Wi-Fi Stick Vs. Wi-Fi Card

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Which one is better: a Wi-Fi USB stick or a PCI adapter? As far as Wi-Fi is concerned, Chris recommends USB.

When you install a PCI card, you need to make sure you have an open slot in your computer, or if you’re using a laptop you can’t fit a PCI card in it at all.

What’s the best reason to use a USB stick for Wi-Fi rather than a PCI card? It’s the best way to quickly connect a machine to a wireless network. Plus, they’re cheap, easy to install, and don’t require removing the desktop case to add it.

For compatibility and mobility, USB beats PCI in many ways. What’s your recommendation?

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6 thoughts on “Wi-Fi Stick Vs. Wi-Fi Card”

  1. USB anytime! I owned Wifi PCI adapter, and although the signal show full strength, the data transfer sucks, mainly because interference from the power cable to the CPU. Unfortunately, the position cannot allow me to move the cable, so I have to live with it :(
    With USB, you can buy a long cable to minimize the interference, plus an option to build a custom antenna for it :)

  2. I use a Linksys WUSB54G USB wireless g adapter. Its simple to install and use on both laptops and PCs. I had my family use them too when we went wireless. The connection software isn’t the best so i just use the windows default wireless network manager. Of course the price for the Linksys is higher than the generic ones you see on techbargains but the quality is worth it. hope this helps,
    DarkAlly

  3. I expected this to be a informed article about “WiFi Stick vs WiFi Card”, but no it is some Ubernewbie claiming to have found the “Holy Grail” of WiFi independance the USB WiFi Adapter. You recommended to people USB over PCI (WiFi) adapters why? You choose USB because it will work on any computer and/or platform. Well you are wrong USB will not work on all plateforms as of now (10/2007) This is a moot point, but worth mentioning. This is simply because not all USB drivers are completely ported to anything beyond Micro$oft Windows. USB is a CPU hog; it will drain CPU cycles from other more important processes, and it can be even slower than a 9600 baud modem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modem#Breaking_the_9.6k_Barrier) more times than it is fast. USB is great for keyboards, bluetooth doogles, thumb drives, and most other non-processor dependant features/adapters. Using them for something like WiFi is just plain lowest common denominator newbie (N00B). If you want wireless go with a CompactFlash/SD card, PCMCIA, Expressport, even mini PCI for laptops, or PCI adapter with a long antenna for desktops that can be upgraded at all. USB WiFi is only viable if you have no other choice or are a newbie. I have stated they are slow, and this is because of them not having a dedicated processing unit to process the WiFi signals draining Cycles from your CPU to do this processing. These missed CPU cycles can cause glitches in recieving things like YouTube, Video Clips/Trailers, or even Internet radio updates. These adapters can also heat up to the point of melting plastic in extreme cases. So be informed and aware of your options; just because it is the latest fad of computers people. You don’t have to jump on the bandwagon.

  4. Ya, I own a WUSB54G and the plastic is melted and discolored from intense heat temps. Also, it causes a system memory dump. (I think it is due to overheating. I guess it is an internal temperature sensor in the adapter that shuts down my computer when it gets hot, to prevent damage to the adapter). I actually melted a few air holes in the plastic case and I haven’t had any problems with it since. :-)

  5. HEY CAN I USE A WI-FI USB STICK FROM MY LAPTOP TO CONNECT MY IPHONE TO WIRELESS AND/OR TO CONNECT MY PS3 TO MY LAPTOP FOR ONLINE GAMING? I’M STATIONED IN GERMANY AND BOTH OF THESE THINGS WOULD DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE MY LIFE, HAHA.

    THANK YOU,

    GREG

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