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  1. #1
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    Question USB or internal wifi card?!

    I have a PC that I am going to make into a HTPC and I can't run a network cable to it, therefore need to use wifi.... question is; PCI card (not PCI express) or USB adapter for wifi? which is better/faster?

  2. #2
    Super Stealthy Moderator RicheemxX's Avatar
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    Generally, a pci card is going to give you better speeds and more reliability overall.

    Personally I've never had good luck with USB wifi adapters. They might be fine for basic browsing and intermittent use but every time I've had one as a main adapter it has been nothing but headaches.
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    And yet so many people swear by those stupid USB adapters. I always thought they were junk.

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    thats what I thought as well

  5. #5
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    I may be mistaken, but I think the reason for crappy performance with USB WIFI adapters is due to heat.

  6. #6
    Millwright stroyal's Avatar
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    Not heat, they have problems.
    I don't know why, but there are many posts about them not working.

    You won't find many, if any, posts about PCI cards not working, unless they are broken.

    I know many people that never had a problem with a USB network device, but I also know many that have.

    It is not worth the hassle, if you have any other kind of choice.
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  7. #7
    Goverment property now GroundZero3's Avatar
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    I bought a Cisco USB wireless card a few months ago just to see if anything has improved and I was still having random disconnecting issues (like all the other usb cards ive tried)

    If you can do internal I would suggest that route

  8. #8
    RIP Jessica Francesca. paul9's Avatar
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    Another vote against USB here. I have better signal and connectivity with PCI, every time.

  9. #9
    Amazing Member truckpuller's Avatar
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    I had a cisco valet usb adapter and had problems so now i have an internal PCI card and my problems went away.

  10. #10
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    My one and only USB wireless (Bluetooth aside) experience last year wasn't so great either, bought a Rosewill Wireless N capable USB adapter to use in the basement for a PC, located right under my room where the Router is located.


    no matter what I had the USB adapter set for, I could never get a solid connection.

    Meanwhile I've used PCI Wireless in the basement before and though had a slow connection, it was able to connect fine.

    Even using my Sony PSP with older Wireless B, can connect to the router from outside the house in the garage.

    Only thing I can think of is the USB device.

    But the Nintendo Wii also connects via USB wireless, and does so flawlessly, though at reduced speeds, but is able to connect fine. But that could just be the device and its OS/Firmware that the Console uses/runs, which might be more stable than Software on Windows on a regular USB adapter.
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  11. #11
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    However, I have worked on the odd PC now and then for a friend and had no troubles connecting a fast stable USB wireless connection to a home network and internet before.

    So for me, my luck has been 50/50. Versus 100% for PCI/PCI Express or Embedded connections for Wireless.
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  12. #12
    PC Upgrade Procrastinator ShyguyXPC's Avatar
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    nevermind on the Wii/USB comment, I forgot its built in, I was thinking about the USB wireless stick for one of my controllers on the console for some reason.
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  13. #13
    Super Stealthy Moderator RicheemxX's Avatar
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    Just to throw this out there...In no way am I saying all Wireless USB adapters suck nor am I saying all PCI cards magically work great. I've used a few pci cards that suck as well but they were far and few between. Where as I've used very few USB adapters that worked up to my expectations.

    You can get bad pci cards, and not all of them are created equal. Just make sure you buy from one of the better companies and read reviews. Especially take into consideration driver support for whatever OS you'll be running.
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