How good are USB wifi dongles?

  Batch 19:27 11 Jul 10

Anyone know how USB wifi dongles compare (in respect of working distance etc.) with wifi typically built into lappies / netbooks etc?

Are they on a par?

  mgmcc 19:46 11 Jul 10

I have used both built-in and USB Wireless Network Adapters and haven't found any significant difference in performance. My desktop PC currently connects to my router with 802.11n at 300Mbps using a USB dongle.

I'm sure others will tell you that USB dongles are inferior, but that hasn't been my experience.

  grey george 20:10 11 Jul 10

Biggest problem with them is snapping them off by accident, some come with a usb extension cable or a little cradle that they plug into. Will it take a pcmia card?

  AL47 20:47 11 Jul 10

I have no. Doubt they are equal in performance but even in my desktop I have a wifi pci card.. because I will never remove it.. don't want it taking up a spare slot.. I need them all.. and the breaking off iasue.. even more significant on a laptop

  Batch 23:16 11 Jul 10

Thanks for your thoughts guys.

I'm trying to help out elderly neighbours that are frightened of even having a telephone extension cable put in (upstairs to where the PC is) and the thought of opening up their PC to insert a card would just send them into hiding. So, although I'm in favour of having at least one wired connection, wireless using a USB dongle might be the best compromise.

Up until now, they've had a second telephone line purely to use for Internet dial-up purposes (please - don't ask). They've finally started to come to their sense (after about 8 years) that this is a very expensive and very inefficient solution.

  woodchip 09:14 12 Jul 10

I have two and never had any problems, and seem just as fast

  tigertop2 09:32 12 Jul 10

I have 5 in use right now and no problems whatsoever. I tend to favour the Edimax models but there is plenty of choice around

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