I'm building my first desktop for gaming. It took me two weeks to realize that I have been playing online via wireless on my laptop and that I would need something for my desktop. Running a line from one side of the house to the other is out of the question since it's my parents house. I've been trying to do my research on what to do, but it seems everyone says something different. I have a Linksys router with 802.11g and from what I've read it's best to get the same brand. Would like to get something that is fast and reliable as possible so I don't lag or disconnect from games.
I'm going to disagree with the above poster on this one... buy the cheapest wireless adapter you can that is compatible with your given OS. I got a PCI wireless adapter on sale at the Egg for $9.99 (with free shipping!) I have a plain-jane Linksys G router (an older model) and my card has worked trouble free for several months now. I am a gamer and I do pay attention to my pings and I don't believe I added 1 ms to them.
I honestly don't remember the make/model of my card... just a basic PCI G wireless card... here's a link to get you started.
One caveat to my advice... in my particular application range was not an issue... I'm perhaps 10 feet from my access point... I just didn't want a cable on the floor. That said... if you live in a particularly large house, you might consider spending a little more on the card. I'm not sure if the higher priced cards have a better range or not... in my application I wouldn't notice that... but I can say that my pings remained the same (or so close to the same that I can't spot the difference) when moving from a wired ethernet connection.
A good rule of thumb when buying anything in the world (IMHO) is to never buy the cheapest thing available, always go one or two levels up.
Besides that I think both posters above have got valid points, cheap card can work just fine but then again usually there is a reason that they are cheap, for example the fact that their range could be limited.
How far does the signal have to carry and are there any walls or other electronics in between, does your router have one antenna or multiple?
Check all these things and check the specs of diffrent wireless network cards, in the end it will always be a gamble if the card does indeed deliver what it advertises.