A few weeks back, my wife got a laptop with a wireless network card. We were able to pick up a weak signal, and get on the Internet. So, now I'm wondering if I could do the same from my desktop upstairs. Our house is located at about the highest point in the area, so I figure my chances of picking something up are pretty good, especially by adding an external antenna. Soon, our city will be adding a city-wide hotspot. It is already present downtown, and we may be pulling that signal in weakly. (we are on the edge of a hill, and downtown is in a valley that we can actually see out of our second story window - approx. 200' below us)
I've been reading reviews, and narrowing down a list of potential cards. I've come up with two, and can't make my mind up between them:1) US Robotics USR5416 802.11G PCI - $25 shipped
- good reviews online, especially regarding distance
- can't 'see' 802.11a
- supposedly has 110 mbps 'burst' mode on single channel
2) Trendnet TEW-503PI 802.11G/ A/ B 108MB Pci Card - $36 shipped
- it's so new that I can't find reviews yet
- can 'see' the newer 802.11a connections, which may have less interference at 5 GHz
- described as a "super ag", because it is capable of 108mbps on dual channel
I want to use this primarily to get on the Internet for occasional downloading of larger files. (I normally connect on dialup, with 150 hours limit per month, and can't download larger games, etc.) I can't decide if the good reviews and lower price of the U.S. Robotics outweigh the 802.11a capabilities of the Trendnet. Part of me leans towards the Trendnet, because 802.11a may turn out to be like FM radio
- most things in the next few years may switch to it, due to the clarity. However, another part of me just likes US Robotics due to the name recognition. Help!
Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks!