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Need advice on upgrading wireless router with adapter

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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July 22, 2009 4:27:11 PM

Hi all,

My situation: moving to a new place with wireless internet, but I'm going to be roughly 90 feet away from the router. I currently get little to no signal using a "test" laptop, and using internet is next to impossible. I also have a desktop with no wireless adapter, so I'll need to buy one.

My solution: I plan to upgrade the router from the Linksys WRT54G to something more powerful. I need to be able to have strong signal that is constant, a reliable router that won't need to be reset frequently because I won't always have access to it physically, and the cheapest way of doing this possible (150 dollar limit on router + adapter). The internet is going to be used for random web-surfing, as well as internet gaming (for example, WoW).

Where I'm stuck: I don't know which router or adapter to buy that can achieve something like this. I'm sure I could upgrade to the best possible choices, but that would set me back almost 300 dollars. I'm looking for an affordable way of doing this. I have three "main" questions:

- what router / adapter would be able to give me strong, stable, reliable internet?

- how important is it to brand-match the router and adapter, if important at all?

- i'm assuming a PCI adapter is better than a USB adapter, is this true, and how big of a deal would it make?

I will gladly welcome any and all advice you all can provide for me. The sooner I get these things the better, but I want to make sure I'm making the best possible decision I can.

Just to show I've done a bit of research, I've considered getting the:
- Linksys WRT160N Ultra Range Plus N Router
- Linksys WMP300N PCI Wireless Network Adapter
for about 150 dollars. Is this a good choice? Will it be too strong for what I need letting me go even cheaper? Will it be too weak for what I need and I'll have to go even higher?

Thanks in advance,

-Tony
July 23, 2009 12:59:46 AM

"N" should meet your distance needs, if there isn't much to block the signal.
Before you buy any equipment, read the reviews of the devices at Newegg.
I learned the hard way on some earlier purchases.

PCI is better than USB for most users.

You can install larger antennas on routers that have external antennas.
This will improve the signal substantially.
July 23, 2009 4:12:30 PM

thanks, that's what I was assuming as much.

Are there any preferred brands? I don't think linksys has an external antenna, but I found a pretty good deal on a recertified router so I'm thinking of making the "economical" choice and getting that along with a PCI adapter. I'll be sure to let everyone know how it works once I set it up :) 
!