How to improve speed/reliability of wireless access in basement?

Hi,

I've got a dsl-based wireless network in my home using a westell 327w router (802.11g).  It's been working fine for my laptop and upstairs desktop.  However, the desktop had to move into the basement to make way for a baby, and now the access is lousy on it.  Thefloors are only wooden and the walls drywall, but the signal is almost always weak and slow and constantly breaks up.  By the crow flies, it's only 6m from the wireless router, but one floor down and the other side of the house.  I can't move the desktop any closer and don't want to lay cable.  The desktop uses a Dell TrueMobile 1180 USB wireless card (802.11b).

What are my options to improve access without spending a lot of money?  Will a better wireless card help?  I checked wikipedia and both 802.11b (my wireless card) and 802.11g (my router) seem to have the same range so I'm not sure if upgrading it will help?  Do I need a better, more powerful router?

cheers,
Tim
timdlloydAsked:
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accrainCommented:
Could install a Wireless Range Extender this will literally pickup the singal and amplify it from the device. General cost is around $100 and there is little configuration needed. Linksys WRE54G is what I have used the past.
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cottsakCommented:
chances are that ur router has a 3dbi antenna on it. check the antenna, and if it screws off the router u can grab a more powerful 8dbi antenna for about 10 bucks at a computer/electronics store. that should set u straight.
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naughtonCommented:
turn the antenna on its side.  the antenna puts out a dognut shaped signal, and if the PC is directly below it, it would be in a weak signal area.  test out different angles with a person upstairs and a person downstairs.

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timdlloydAuthor Commented:
Nice cost-effective and simple suggestion - thanks
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