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Which wireless adapter to use?
Need a wireless adapter for PC - for use with Rangemax WPN824 router

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 498 posted 6:20 pm on May 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi all - I've got a Dell Dimension 8250 running Windows XP Pro and have recently moved to a new house (this is my home "business" computer). Since there are limited cable jacks in the house, and I want to have wireless for my laptop all around the house, I decided to go wireless. I'm more concerned with Internet connectivity, but I'll also network the laptop with the desktop.

I bought a NetGear Rangemax WPN824 wireless router and set it up to work with my Dell Latitude notebook and it works great for accessing the Internet. The router is 108 Mbps and my internal wireless adapter in the notebook is only 54 Mbps - again, for the Internet, no big deal.

Now, however, I want to put a wireless adapter in the desktop. So I went out and bought the NetGear Rangemax WPN311 (PCI) adapter.

Installed the software, as directed, then installed the PCI wireless adapter. Now, NetGear actually has a notice printed with the adapter that Windows XP users may see a warning popup about not yet passing Windows XP logo scanning, but they also note that the adapter is compatible and the warning should be ignored.

Long story short (kind of), the warning SHOULD NOT be ignored. First, after installing the software and adapter my machine locked up after the Windows XP logo screen every time. Tried uninstalling the software in safe mode but couldn't because of an "improper or incomplete Windows installer install".

So I reformatted my hard drive and re-installed XP Pro - totally wiped it out and started over (it's OK, it was time anyway).

So then I re-installed the software. No problem. Installed the adapter, as instructed, and the "hardware auto-detect" that was supposed to pop up (according to NetGear) didn't. Additionally, the adapter "encountered an error" every time I started the machine and wouldn't finish the install.

One note - I don't have the Windows XP wireless networking enabled, so there is no conflict there.

OK, thus far just been on a mini-rant. But now, I'm wondering if anyone has recommendations on what to use.

I'm considering a USB wireless adapter instead of PCI, just to avoid opening the box yet again and for better "portability."

NetGear has the WPN111 USB adapter, but I've already been burned by them this time - fooled me twice trying to install the other adapter, don't want to be fooled twice in buying NetGear adapters.

Does anyone have any experience with the WPN111? It comes in both 54 Mbps and 108 Mbps. I was going to get the 108 just so I'd have the option of upgrading the laptop in the future and having 108 across the board for data sharing.

Any information/thoughts much appreciated. Either on the WPN111 specifically, USB vs. PCI, or any other brands/adapters that work well.




WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 498 posted 5:05 pm on May 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have had pretty good luck with a USB TRENDnet TEW-424UB adapter. It's 802.11G, 54mbs. I use the adapter on a Win Server 2003 machine. I use it to connect to a LAN in another room to perform backups. Didn't want to drill a hole in the wall. It's my secondary network adapter and works great all the time.

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