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Wireless USB Adapter vs. Wireless PCI Card


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#1 Queen-Evie

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:21 AM

My desktop computer does not have wireless capability. I want to move the computer to new location in the room.

While I could re-route the cable to the new spot I am not inclined to do so. (it would involve buying a longer length of cable, going under the house, drilling for a way to get the cable to the location. I do not want to pay the cable company to run it) Going wireless will allow me to leave the modem and router where the cable comes into the room.

I have checked local stores for a PCI wireless networking card. Things have changed since I bought one a few years ago for different computer. The only thing stores have are wireless USB adapters. I called all the local computer shops-they don't have the cards in stock.

Are the adapters just as good as the cards? Any advantage of one over the other, other than portability of the adapter? At this time I would not need to use it on another system.

If I decide to go with an internal card I will have to order one from either a computer shop or online.

Any and all feedback will be appreciated.

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#2 rotor123

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:48 AM

For what it is worth If you have a free slot IMHO the card is a better way to go. Most of the USB cards will have better antennas than the little one in the USB devices unless you find a USB adapter that uses a external antenna.

The second point is that a USB2 device could limit your Internet speed. It depends on what speed your internet runs. As an example I'm on the 101Mbps connection so I would need Wireless N and a USB3 wireless adapter to get the speed. Using the built-in Gigabit Ethernet port is better for me.

Plus With the wireless turned off I have no worries about someone using my Internet connection
Police Send SWAT Team, Break Into Wrong House (With TV Film Crew) In Response To Internet Troll.

involves police sending a SWAT team and breaking into the wrong house (whose front door was open) in response to some internet trolls. I'm not kidding.

Video Evansville IN SWAT team raids wrong house

Other cases have happened too.

Roger

Edited by rotor123, 07 December 2012 - 11:49 AM.

Fortune Cookie says: Fortune not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Sent from my All-In-One Desktop. Perfect for Internet, Not for heavy usage or gaming however.

How Does a computer get Infected? http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/2520/how-did-i-get-infected/
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167 @ June 2015


#3 Queen-Evie

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:10 PM

My ISP is Comcast.

The package I have includes fastest internet speed they have.

download speeds up to 30 Mbps and upload speeds up to 6 Mbps with PowerBoostŪ.


I consistently get good results when speed testing.

Checking a few minutes ago came up with 28.89 down and 5.09 up when using the test site listed on the Comcast help pages.

Using speedtest.net 27.56 down and 5.11 up.

I would like to keep those speeds-losing it is not an option.

#4 rotor123

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

I just ran mine on Speedtest.net
Posted Image
and the speed is off a little bit. but still OK. I have this package from when I was working. I only had one day at home and I wanted the best speed for the Internet.

With a 30Mbps speed package just be sure you are getting a strong signal. Choose the best encryption your router has for wireless and expect to lose a little bit of speed. How much speed you get will depend on the router and the USB wireless quality.

Good Luck
Roger

Fortune Cookie says: Fortune not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Sent from my All-In-One Desktop. Perfect for Internet, Not for heavy usage or gaming however.

How Does a computer get Infected? http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/2520/how-did-i-get-infected/
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167 @ June 2015


#5 Queen-Evie

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:14 PM

I'll have to check the router encryption. I don't recall what it is set at.

I have no clue what the speeds are on the other desktop which does use a wireless connection.

The router is a D-Link DIR-615 Wireless-N Router. It works and I've had no issues with it.

If USB adapters impact speed I think I'll order a wireless card.

edit to add:

I just checked the router settings. It says

To protect your privacy you can configure wireless security features. This device supports three wireless security modes including: WEP, WPA-Personal, and WPA-Enterprise. WEP is the original wireless encryption standard. WPA provides a higher level of security. WPA-Personal does not require an authentication server. The WPA-Enterprise option requires an external RADIUS server.


I have it set to WPA Personal, mainly because I had no clue what an external RADIUS server is and did not research to find out about it.

What I do know is that the network is secure and has a strong convoluted password.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 07 December 2012 - 01:23 PM.


#6 rotor123

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

I wasn't inferring that USB would be slower, Just that it could be slower. I would expect Wireless to be slower than wired. I base that on what I have seen in the past. I suspect that it is dependent the speed of the router's processor.

Since you already have a wireless and a wired connection why not run a speedtest on both and compare?

In the real world when browsing I suspect you would not notice the difference. Downloading a large security update for windows or a Linux .ISO you could see a difference.


Did you like that video I linked before?
A little scary!

Roger

Edited by rotor123, 07 December 2012 - 01:35 PM.

Fortune Cookie says: Fortune not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Sent from my All-In-One Desktop. Perfect for Internet, Not for heavy usage or gaming however.

How Does a computer get Infected? http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/2520/how-did-i-get-infected/
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167 @ June 2015


#7 Queen-Evie

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:43 PM

I misunderstood. So now I'm thinking USB device because I really want to get the computer moved and don't want to wait for a card to be shipped. I'm also thinking about getting under the house and re-routing the cable line which would take longer to do than either plugging in a USB adapter or inserting a card.

Or I could leave the computer where it is.

You are correct that I probably would not notice a slight speed decrease.

I pulled out the laptop and took it to a room on the other side of the house.

The Comcast speed test 25.44 down and 5.13 up.

speedtest.net 28.02 down and 4.97 up.

The other desktop I cannot check right now because it is being used by my husband.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 07 December 2012 - 01:49 PM.


#8 Queen-Evie

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:07 PM

Update: Today I finally purchased a USB wireless adapter. I got it set up and have been connecting wirelessly for a grand total of 5 minutes.

Now I just need to get the furniture rearranged and the computer moved across the room.






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