WiFi Router Vs. WiFi Adapter

My old desktop PC is currently hooked up to a fibre optic broadband connection via an ethernet cable.

I have a few WiFi ready devices at home now, excluding my PC which is WiFi incapable presently, and I want my home to go wireless.

I was wondering whether the best way to achieve this would be to :-
A.) Get a WiFi router; connect it to existing broadband via ethernet cable, have my PC connect to it via another ethernet cable, connect all other devices wirelessly.
OR
B.) Get a WiFi adapter; connect it to my already-connected-PC, turn PC into a hotspot, connect all other devices wirelessly.

Are there any significant advantages/disadvantages in each scenario?

I know for a fact that option B would be cheaper, but I don't want to compromise on something really important just for the sake of saving a few bucks.
If the advantages of router vs adapter are not very significant, though, option B would obviously be ideal.

As you may have gathered, I'm confused, and require guidance.

Help?

- Nick
12 answers Last reply
More about wifi router wifi adapter
  1. currently hooked up to a fibre optic broadband connection via an ethernet cable.

    Specifically, what is it connected to? Most cable modem/router combinations from the ISP are already WiFi.
    Where are you and who is your provider?
  2. Using the PC as an access point would be a really strange solution. You would need to run a dhcp server, configure the firewall for the mobile traffic and last but not least let keep it always running, when you need the wifi for the other devices. Get a cheap wifi router and set it up as we all do it.
  3. From the sound of it he has Verizon FiOS and they used Ethernet from the optical network terminal to the modem/router which is very strange when they should be used coaxial cable that goes to the DVR in the home too.

    The FioS router should be wireless already too.
  4. USAFRet said:
    currently hooked up to a fibre optic broadband connection via an ethernet cable.

    Specifically, what is it connected to? Most cable modem/router combinations from the ISP are already WiFi.
    Where are you and who is your provider?


    No, it's definitely not WiFi. And I can't really technically describe it, sorry; I'm not very familiar with it. All I can say is, there's a black wire (regular cable like) which comes from outside the house, which then splits into two thin yellow wires, which then connects(this is what the connector pins look like) to a small grey metal box which says "Media converter" on it, which is connected to my PC via an ethernet cable.

    I'm from India, and I doubt you've heard of my provider, VBC.

    - Nick
  5. Oh, your from India okay. Grab a wireless router than and just run a bridge from your modem.
  6. Then just get a WiFi router. Connect to the fiber modem thing, and all the other devices, wired or wireless, depend off of that.

    Don't try to make your PC into an access point. Too much hassle.

    One more thing...whichever you choose, don't have more than one DHCP server running. Either on your current device, or the new router you get.
  7. noidea_77 said:
    Using the PC as an access point would be a really strange solution. You would need to run a dhcp server, configure the firewall for the mobile traffic and last but not least let keep it always running, when you need the wifi for the other devices. Get a cheap wifi router and set it up as we all do it.

    Hmm, ignoring the mild patronization, your reply brought to light a huge disadvantage of Option B. It hadn't occured to me that using my PC as a hotspot would mean it would have to be switched on as long as I wished to use the internet on any of my devices.
    I guess it really would be best if I stopped with my radical ways and unconventional thinking and did it like everyone else :p


    edogawa said:
    Oh, your from India okay. Grab a wireless router than and just run a bridge from your modem.

    USAFRet said:
    Then just get a WiFi router. Connect to the fiber modem thing, and all the other devices, wired or wireless, depend off of that.

    Don't try to make your PC into an access point. Too much hassle.

    One more thing...whichever you choose, don't have more than one DHCP server running. Either on your current device, or the new router you get.

    Conceding to popular demand, I'm going to get a router, then, lol.

    Also, I'm not really sure what a DHCP server is, but I will research it.

    Thank you, noidea, USAFRet, edogawa, for your time and advice.

    - Nick
  8. Oh, one more thing, why is turning a PC into a hotspot a "hassle"? I was under the impression that it's just a one or two click thing.

    Or does it depend on the adapter? Meaning, it's a simple enough thing for the newer ones, and arduous for all the older models?

    - Nick

    P.S.: Does it matter whether the adapter is USB or PCI?
  9. t4akawolf said:
    Oh, one more thing, why is turning a PC into a hotspot a "hassle"? I was under the impression that it's just a one or two click thing.



    Setting up is not that bad, but in use, it is a pain.
    Everything is routed through it, and as such it needs to be on all the time.

    Dad needs to reboot his PC? Too bad for your game, kid.
    Streaming audio on the iPad? Oops.

    Plus which, routers generally have a built-in firewall function.
    Easier, faster, and more secure to use a dedicated device for distributing the signal around the house.
  10. t4akawolf said:
    noidea_77 said:
    Using the PC as an access point would be a really strange solution. You would need to run a dhcp server, configure the firewall for the mobile traffic and last but not least let keep it always running, when you need the wifi for the other devices. Get a cheap wifi router and set it up as we all do it.

    Hmm, ignoring the mild patronization, your reply brought to light a huge disadvantage of Option B. It hadn't occured to me that using my PC as a hotspot would mean it would have to be switched on as long as I wished to use the internet on any of my devices.
    I guess it really would be best if I stopped with my radical ways and unconventional thinking and did it like everyone else :p


    edogawa said:
    Oh, your from India okay. Grab a wireless router than and just run a bridge from your modem.

    USAFRet said:
    Then just get a WiFi router. Connect to the fiber modem thing, and all the other devices, wired or wireless, depend off of that.

    Don't try to make your PC into an access point. Too much hassle.

    One more thing...whichever you choose, don't have more than one DHCP server running. Either on your current device, or the new router you get.

    Conceding to popular demand, I'm going to get a router, then, lol.

    Also, I'm not really sure what a DHCP server is, but I will research it.

    Thank you, noidea, USAFRet, edogawa, for your time and advice.

    - Nick

    Every device connected to an IP network, like the internet, needs an IP address. You get only one IP address from your provider, either for your PC or the router. To connect more devices, you need a dhcp server, that provides a so called private IP out of a range and translates this to the providers IP. That's called natting. Complicate? That's why a router does all that for you. :)
  11. Just like he said above.

    So you'd have an external IP of XX.XXX.XX.XXX for your whole home then an internal network within a range of (192.168.1.1 being the router)192.168.1.2 and above for example. The numbers for your internal network may be different depending on what you have.

    For example:
    XX.XXX.XX.XXX
    Router: 192.168.1.1
    PC: 192.168.1.45
  12. At the risk of maybe being considered an annoying little thread bumper, I just thought I'd let you all know that I did end up getting a router, and not an adapter (my desktop is on a wired connection to it).

    Once again, thank you all for the advice.

    - Nick
Ask a new question

Read More

Routers WiFi Components