Wireless Adapters

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 2, 2009
Hi All,

It's been a long time since I last visited this forum. I've now moved into software engineering and no longer doing any hardware design, which isn't really great, but recent outsourcing of manufacturing facilities has "forced" me to make a change of career and avoid unemployment.

Just wanted a quick opinion if any of you has had any experience with using various wireless adapters and compared their performance.

How would you compare a USB wireless adapter to a PCI one?
Have you used both n-type and g-type adapters? Was there a significant difference? I'm currently using a g-type PCI and the signal strength isn't the best, as I can't really relocate my PC, I'm thinking of getting a n-type wireless adapter.

Thanks! :)


Joined Mar 24, 2008
This is an opinion, not facts. USB seems like a slow system, while PCI isn't. 2 wires vs. massive parallel wires. That's point one.

Second point, if you are using coax ( it is RF after all) then you can put high gain antenna's on it. This will boost your range considerably. Directional antenna's are even higher gain, with further reach. It also has the advantage of being slightly more hacker proof, as someone wanting to intercept your signal would have to get into the RF lobe.

Of course, wired is always safer. I suspect you've thought about that, but it is something to keep in mind.

Truth, I've used them all. Other than the base speed there isn't much difference.


Joined Nov 12, 2008
Hi Nanophotonics,

I agree with Bill, PCI should be much faster. N should be faster, but it depends on your wireless router. If the router is G and you get an N receiver, you won't notice a change.

As Bill alluded to, try looking for (or making) a good external antenna that you can move, ideally much higher than the back of the computer. You should be able to pop out the small one sticking out of your PCI card and get a cable and connect to better one. Moving the antenna (since you can't move your PC) should increase your signal strength.

Alternately, while USB may not be able to move data as fast (I don't know this for a fact in terms of wireless data), you could also buy a USB adapter and a 2m or 3m USB extension cord and move the USB antenna around until you get the best signal strength. I've used older USB wireless adapters with no major notice to my web surfing speed. Just some ideas.

Thread Starter


Joined Apr 2, 2009
Thanks all for the reply.

Unfortunately, wired wouldn't be possible in this case. The router is N, so an N receiver may be better. I'll see if I can make an antenna myself and have a play with it.