Network adapter choice -- Card or USB?

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Network adapter choice -- Card or USB?

Postby mooresmsr » Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:50 pm

I have a networking problem that, based on some discussion in the tech support forum, boils down to getting a new network adapter -- there's a conflict in security support (WEP vs WPA). I'm going to build a new PC, as the old one is 2003 vintage, and I want as much compatibility as possible. Mr T recommended Edimax network adapters, and I just have one more question -- what's the real difference between hooking to the PCI slot in the current PC versus a USB connection (2.0 on current box, 3.0 on new box)? My ISP speed is 20 Mbps, so the 802.11g standard will be fine for overall speed, but is there a difference in speed support between the USB versus the PCI slot? Mr T also recommended getting an 802.11n adapter, and I was wondering, given the ISP speed, if the 11n is just overkill, or does it work better?

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Postby Mr T » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:34 pm

N is the new wifi standard and backward compatible with a/b/g standards.
Its not all about the data transfer rate, it is also about the power of the coverage ie the are coverage -think of it this way - b was quicker that g, but the signal strength was weaker and so it had poor coverage, so in theory over a longer distance and through obstructions (stud walls etc) g is quicker.. then g+ came along which gave greater range before it turned to draft n (150Mbps) n (150/300Mbps) and n+ (300Mps, but at a greater range). So if you get an n card it will work at g speeds - but think g cards are well on their way out (ie not being produced) and will lack the software update to cover newer encryption.

Also internal (PCI or PCI-e) is better than USB, as USB has limitations on the power allocated to the USB ports, but it is rarely noticed as most people don't use all their USB slots and the router is usually within 100m of the PC (albeit with some obstructions).
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:25 am

If you never need to move the device from PC to PC just get the card. Much more reliable.
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Postby evasive » Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:32 am

More than likely the 2003 system has no PCIexpress and the new system will not have classic PCI...
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PCI vs PCI express

Postby mooresmsr » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:32 pm

evasive is correct. The old MB has a grundle of PCI slots, but no PCI-E slots. No new MB's have PCI slots. That's why the question about board versus USB. If the USB solution will work fine on both systems, then that's the route I want to go with. If not, I need a new board now, and then a new board when I do my new system.
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Postby Roach412 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:44 pm

just go USB. they're cheap and simple. i've got 2 sitting around for random use actually.

don't expect the world out of them (in terms of range/speeds/etc) but, they should get the job done.

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