My knowledge in wireless networking is next to nothing, except for what I have read here and from many of the links you have posted. I'm hoping to gain access to the AP at my employer which is located 1/4 mile away from my home. I don't have a clear LOS, but from the attic I should only have to go through a few other houses' attics and one window so maybe it will work.
Here is what I have thought about.1) Building a biquad antenna like this one: and find a good place for it at the attic.
2) Then connecting the antenna to the desktop PC with 25' low loss coax cable, probably LMR-400. 25' should give a signal loss of just1.7dB.
3) Choosing the wireless adapter is the hardest part. I have been browsing through newegg and read many reviews. People seem to have few problems with the D-Link DWL-AG 530, so based on this, it may be a safe buy for a beginner. It has a little external antenna which is detachable. Does anyone know which connector this card has? I have checked D-link's website but they don't seem to tell anything about this.
But would this adapter be the optimal for this setup? Or is there anything better out there, perhaps more suitable for long distance hook-ups? Speed is not the most important but I'll like to have a fairly reliable connection.
And what about lightning storms? Would you protect a network card which has 25' cable mounted? I know how induction from lightning can kill electronics.
I appreciate all your feedback.