I'm looking to buy a new wireless network adapter for my desktop. My computer is located down the hall from the router, and the signal has to go about 60 feet and go through about 4 walls. I'm looking for something that will have a strong signal through all of that without being too expensive.
My desktop is also under my desk, surrounded on three sides, with only a small hole in the back of the compartment for cables. So I need something that's gonna be able to work well under that kind of a condition. Maybe something with a usb cable and a docking station?
In general the internal cards have better antenna and support some of the advanced mimo antenna options. Problem being the antenna are in the back of the case now and can be blocked by placement like you describe. There are antenna extenders cables but you suffer huge loss or the cable is so thick it is unusable.
I would go with a USB adapter. Then get yourself a 15ft long USB extension cable for $3 and you can place the USB adapter in the strongest signal. If you really see you are going to have issues get a USB adapter that has a replaceable antenna. It will give you the option to put a larger antenna.
P.S. If it's really bad, you might want to consider using powerline adapters between the rooms. IOW, use the power lines as a substitute for ethernet. Because just increasing signal strength won't necessarily improve reception. You have to know when it's time to use a different strategy. Powerful antennas work best for distance when you still have LOS (line of sight).