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Wireless USB Adapter vs PCI Wifi Card

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  • WiFi
  • PCI
  • USB Adapter
  • Networking
Last response: in Networking
June 4, 2012 5:13:12 AM

Hi i was wondering what would be better to use for wifi access, a usb adapter, an actual PCI card, or does it not even matter? Im looking to buy a used pc to build on and i need something for wifi.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

More about : wireless usb adapter pci wifi card

Best solution

June 4, 2012 6:52:44 AM

The Desktop Wireless Adapter Difference: USB vs. PCI

Ihazleetskillz said:
Hi i was wondering what would be better to use for wifi access, a usb adapter, an actual PCI card, or does it not even matter? Im looking to buy a used pc to build on and i need something for wifi.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
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June 13, 2012 4:35:33 PM

Best answer selected by Ihazleetskillz.
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June 13, 2012 4:35:49 PM

thanks man, explained it pretty well.
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December 2, 2014 5:01:21 PM

nhasian said:
The Desktop Wireless Adapter Difference: USB vs. PCI

Ihazleetskillz said:
Hi i was wondering what would be better to use for wifi access, a usb adapter, an actual PCI card, or does it not even matter? Im looking to buy a used pc to build on and i need something for wifi.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.


I like your avatar. Sheldon Cooper.
Awesome Answer..it works!!
Best Answer out there! I have searched aimlessly and this one works! I can now open the timed out page AND refig my repeater! Thanks Jorob !!! Hi All those are having problems with the Wireles N wifi Repeater, this ok me over 1 hour to crack. ... See full content
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December 15, 2014 10:00:54 AM

nhasian said:
The Desktop Wireless Adapter Difference: USB vs. PCI

Ihazleetskillz said:
Hi i was wondering what would be better to use for wifi access, a usb adapter, an actual PCI card, or does it not even matter? Im looking to buy a used pc to build on and i need something for wifi.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

that article is 3 years old.
does it really still apply?
I was thinking about upgrading from the dwa-552 extreme-n to something that can take advantage of our new router, a Netgear R7000 Nighthawk AC1900.
At the moment i only get 10Mbps down through the wireless.
while researching i saw a ton of usb adapters but not as many pci adapters.
anyone know if the usb adapters have improved since 2011 (article)?
is it still better to get a pci card?
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January 11, 2015 12:18:03 AM

sirsanio said:
nhasian said:
The Desktop Wireless Adapter Difference: USB vs. PCI

Ihazleetskillz said:
Hi i was wondering what would be better to use for wifi access, a usb adapter, an actual PCI card, or does it not even matter? Im looking to buy a used pc to build on and i need something for wifi.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

that article is 3 years old.
does it really still apply?
I was thinking about upgrading from the dwa-552 extreme-n to something that can take advantage of our new router, a Netgear R7000 Nighthawk AC1900.
At the moment i only get 10Mbps down through the wireless.
while researching i saw a ton of usb adapters but not as many pci adapters.
anyone know if the usb adapters have improved since 2011 (article)?
is it still better to get a pci card?


As of now, this is what you want. ASUS PCE-AC68. http://www.asus.com/us/Networking/PCEAC68/



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December 26, 2015 10:29:32 PM

Ok, I have your answer better than these. USB offers convenience, but is also limited to the speed of your USB. Look up data transfer speeds for USB, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. PCI is limited to what your motherboard can handle, which is substantially more. If you're gonna be dealing with a slower connection, then I suppose it doesn't really matter that much, but if you're gonna be hotspotting on at least a halfway decent 4G, then you have these things to consider. Also, if you're simultaneously using another USB port, especially on an older PC, that could end up throttling both your Wi-Fi speeds and your data transfer speeds if both are used simultaneously. PCI is quick and rather easy to install. I'd only go USB if I was planning on using on multiple PC's. USB 1.0 was either 1.5 or max of 12Mbps. That's Mbps, not to be confused with MBps. bits and Bytes. 8Mb = 1MB Megabit and MegaByte. So, basically USB 1.0 will only give you speeds to stream very low res video, if you're lucky and forget about Netflix. USB 2.0 is much faster, but still, many factors affect the actual speed you'll get. USB 3.0 would do alright, depending on your needs of other USB devices connected. Simple Google search can verify everything I've said. Good luck guy and just FYI, the PCI card the last answer mentioned may be a bit over the top for your needs. That's somethings you'd get if you were running 100MBps internet doing online gaming on a powerful, newer gaming PC. A simple one would be plenty. Besides, even if you had those speeds, an older PC couldn't make use of them as even the bridge on the motherboard isn't gonna be able to transfer those speeds. That's a 1.3Gbps wifi card. I mean, seriously guys, do you just have too much money on hand and not have a clue what you're really getting? If so, contact me and I'll set you up with same exact performance and pocket the excess by getting you parts that match your systems capabilities.
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July 22, 2016 4:48:02 PM

nhasian said:
The Desktop Wireless Adapter Difference: USB vs. PCI

Ihazleetskillz said:
Hi i was wondering what would be better to use for wifi access, a usb adapter, an actual PCI card, or does it not even matter? Im looking to buy a used pc to build on and i need something for wifi.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

While I enjoy the article you posted, it was five years old now. It's safe to say that the tech world has changed a bit since 2011. I wonder if there are any more updated articles on the topic.
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September 14, 2016 3:13:26 AM

I realize PCI/e should be better than USB... so I've tried buying PCI/e... about 5 years apart. Bad experiences with both, and each time I ended up with the USB equivalent that worked so well.

About 6 years ago I bought a Linksys Wireless WMP300N (Standars PCI)... My computer would just boot up and freeze. So I got the Linksys WUSB300N and it worked great for years.

2 years ago it started struttering a lot during gaming, so I replaced it with a pretty cheap Roswill adapter. (RNX-N180UBE) Worked fantastic. I can't believe how much stronger the signal and speeds were.

Last year I got a Dual Band router, so I wanted to new PCIe adapter to go with it. My Roswill one worked great so I tried em again. Rosewill RNX-N250PCe. My up/download speeds would not cross .75 Mbps, most of the time around .25 Mbps. It was just on, working, yet only at a snails pace. http://www.cloudsyntrix.com/
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