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I have a router in my basement, and a desktop in the office upstairs, about 20 feet away through walls. With my laptop, which has a 5300 bgn card, i get a consistent 80% + signal with 100+mbps connection.

I've had trouble in the past using a Airlink 101 golden N usb adapter on the desktop, not sure if that's bc it's an off brand or not. But I'm curious if going PCI would be better?

Does anyone have experience using similar interfaces?

I put the laptop right next to the desktop and the laptop stays strong while the desktop w usb adapter always drop to 26mbps or less, consistenly, but still maintains a 60-80% connection strength.

I'm on windows 7.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

If it will be a permanent addition to that box, use PCI. There are sometimes power issues with USB (i.e. a voltage drop will cut power to it), and you will get more reliable and consistent performance from an internal card.

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do the antenna adapters/extenders that give a little length to put the antenna on the desktop really help? or is that just a gimmick? – hwp08 Jul 27 '10 at 21:23
@zm15 - depends on how far apart your pc is from the access point. If it's only 20 feet, unless you have a walk in cooler or server room between them or something it won't make a noticeable difference. Those boosters are for people that are at the edge of the operable range or get a lot of intereference. – JNK Jul 27 '10 at 23:47

I, myself, have used both and find that PCI connects faster and runs faster (speed wise). I am no expert but maybe it could have something to do with the USB cards have to jump through more "hoops" to establish the connection than the PCI card, therefore slowing down the speed of the connection. But do not quote me on that.

Personally I have had better luck in all aspects of wireless when using PCI adapters over USB.

Hope this helps.

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You could get the worst of both worlds!

  • Requirement to open case to install
  • Questionable performance that others have mentioned!

Get this PCI card then install a USB adapter on the internal slot. Plus you'll degrade your performance even more because your wifi adapter will be enclosed in a metal box. Your shiny new interface will be completely unusable! This is the most awesomely terrible idea I've ever had!

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