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?