Which usb wifi adapter to network mac & PC's & airport extreme

vbimport

#1

Hello one & all I am newbie to wireless networking & need some help

I recently just bought an apple airport extreme router, & want to set up a wireless network for a PC, an ipod touch & later a macbook pro laptop.

Right now, I have a dell PC in the kitchen, that I got in 2003, it has an integrated Ethernet thing inside it. It has a wired connection with a DSL modem. It runs windows xp home service pack 2. I have been advised to update to service pack 3, but I will not do it; the last time I tried to update, it killed my hard drive, I had to do a complete restoration of the computer, & buy a new hard drive. It was difficult & it works now, so I dont want to disturb that part of it.

I tried to hook up the airport extreme to my modem with the ethernet cable, but it could not connect to the internet.

I contacted apple support, & they told me my pc was not wireless capable, & I needed a usb wifi adapter.

So now I am looking for a usb adapter. Which one should I get? there are so many. I see some that are for windows, do I need to get a cross platform one? is there one that is both mac & windows? does it matter which brand or type? I just want one that is the most compatible & will bring in a good strong signal, I need the internet for my online classes.


#2

So you ran a cable from your PC to the airport router and that didn’t work? Then they told you your PC was not wireless?

You may simply need to install the drivers for your onboard LAN in the PC.


#3

[QUOTE=eric93se;2511495]So you ran a cable from your PC to the airport router and that didn’t work? Then they told you your PC was not wireless?

You may simply need to install the drivers for your onboard LAN in the PC.[/QUOTE]

I ran the yellow ethernet cable from the pc (took this end out that was plugged into a back usb port on the pc) into the apple extreme, this did not work, then I tired the other end of the ethernet cable; took it out of the black DSL router & plugged it into the apple extreme & this did not work either.

what drivers would I need? where do I get them? could you give a link? what is onboard LAN? does it help with wireless? how do I know if my pc is capable of having a wireless setup?


#4

To update the drivers you would have to know what MB (motherboard) you have. You can use cpu-z, get it HERE, under the MB tab it will tell you the model and all, you can then go to the maufacturers website and get the latest drivers for the LAN (network adapter, or ethernet adapter, local area network). The reason I suggest to update the drivers is because who ever installed you new HDD may not have installed them at all.

If you NEED wireless and don’t want to use the ethernet cable, then you can get a USB wireless adapter like this one Rosewill RNX-G1 USB 2.0 Wireless Black Dongle, here is a list of others to pick from Newegg link.

As long as your PC has either an open USB port or an available card slot inside the case you can add a wireless adapter.

If your unfamiliar with the basics, you can read some more on the net or check out some of the youtube videos Link


#5

Get a PCI card (11n) it’s much better in all ways.
//Danne


#6

[QUOTE=DiiZzY;2511565]Get a PCI card (11n) it’s much better in all ways.
//Danne[/QUOTE]

I wondered if an internal card would be better, why would it be better?

are there some models you can recommend? My PC is a little older, bought in 2003 or 2002. I will be installing in my 2003 bought dell PC running windows XP home edition service pack 2. I want to be able to use the apple airport extreme with it, & network the pc, an ipod touch and a mac laptop.

is a PCI card more reliable? I am in a large cluttered one story home, PC in the kitchen, mac computer & ipod in other rooms.


#7

[QUOTE=Sossity;2511601]I wondered if an internal card would be better, why would it be better?
{snip}
is a PCI card more reliable? I am in a large cluttered one story home, PC in the kitchen, mac computer & ipod in other rooms.[/QUOTE]

Several things.

First, a USB adapter does not have a very good antenna to begin with. This means that the reception will be poorer than a PCI card at the exact same spot. Plus, if the stock antenna(e) on an internal PCI card proves inadequate, you can always purchase external antenna(e) for it. You can’t do that at all whatsoever with a USB adapter. And the only way that a USB adapter can outperform a PCI card with its stock antenna(e) is if the computer is located directly above or directly below the Wi-Fi access point or wireless router, in which case the tangle of wires at the rear of the computer system will act as antennae themselves, preventing the PCI card from receiving the full signal.

Second, many USB adapters run very hot - sometimes too hot to the touch. This increases the likelihood of adapter failure.


#8

[QUOTE=RJL65;2511610]Several things.

First, a USB adapter does not have a very good antenna to begin with. This means that the reception will be poorer than a PCI card at the exact same spot. Plus, if the stock antenna(e) on an internal PCI card proves inadequate, you can always purchase external antenna(e) for it. You can’t do that at all whatsoever with a USB adapter. And the only way that a USB adapter can outperform a PCI card with its stock antenna(e) is if the computer is located directly above or directly below the Wi-Fi access point or wireless router, in which case the tangle of wires at the rear of the computer system will act as antennae themselves, preventing the PCI card from receiving the full signal.

Second, many USB adapters run very hot - sometimes too hot to the touch. This increases the likelihood of adapter failure.[/QUOTE]

Actually, the apple airport extreme & the DSL router will be sitting on the top of the PC tower, next to a couple of external hard drives, & there is quite a tangle of wires from everything coming out of the back of the PC. So would I still be better off with an internal card? or usb adapter? Can you recommend any specific models of wifi cards or usb adapters? for either a card or a usb adapter, does it matter whether it is cross platform? or can I just get a windows one? what wireless? I notice there is alot of ones; g, n, draft. The airport extreme can run a dual band signal, with g, n etc, I dont know exactly, because I do not fully understand the wireless terminology.

