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"Wireless Broadband"

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Sun 16/09/07 at 14:49
Regular
Posts: 13,611
I'm off to Uni in a bit and the house I'm staying in has a wireless broadband connection. It's been a while since I sorted anything like this out so my PC still has a bog standard network card in it.

If I want to access this new wireless connection, what do I need? Is it just a PCI adapter, and if so, could anyone recommend me a good 'un? And do I need to buy one specific to the wireless router in the house?

Thanks.
Tue 18/09/07 at 12:50
Regular
Posts: 13,611
Hm, good stuff, thanks again. I quite like the look of this one.

Seems easy to use and has some impressive reviews.
Mon 17/09/07 at 15:57
Staff Moderator
"Aargh! Broken..."
Posts: 1,408
Yep. PCI can run at up to 133MB/s whilst USB 1.1 runs at 12MB/s and USB 2.0 at 60MB/s. However a full strength 54g network link can only have throughput of 6.75 MB/s (approximately half when you take into account all the wireless overheads). Remember that most connection speeds are quoted using Mbps (Megabits per second) while the speeds I have given (for uniformity) are in MB/s (Megabytes a second). 1 Mbps = 0.125 megabytes a second. Hence seeing wireless cards with the 54g standard (54Mbps).
So while USB 2.0 wireless adapters will cope with most wireless speeds you just get a better connection using PCI. I don't think the wireless speed between the two types of interface differs much but you usually get a more reliable connection with a PCI card, probably due to the fact that it can draw more power the the 500mA allowed by USB and so can run at higher powers.
Mon 17/09/07 at 12:58
Regular
Posts: 13,611
Cheers, that's very helpful.

Do you often get a faster connection with a PCI adapter as opposed to a USB one?
Mon 17/09/07 at 09:32
Staff Moderator
"Aargh! Broken..."
Posts: 1,408
You're PC will need either a PCI wireless card (I've found Linksys cards to be ok) or a USB wireless adapter. Personally I would go with the internal card as you then have a free USB port, don't have the hassle of a USB connection not activating properly, and can just fit and forget about it.
You say that the house you are moving to already has wireless broadband so you shouldn't need to purchase a router, but if you do then there are generally 2 types. You need a cable/DSL router if your service is cable based (VirginMedia), or an ADSL router for nearly all the other ISPs in the UK. If you are getting an ADSL router then make sure you get one that supports ADSL 2+ for a bit of future proofing (and the ability to use ADSL 2 services such as Be* and BT's 21CN when it arrives). Have a look in the Freeola Shop!
Sun 16/09/07 at 14:49
Regular
Posts: 13,611
I'm off to Uni in a bit and the house I'm staying in has a wireless broadband connection. It's been a while since I sorted anything like this out so my PC still has a bog standard network card in it.

If I want to access this new wireless connection, what do I need? Is it just a PCI adapter, and if so, could anyone recommend me a good 'un? And do I need to buy one specific to the wireless router in the house?

Thanks.

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