With USB you can get a longer USB cable to attach the USB wireless adapter to. If the signal is weak you can move the USB adapter on the extended cable to where the signal may be stronger without having to move the laptop or move around in the room looking for a strong signal.

I've even had to hang one out the window to get a stronger signal.

The down side is that most peripherals now come with USB connections. Depending on how many USB devices you use, and how many USB connections your computer has, taking up the USB connection with wireless may be a problem.


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Danny Sanders
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What are the relative advantages of each for client adaptors?

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Ok, but what's the difference if you use a longer usb cable or a longer coax cable say to a pcmcia card? Also have read in some forums that usb is flakey with wifi connections compared to pcmcia?

"Danny Sanders" wrote in news:# snipped-for-privacy@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl:

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This is a HUGE advantage of USB. I have a linksys wusb11 on a 20 foot lead, hanging out of the window -- borrowing someone else's network :)

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It's nice this works for you. the spec calls for max cable length of 5 meters (16 feet) unless you're using active cables or multiple hubs.

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The coax is subject to signal loss, the USB isn't (as far as the wifi signal is concerned).


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David Taylor

And a lot of us haven't any free slots, so prefer USB, and occasionally XP can lose the network, unplugging the USB dongle, then plugging it in again wakes things up..

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My most recent laptop has built-in wifi (802.11g), but I still use a PC Card (PCMCIA) for at home as my WLAN is 802.11a. PC Card is just more convienent, don't have anything dangling so can easily walk around, but my WLAN signals cover the entire house fairly well.

Besides PC Cards and USB adapters, there is another option you could also consider. There are now wireless-ethernet adapters small enough and streamlined to fit in a laptop bag. Some are even full blown "routers" and "access points", allowing you to do all sorts of stuff on the road like being able to put together a WLAN, repeat a hotel's WAP, etc.

I've taken one of my DWL-7100AP's along with me on several trips and used it so co-workers and I could throw a quick WLAN together for multiplayer gaming, repeat the hotel's AP, etc. Thought about picking up one of those "travel routers/AP's" though, as some of them are like the size of just a pack of smokes. They also have "client modes" too. Pretty cool.

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try it, specs be damned.

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PCMCIA (cardbus) adapter basically is same as PCI or mini-PCI. Their only drawback is a tiny built-in antenna, so you either have to put your laptop in a right place for good signal, or attach an external antenna (rarely possible). Once you have achieved a good signal, Cardbus adapters give best performance and are rock solid.

The drawback of USB adapters is that they require much more CPU overhead. Usually they work pretty well, but are less robust if some other app or driver keeps the CPU busy.

But there is another important point. Cardbus adapters tend to be more expensive than USB, so check the specs carefully. A cheap cardbus on sale can be a discontinued model no longer supported by it's creator and lacking features.



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Pavel A.

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