• Protip: Profile posts are public! Use Conversations to message other members privately. Everyone can see the content of a profile post.

Wireless card recommendations

27 April 2003
Denver, Colorado
So I finally joined the rest of the world and got high speed internet today (I was the last person on the planet to get a cell phone, too:). Anyway, the outlet locations are not very convenient for where I use my computer, so I want to get a wireless card. The modem they gave me is already Wifi, so I don't need a new modem, just a card (right?). Is there much difference from one card to another? I'd like the most user friendly possible, ease of connectivity and security being the most important features. The modem is an Actiontec, my computer is a Dell Inspiron P4 using XP Pro, if it matters.

Also, at some point in the future I'll want to hook my X-Box up as well, will wifi work well for that also, or is there a potential for "cut out" during gameplay?

Thanks, Will
Your Actiontec is not only modem, but also a Wifi router, right? So you may have 3 possibilities: Connect your computer with a Ethernet cable to one of the ports of the router, buy a PC wireless card or (what I'd prefer) buy an USB wireless adapter which you can just stick into one of your USB ports. There are some good ones that give you better wifi connection than internal cards because you have an external antenna. And: You can just replug it if you need the connection at another computer.
My recommendations are don't buy d-link or linksys cards and you should be fine. These two brands tend to be the cheapest for a reason. Always make sure you DOWNLOAD the latest drivers.

A Wireless card is just as good as a USB adapter, and slightly faster. But both do the job, so it really comes down to cost, are you comfortable installing a card yourself, and can you sacrifice a USB port.

When you finally go wireless make sure you're using WinXP SP2, and please use WPA or WEP to encrypt your network. There's no reason to give your neighbours free internet access. ;)

You should also post the model of your Actiontec modem so we can check it's specific functionality. Hope this helps!