Recommendation on wireless adaptor for PC?

Posted on 2012-09-15
Last Modified: 2012-09-15
I've got a Dell Dimension that I would like to connect to a Motorola DSL Modem (M1000) with wireless module at my house.

The computer is only 20 feet from the modem but it would be far easier to connect via wireless.  Only 1 wall between PC and modem.  

What do I need?  I found these on ebay but not clear to me what the difference is between all of these products.



I'm looking for the cheapest, most effective solution possible.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.  Please provide links to the recommended product if possible.

Question by:DarinOBrien
    LVL 25

    Accepted Solution

    adapters are found under 10 $

    any adapter should work fine in your setup unless your wall is made of metal

    any recent adapter should implement the latest security features you may need

    i believe the electricity used is not something you really care about

    just make sure you plug it in an USB2 of preferably USB3 plug. if you only have USB1, just do not try using a dongle

    since anyway cost effectiveness will be wandering between 6 or 8 bucks and you have a single machine to connect, i'm not really sure, the question itself is cost effective
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    My suggestion is to get one of the bigger brand-names - either Linksys, Cisco, D-Link, Asus, or Engenius. To a lesser extent, you can probably take a chance on Belkin, TP-Link or Zyxel (although my personal experience with these brands have been bad)

    Avoid the generic things from eBay. The wide range of other less-popular brands. Wireless adapters are tremendously fickle and I've found that if you get a really cheap one you will experience poor signal strength, flaky connections, dropping connections etc and will be more frustration than it is worth.

    Just about ANY modern USB adapter will be perfectly suitable as far as the technology goes. The only thing you need to be aware of is which kind of wireless technology it uses - B, G or N. The wireless adapter must support the same technology your modem is using. Almost all decent USB adapters will support all modern encryption technologies - WEP, WPA, WPA2 etc. and will implement the wifi standard sufficiently that you can connect to your modem.

    All the other fancy features on the more expensive stuff - dual band, extended range etc. is all useless to you. Your computer is 20 feet away and you just need basic internet access. You don't have a need for anything more fancy.

    You will find almost all decent new USB adapters support all 3 protocols, making it easy for you.

    As skullnobrains said, USB 2.0 or 3.0 is a minimum requirement for your desktop PC. If your computer is extremely old and only supports USB 1.0 these adapters will not work for you.

    Author Closing Comment

    thanks for the help.  worth every penny...unlimited questions for one low price and needed the warm fuzzy.
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    A different alternative (which I personally prefer), is to use a "Wireless Bridge".

    This is a standalone device, kind-of like your router. You configure it in the same way - the bridge connects to your wireless network and exposes a single ethernet port for your desktop to plug in to.

    Your desktop has no idea it's connecting to a wireless network. There are no drivers to install, no software to set up on the computer, and no compatibility concerns wrt USB. All the configuration is done on the bridge.

    IMHO, I've had more success with these as far as stability is concerned.

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