an internal PCI adapter? How is this anntena going to work if it is inside of the computer? Is it going to take up too much space or does it have to stick out from the computer?

I really need to pay attention about a Vista compatible PCI adapter. This Vista is really buggy. I am hesitating buying photoshop becasue I am not sure if it is compatible with this bug I am having with Vista. I know Adobe claims it is OK, but from my experince, you only know after you actually install it and use it.
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Old 2007-09-04, 01:34   Link #7
hobbes_fan
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I'd advise you steer clear of Netgear, if you're running Vista. Seems as if they're having a hard time with drivers.

IMO linksys seems to produce the best wireless PCI products generally, but a couple of questions as well, What wireless router are you using? Is it capable of the 802.11n protocol or is it using the standard 802.11g?

802.11n offers a little bit better performance but it's not standardized or at least commonplace yet. But if you have you might as well use it. but if not just go with a 802.11g card
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Old 2007-09-04, 08:38   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
I'd advise you steer clear of Netgear, if you're running Vista. Seems as if they're having a hard time with drivers.

IMO linksys seems to produce the best wireless PCI products generally, but a couple of questions as well, What wireless router are you using? Is it capable of the 802.11n protocol or is it using the standard 802.11g?

802.11n offers a little bit better performance but it's not standardized or at least commonplace yet. But if you have you might as well use it. but if not just go with a 802.11g card
I was told that this computer should (or must?) use 802.11B or 802.11G. I am using Linksys.
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Old 2007-09-05, 15:06   Link #9
Syaoran
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Join Date: Dec 2005
802.11B runs at 11Mbps
802.11G runs at 54Mbps

Nowadays there's even 802.11N at ~100Mbps
I'd suggest to go with Linksys. They've all kinds of solutions.
For desktop PCs I'd buy a PCI card. If you'd like to move the wifi adaptor from one box to another or to a laptop without having to buy many of them, go for an usb adaptor.
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Old 2007-09-07, 01:42   Link #10
Edgewalker
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Join Date: Mar 2004
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Get Wireless G. And get a good one if you want to use it for gaming ( The best ones tend to be the USB ones that can be moved around on a USB cable for better signal ). I have a linksys WUSB54G and it works great.


You should really be happy that you didnt get a build in wireless card. To be frank, alot of built in wireless adapters tend to be frail and lose connection at the slightest hint of EMI. I have a built in wireless in my laptop that i actually ended up disabling because of its poor performance irregardless of location, and most other built ins I see are equally full of fail.
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