As I posted in the beginning, The PC has an integrated Ethernet, & another responser told me to look up my motherboard maker, & see if I could download drivers, should I do this?


#9

Would you mind sharing the tag number of your Dell computer? You can enter the Dell tag number at the Dell support site to see if your computer system has any updated on software and firmware.
You can also see if your computer has a Dell certified wireless card available.

This procedure is better than just purchasing some wifi card and hope it will work.


#10

[QUOTE=Mr. Belvedere;2511653]Would you mind sharing the tag number of your Dell computer? You can enter the Dell tag number at the Dell support site to see if your computer system has any updated on software and firmware.
You can also see if your computer has a Dell certified wireless card available.

This procedure is better than just purchasing some wifi card and hope it will work.[/QUOTE]

The service tag number is; 20WZ831

how or where would I look for the dell certified wi fi card? on the dell website? would I plug in my service tag number or model number & it would tell me?


#11

[QUOTE=DiiZzY;2511565]Get a PCI card (11n) it’s much better in all ways.
[/QUOTE]

Be careful which 11n PCI model to choose. Many of them do not perform any better (and some may perform worse) than a USB dongle out of the box. This is due to their stock antenna setup: Typically, they are too close to the card itself, which in turn are stuck at the back of the computer contending with the mass of wires located there. These PCI cards do require the purchase of an extra-cost external top-mounted antenna just to perform well.

Second, so many of the PCI cards use Ralink chipsets, which perform worse than Atheros or Marvell chipsets.


#12

[QUOTE=Sossity;2511686]The service tag number is; 20WZ831

how or where would I look for the dell certified wi fi card? on the dell website? would I plug in my service tag number or model number & it would tell me?[/QUOTE]
Not really, but now we know the pc details: Dell Dimension 2400 Pentium 4 Celeron machine.

Latest bios update came out in 2003, so my best guess is that this pc is at least 7 years old. Yep, shipped out August 8, 2003.

This system has no pci express, just small pci cards. The USB on this machine probaly does not exceed version 1.0, so i highly recommend getting a wireless PCI network interface card.


#13

[QUOTE=Mr. Belvedere;2511930]Not really, but now we know the pc details: Dell Dimension 2400 Pentium 4 Celeron machine.

Latest bios update came out in 2003, so my best guess is that this pc is at least 7 years old. Yep, shipped out August 8, 2003.

This system has no pci express, just small pci cards. The USB on this machine probaly does not exceed version 1.0, so i highly recommend getting a wireless PCI network interface card.[/QUOTE]

I am getting conflicting advice which is a little confusing, one poster told me this;

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiiZzY
Get a PCI card (11n) it’s much better in all ways.

then another poster replied to the other poster’s advice;

Be careful which 11n PCI model to choose. Many of them do not perform any better (and some may perform worse) than a USB dongle out of the box. This is due to their stock antenna setup: Typically, they are too close to the card itself, which in turn are stuck at the back of the computer contending with the mass of wires located there. These PCI cards do require the purchase of an extra-cost external top-mounted antenna just to perform well.

Second, so many of the PCI cards use Ralink chipsets, which perform worse than Atheros or Marvell chipsets.

yet another poster told me I could use a usb adapter if; the DSL & wi fi router is right near the computer & all the wires coming out of the back of the computer will act as a sort of antenna. And that the cords coming out of the back could actually interfere with a pci card.

some are saying a pci card, others are saying a usb adapter, the apple support I called told me a usb adapter. I have been through quite alot with this machine, a meltdown of it’s first hard drive after trying to install windows service pack 3. Since then a new hard drive has been put in it. I am a little reluctant to open it up & place a card in, it seems delicate now, it is working fine right now, & I dont want to disturb it too much. As it is the only computer in the hopuse so far. But if a internal card is best, I will do it.

Can you link me up to some good ones that would work with the pc? from what you have looked up about it, are there any new drivers for it?

so you are saying it is usb 1.0? I have been using usb 2.0 external hard drives & thumb drives with it.



#14


Should be pretty good
//Danne


#15

[QUOTE=Mr. Belvedere;2511930]Not really, but now we know the pc details: Dell Dimension 2400 Pentium 4 Celeron machine.

Latest bios update came out in 2003, so my best guess is that this pc is at least 7 years old. Yep, shipped out August 8, 2003.

This system has no pci express, just small pci cards. The USB on this machine probaly does not exceed version 1.0, so i highly recommend getting a wireless PCI network interface card.[/QUOTE]

Actually, that Dimension 2400 does have USB 2.0 ports. This is because it uses a motherboard based on the Intel 845GV chipset, which supports FSB533 in addition to FSB400 processors. Plus, the version of the 845GV chipset used on the Dimension 2400’s motherboard supports DDR333 memory (although the memory would run at a maximum of only DDR266 speed with your system’s CPU).


#16

[QUOTE=RJL65;2512004]Actually, that Dimension 2400 does have USB 2.0 ports. This is because it uses a motherboard based on the Intel 845GV chipset, which supports FSB533 in addition to FSB400 processors. Plus, the version of the 845GV chipset used on the Dimension 2400’s motherboard supports DDR333 memory (although the memory would run at a maximum of only DDR266 speed with your system’s CPU).[/QUOTE]

I stand completely corrected (remember i said probabyl?). USB 2.0 all the way. My sincere apologies.

I was wondering… why not contact Dell for their advice? It’s their system.

In basic it comes down to this : USB Wifi = CPU hungry. PCI Wifi = Not cpu hungry and more reachability. Price roughly the same.