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Networking Products

How to Choose a Wireless Network Adapter

Wireless Network Adapter

When buying a wireless network adapter, you must understand the different types available. There are a six types of wireless network adapters:

  • PCI
  • USB Wireless
  • Ethernet Port
  • Home Network Kits


PCI adapters are add-in cards installed inside desktop computers. Before purchasing your wireless network adapter, make sure your desktop computers’ motherboard has an available PCI slot.




Asus PCE-AC56 Dual Band PCI Express Wireless Network Adapter


One type of PCI adapter is the PC Card or PCMCIA. We use the PCMCIA inside notebook computers which you will notice because of its antenna that protrudes from the body of your notebook. A great alternative to the PCMIA network adapter is the Mini PCI.

Mini PCI

The Mini PCI wireless adapter has a built-in wireless antenna and is installed inside of your laptop computer. Installation is straightforward. However, installation  does require know-how.



StarTech Mini PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter

USB Wireless

If you do not know how to install a Mini PCI wireless adapter or do not want a PCMCIA network adapter,  try a USB wireless network adapter. USB network adapters are plug-and-play devices that plug into your computer USB port.

They are the easiest way to get wireless connectivity. However, because they occupy a valuable USB slot USB wireless network adapters are an inconvenience.


Affordable and Ultra Reliable:
TP-LINK TL-WN725N USB Network Adapter

Ethernet Port

The last type of wireless adapter is an Ethernet port wireless adapter. Ethernet port wireless adapters are less common and work by connecting to your computers Ethernet port.

Once you plug the device into your Ethernet port, it works to provide wireless connectivity. You’ll find an Ethernet port wireless adapters in a game console like PlayStation and Xbox.

Home Network Kits

Many users find it easier to use one of the same brand as their router. Thus, home network kits are ideal for this scenario because they  include a router and wireless network adapter bundled together.


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