USB or PCI Wifi?

The question was asked in the FAQ sticky, but the URL given was no good. I need a reasonably good Wifi card/dongle for my PC, as it's going to be around 20-50 feet away from the router, with a wall or two in between.

The highest-rated ones on Newegg in my price range are the Rosewill RNX-N180UBE USB 2.0 External 5dBi Antenna Wireless Adapter and the TP-LINK TL-WN722N USB 2.0 High Gain Wireless Adapter. I like the Rosewill, as it's pretty much just an antennae that I can put where I want, as opposed to the plastic stick that'll be stuck at the back of my case. Are there any better ones in the same price range (i.e. around/less than $35)? Are there any notable advantages/disadvantages to having a dedicated PCI Wifi card as opposed to a USB one?

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  1. Best answer
    There's a feeling that PCI is better -- probably because USB was never really designed for this. My own preference is for PCI. It depends how much you need to move the unit around to gain reception -- USB allows you to add an extension, which can be crucial.

    Either way you may be pushing your luck at 50 ft with some walls in between. I get about 50% reception in a similar situation with a PCI unit.
  2. Thanks. Generally, it's not that far. My wife is really big on rearranging the house, so sometimes it's in the same room, sometimes it's across the house. When I really need fast, reliable internet (i.e. gaming), I just bite the bullet and trail a LAN cable across the house, but for general surfing, I just need something that will do the job.
  3. Have you considered homeplug networking? If the router is staying in one place all the time, just plug in a homeplug network adapter near there, and have the other one follow wherever your computer gets moved to. All you need to do then is plug the relevant ethernet cables into the router/computer and presto you have wired network access across a long(ish) distance. Just another option i guess.
  4. ...never heard of that before.

    Does it work as advertised? That just seems too good to be true 0.0
  5. Homeplug networking works by transferring data over your power circuit within the home. Tried and tested safe, been going around a year or two now. The only proviso (and this means doing some homework maybe) is that to get decent speeds (about 85-100mbps) you need to make sure that the places where the two plugs are in the house are on the same circuit/ring. So say one is in the office and the other your living room, both those rooms must be on the same power circuit/ring; homeplug networks don't work well/at all if the two plug are on different rings.
  6. Wow, I'll look into that then (I'm currently in the process of rewiring our house).

  7. If you are re-wiring the house. you might take the opportunity to put in ethernet cabling. Reliable -- and predictable results, unlike Homeplug solutions.
  8. Good stuff...I'll probably end up doing that, and just buy a cheap USB Wifi adapter with a movable antenna in the meantime.
  9. It's not just a cheap USB dongle.. It's quite good. I've been using an ipTIME dongle for two years, good signal, 54mb/s - it works well, plus, you say your wife rearranges a lot - the USB one will work better, otherwise, see in the products you mention which has a stronger signal output.. etc.
    movable antennaes work :D
  10. Best answer selected by Inane_Asylum.
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