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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.

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4 Answers 4

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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

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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.

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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)

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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?

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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

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