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What should I look for in buying a ethernet card?

Posted on 2002-06-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I need a new ethernet card. It needs to be PCI. It needs to be XP compatible. All it needs to do is link my broadband (cable) modem to my computer. I prefer the fastest and most up to date technology available.
IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD LOOK FOR OR STAY AWAY FROM? ANY PARTICULAR BRAND BETTER THAN OTHERS?

Please reply quickly...

Thanks,
duvall
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Question by:duvall
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Boling earned 50 total points
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I have had good luck with the Linksys Etherfast 10/100 Lan cards (Model No. LNE100TX), although I am sure that there are others which are comparable.

This card is also cheap.  I paid about $14 each.
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by:slink9
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I have also used LinkSys quite a bit.  They normally work well.  In a low-end application such as yours, this is probably the best for you.  All cards are 10/100 now, which means that it will drop down to 10M if the router only supports that speed and will run at 100M if that is supported.
Cheap and reliable sounds like a good combination.
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by:tmj883
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LinkSys...is gooood, agreed...T
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by:Crash2100
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I also agree with the comments on linksys.  If you really want up-to-date go gigabit ethernet.  But unfortunately it won't do you any good just using it for a cable modem, because they can't go any higher than 10mbps.

Linksys Instant Gigabit Network Adapter (32-bit)
http://www.pcconnection.com/scripts/productdetail.asp?product_id=248205
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by:slink9
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Crash ... and burn.  Same thought here, but 10/100 is basically useless in this case because the max is 10M.  But hey, if you have more money than you can use, buy the gigabit.  Then send me the rest that you don't want.  I can sure use it.
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by:CRAK
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A different question for duvall and all involved here:

Why PCI... not USB?

It's available in 10/100Mbps, saves a slot, saves IRQ troubles, easier to install ("mount") etc.
I'd recommend alternatives for the onboard PCI slots as their number is rather limited. USB is ready to connect up to 127 devices!
I've got one myself to connect to a cable modem (512/128kbps) via a router. I've used 3Com PCI cards before, but this is much easier!
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by:slink9
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That depends on what you want.  USB has it's problems also.  I had rather use USB for external devices such as cameras, PDAs, and keyboards and mice, even.  Just a matter of choice.
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by:magarity
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Cable modems are 10Mbit half duplex...  Do you want the fastest and most up to date technology just to spend extra money for nothing?  Go to the local electronics superstore and get the cheapest thing they stock with a Windows2000/XP compatibility sticker.  It will be faster than the cable modem.  I use a 16bit ISA network card with my cable modem and assure you there is no performance difference between that and a 64bit gigabit PCI network adapter.
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by:slink9
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No matter what you get there, I don't believe it will be cheaper than a $15 Linksys.
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by:alfanhendro
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maybe you want to consider to get one with wake-on-lan feature, so you can boot up your computer from anywhere using the internet. you'll need to check on your motherboard and get the correct software tough. go to download.com and search for "wake on lan network" or
"wol network".
i don't know whether the models mentioned above have the wol feature or not, but you can just check on the box( same thing also to your motherboard. get the manual, see whether it says something about the wol or not).
for compability with winXP, you can check in microsoft hardware compability list
http://www.microsoft.com/hcl/default.asp
hope it helps.
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by:Smokintbird
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here's something for your future reference:
http://www.computeruser.com/about/advertise.html

look at the map, and if you live in any of the cities shown, you can send them an email, and ask for a list of locations you can pickup a current copy of the "Computer User" magazine.  It is a free publication that has LOTS of local computer stores advertising their price lists for all kinds of computer hardware.

I always check through the newest magazine when I get ready to purchase a new piece of hardware.  

Just a suggestion, but it has saved me a TON of money.  IE: I live in Atlanta, and at bestbuy, their cheapest PCI network card is $19.99...   the cheapest place around here to buy computer hardware is Ginstar Computers (Http://www.ginstar.com) and they've got one for $9.99 that's XP compatable.

$10.00 just on your first piece of equiptment, is a healthy savings, and in my opinion worth the trouble of looking around.

Good luck.
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by:magarity
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We have all replied quickly as requested, can we hear back from duvall?  Do you have any followup questions or need someone's opinion clarified?
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by:duvall
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For answering FIRST!
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