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Which Wireless Network Card for my MOBO ?

By Indetrucks ยท 6 replies
May 21, 2013
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  1. I recently put my computer tower in my bedroom hooked up to my TV.
    Everything is great, except I don't have the internet (no cable and not looking to drill into my floor).

    My router is close by and signal is strong so I just want to install a wireless network card.
    Problem is, the ones I see online seem to be for the PCI-e slot. Well, I have a video card already occupying my PCI-e slot. It's also really thick so it also takes up two slots )covering what looks like to be the spot I would put the Network Card).

    The only accesable slots remaining are the two white PCI slots at the very bottom. Can a wireless network card be installed in one of those slots? Got any recommendations for one that will work?

    MOBO Specs here

    Here's the Mobo

    Thank you all very much for your help!
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,306   +577

    Yes, you can use a PCI wireless adapter. There are various brands and models but I don't have a specific recommendation because I don't happen to use one. Most are not too expensive.

    As an alternative you can use a USB wireless adapter. I've used one on the end of a 3' USB cable extension so I could move it around for better reception. I have this installed on one of my PCs and it's a Rosewill USB adapter with an external antenna (RNX-G1). The RNX-G1 has been superseded by newer models which I haven't tried yet but it works well and I like it a lot. I've used a couple other brands but Rosewill has worked the longest and most reliably so far. USB wireless adapters are fairly inexpensive and very simple to install. You just install the driver/software package first, then plug in the USB adapter, it gets detected by the PC, then select your wireless network (SSID) and enter the password. It gets its power from the USB port and needs no external power source.

    Another alternative which I use on my main computer is a wireless AP or access point. These are generally much more expensive and require a bit of work to configure and set up but once it is set up all you do is plug it into your computer's LAN port via a network cable. No software needs to be installed on your PC except for the LAN driver which should already be installed. I use this method because it doesn't tie up any USB ports and I have several computers that I rotate in and out of my computer desk and all I have to do is plug in the LAN port, hit the reset button on the AP and it's connected. A wireless AP needs to be plugged in for power.
  3. Indetrucks

    Indetrucks TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Wow... thanks so much for the quick response, I have no idea I could use a USB adapter.
    Between the USB and the PCI, which one would be the most effective/fastest as far as download and browsing speeds?
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,306   +577

    I think the PCI adapters would be faster although I'm not an expert in this area.
  5. Indetrucks

    Indetrucks TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Quick Amazon search pulled up this USB adapter.
    http://www.amazon.com/Medialink--150Mbps-Wireless-USB-Adapter/dp/B002RM08RE/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1369145622&sr=1-1&keywords=wireless usb adapter

    What do you think?
    Also... should I go with something that offers 300Mbps instead? I'm a noob so Mbps refers to the speed right?
    So in that case, would this one be better ?
    http://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Wireless-Network-Adapter-Antenna/dp/B006JWMOOI/ref=sr_1_8?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1369145622&sr=1-8&keywords=wireless usb adapter
  6. Indetrucks

    Indetrucks TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,306   +577

    Your internet connection speed might be a bottleneck. Even though the adapter is capable of fast speeds, your ISP upload and download speeds might not be nearly as fast. Be sure the adapter supports the protocol your router is using. For example, if your router uses 802.11n, make sure the adapter isn't limited to 802.11a, b or g. Also, make sure it supports your router's encryption standard.

    So regarding speed, you probably won't see a difference between the two. It's your choice.

    Edit: You posted again while I was still writing. The PCI adapter probably will be fine. It's hard for me to make a firm recommendation since I haven't used any of these myself.

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