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Steve Stombaugh (IND)
Public Guest

Reged: 05/01/04
Posts: 1962
Loc: Indiana
Wireless PC adapter
      #141242 - 01/21/07 10:37 AM

I have moved my main computer out of the room that had a hard-wired cable to the other computer. I can put the DSL router at one of the computers, but I don't want to run wires, so I'm going to run one of the PC's via wireless.

I've been looking at wireless adapters, and there are a plethora. Obviously, I want something that does 802.11g (I'm running a 2wire DSL wireless router), but I'm having trouble deciding between a PCI adapter or a usb-adapter. Certainly, the usb seems easier, less removing the case, etc.

So, assuming I go with usb, what about the various styles? Some, like the Linksys, have some size to them, with an external antenna. A lot are like a thumb-drive, just a small pocket-knife sized device. Some of those go in a holder, with an external antenna.

Then we go to price. Some run as much as a hundred bucks, down to $9.99 at Fry's.

Oh, the other thing... My PC is on the ground floor, at one end of the house - the kid's PC is upstairs, other end of the house. I like having the router near my PC, so I can see if the idiot lights flash. But, with the wireless, am I better to have the router upstairs, for better reception?


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Russell Holton
AVSIG Member

Reged: 07/07/05
Posts: 14136
Re: Wireless PC adapter [Re: Steve Stombaugh (IND)]
      #141258 - 01/21/07 11:29 AM

The main thing for location is that the access point has a clear shot to the two locations. Usually height gets you above the "ground clutter" that can interfere with mobile (laptop) applications. Beyond that, too much height just puts it further away. Since I can't see your house, you'll have to decide what gives the best RF pathway.

Since the upstairs computer has height, it may not be all that important where the AP is located. A lower AP also keeps the signal more contained to the house.

I'd tend to try and stick to the same brand for both the access point and the adapters. Less likely to have problems and easier to apply thumbscrews to the manufacturer's tech support. <g>

If you're going with external USB, I'd tend to go with ones with antennas. I'd assume they'd have a stronger signal then ones with no visible antenna.

As for features, make sure it includes at least WPA encryption. WEP is breakable.

Personally, I like the Linksys brand, but there are certainly other serviceable brands out there.

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