USB or PCIe wireless adapter.

Messages
122
Location
North Georgia
When my old computer died I had to have a new one ASAP so I went to Wally World and bought an HP. It had Windows 7,a quad core processor and 6 gigs of ram for around $400. But it came with no on-board wireless. I decided to just swap over the wireless card from the old computer but it was a PCI card and the HP has only PCIe slots. None of the stores in my area carry a PCIe wireless adapter, just USB wireless adapters. I would have to order the PCIe card from New Egg or the like. Are their any issues with using the USB adapter vs the PCIe card?
 
Messages
688
Location
Atlanta, GA
There is nothing really wrong with USB adapter, other than it doesn't usually have as good of a range. I personally prefer internal wireless adapters.
 
Messages
2,500
Location
Dallas, Texas
How huge is your house? I have my wireless router on top of a piece of furniture that's about 30 feet and though 2 drywall walls from my now 6 year old machine. It has a USB port wireless device and works peachy keen. My wife has a 10 month old Dell with internal wireless, and other than having 4 cores and 8 gigs of ram, I cannot tell a difference surfing the web or with download speeds of basic updates. BTW, All the wireless N stuff out there is designed for better range, and more importantly better penetration of hard surfaces (read brick and rock walls). You typically don't need it unless your router has already been upgraded or your house it built into a hillside or mountain or something like it. Maybe concrete or cinder block internal walls would be a good reason too. Just not sure. Anyways, I've had good luck with cheapo USB drives attached to ancient machines. But all my internal walls are wood studs and drywall.
 
Messages
2,625
Location
MN
Do you really need wireless? Just get an ethernet cable and connect directly to the router, after all it is a stationary desktop.
 
Messages
2,500
Location
Dallas, Texas
Running Cat5 or Cat6 through a wall across the house and down another wall is a bear. And remember you can only go about 100 yards with a cable run before attenuation kills your signal, if you have multiple stories or just a HUGE cable run. Wireless is the way to go. Much less difficult. And if you choose to move your office, or move your computers around in your house, that is one less thing to have to be concerned about. I used to work from home... from Starbucks. As long as you have a signal, regardless from where, wireless is the way to go.
 
Messages
17,854
Location
Silicon Valley
Personal recommendation if you are going to pay for one anyways: buy a good router with open source firmware support that has good range, and flash the firmware to use it as an "client" or receiver. router usually have much stronger signal and you can place it far away, as high as you want to get better reception. a good router can go as far as a house away, and i share internet with my neighbor (split internet bill) using this approach. or if you do not want to hack things just buy an ethernet wireless adapter (i.e. those "gaming adapter"), for the same benefit, at a higher cost (i.e. $60)
 

Autografe

Thread starter
Messages
122
Location
North Georgia
My apartment is not large and I presently have my computer wired to the router. This involves running a cable across the middle of a room and is not a permanent solution. As I rent, installing cable through a wall is not an option. My old computer worked very well on my wireless setup and I would prefer to keep that.I have a fairly new wireless N Cisco router so I have a rather speedy, for my purposes anyway, home network. It looks like a USB adapter would work fine for me. Thanks for the input.
 
Messages
895
Location
Midwest
Originally Posted By: PandaBear
Personal recommendation if you are going to pay for one anyways: buy a good router with open source firmware support that has good range, and flash the firmware to use it as an "client" or receiver. router usually have much stronger signal and you can place it far away, as high as you want to get better reception. a good router can go as far as a house away, and i share internet with my neighbor (split internet bill) using this approach.
Yep. Buy a router that you can put Tomato on and crank up the power. Tomato allows you to crank up the transmit power significantly. Though you don't want to crank up the power too much because once you reach a certain threshold, higher power starts to degrade the signal and you get packet loss etc. Default in Tomato is 10mW (or 15?) can't remember right now. If you try pushing the transmit power up in increments of 2mW until you get a good strong signal to your desktop. You shouldn't have to worry much about the signal from your desktop reaching the router since they have much better receiving antennas than what is built into the USB dongle. I've been using one of these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833162134 for a about 4 years now. Buffalo makes some great consumer products grade products that blow away Linksys and D-link. My old one is not a N or "draft-N" router but it does have an internal amp for both the transmitter as well as receiver. My house is a 2 story stucco Tudor from the 1920s. The external walls are about 10 inches thick (1" thick sheetrock with a skim coat, 8" of insulation space, 2" of stucco). The router has no problem broadcasting a strong signal to my garage which is 30ft away from the house.
 
Messages
17,854
Location
Silicon Valley
If it is just inside an apartment, any solution would work because the range is so short. If you want to be flexible you can use USB and raise it high with USB extension cable, or if you want things to be less cluttered you can use PCIe. Still I would pick one with a good chipset, rather than a good brand. Atheros and Broadcom chips are good, Ralink and Marvell not so much.
 
Messages
252
Location
Austin, TX
Originally Posted By: PandaBear
If it is just inside an apartment, any solution would work because the range is so short. If you want to be flexible you can use USB and raise it high with USB extension cable, or if you want things to be less cluttered you can use PCIe. Still I would pick one with a good chipset, rather than a good brand. Atheros and Broadcom chips are good, Ralink and Marvell not so much.
That tplink I posted has an Atheros chipset. Rather than researching and reviewing I just went to Fry's and picked one with a low price and a nice box and got lucky. Their routers look promising too
 
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