Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Wireless adapter vs wireless card?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
Share
November 4, 2012 2:06:29 AM

I have recently started (slowly) upgrading my computer. I have an older desktop, and I'm wanting to eliminate the ethernet cable so I can put my desktop anywhere in the house and not have to worry about running cables.

Before someone jumps in and tells me just google it, let me just say I already have, but I'm not really finding a good answer for my problem specifically.

I really can't afford the faster internet at this time and I'm having issues with streaming movies. So I really don't want to lose what speed my internet does have by switching to wireless. The USB adapter is less expensive by a few bucks, but I'm worries it might just stop working randomly, or be slow in comparison to a PCI card. Another issue is with my old motherboard, I only have 2 pci slots and one pci-e slot, I've ordered a new sound card, just installed a video card. So I only have one slot left, and I was wanting to put a TV tuner in that spot.

Should I get the USB (300mbps is what I'm looking at) or should I just get over wanting to put a tv tuner in and just get the card and install it? Just wanting some general advice on what more advanced users think of it. I've seen pci expansions online but that was just way out of my price range, and do not want to have to buy a new motherboard.

Oh and sorry if I didn't put this thread in the exact section it needs to be in.
November 4, 2012 10:53:43 AM

USB should not be slower than PCI...it may be technically but even the newest pre-AC standard card only go 1.3m and even USB 2 is many many times faster than that.

The key reason people use PCI cards is they have better support for things like 3x3 mimo. Mimo requires either 2 or 3 antenna. Gets kinda hard to stick those in USB adapters and external antenna work much better for mimo. Still mimo just means you can only run 150 rather than 300m which does not matter since you average home users cannot afford a internet connection that can actually run 300m

In a desktop situation I would at the very least buy a USB extension cable so you can place the adapter away from the machine...the metal case blocks signal. USB adapters with external antenna are also a nice option so you could replace them to increase the signal strength.

Bottom line will be how much signal your house absorbs which varies greatly from house to house. The house itself will make much more difference than any tiny differences in performance between USB and PCIe. There difference between cabled and wireless is very significant but if your wireless signal does not get much interference it will still be able to pass much more data than your internet connection can provide.
m
0
l
!