Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The wireless card in a friend's laptop has a weak signal while other laptops in the same location get Good to Excellent. I am thinking that his wireless card is of a poor quality and that purchasing a USB or PCMCIA replacement is in order. However, I am not sure which to recommend. Is there a reason to choose one over the other or are the results going to be the same.

There is no Express Card slot so PCMCIA is the only option.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

well, using a usb port means you have one less port ). In general in real world conditions, the performance difference isn't that huge, so i don't think there's a huge advantage between the two

share|improve this answer

Have you tried updating the drivers first? If it's an older laptop (which it has to be to have PCMCIA) there are probably updates available that will improve performance.

share|improve this answer
I did. Unfortunately, it didn't do the trick. :( – ahsteele Sep 11 '09 at 3:51

first, configure the WLAN adapter and disable Power Save Mode (PSM), then check your connection again.

then i don't know which make and model we're talking about, but a decent aftermarket n-draft wlan mini-PCIe controller as a replacement might be the better solution. personally i don't like usb wlan adapter in laptops, too exposed and bound to get damaged (and causing damage to the USB port in the process).

another option would be a wireless range extender (repeater)

share|improve this answer

If the laptop has a PCMCIA slot (some have PCMCIA Express instead) then getting one of those has the advantage of being harder to knock out of the laptop than a USB adapter.

I guess you're not wanting to open the laptop up?

share|improve this answer
Company laptop that his limited IT budget. He's willing to pay to have the problem just be solved. – ahsteele Sep 11 '09 at 3:22
My thinking was that if the antenna to the built in WiFi adapter had come loose then perhaps that could be looked at (probably by a technician) – tgbarnett Sep 20 '09 at 1:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .