Why Add an Expansion Card to a Motherboard?
The purpose of adding an expansion card or board to a computer's motherboard is to add or expand some sort of functionality to the computer that it did not have before. This is an easy way to upgrade your computer. For instance, if you want to connect to the internet without having to use the ethernet cables, you can use a USB wireless adapter that connects to the motherboard via the USB slot.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Wireless Mini PCIe Adapter?
- Plug-and-play : Unlike PCI-e wireless cards, a single USB adapter can easily work with multiple computers. Most modern USB wireless adapters from companies such as RAVpower, Rosewill, and Qnine are plug-and-play, which means that they work without any configuration as soon as you plug them into a port.
- Signal reception: USB Wi-Fi adapters are also useful for people who frequently connect to weaker wireless networks. A capable USB Wi-Fi adapter can offer several times as good signal reception as a built-in Wi-Fi chip.
What Are the Factors to Consider in Choosing a Wi-Fi Adapter?
While most modern prefabricated computers come with an internal wireless network interface controller (WNIC), others do not, hence the need to get a PCIe adapter. While all USB Wi-Fi adapters plug into a port, the differences between types of USB and the capabilities of the computer in question mean that the ideal interface controller will vary from person to another. Some are as small as typical dongles, whereas others are slightly larger, and use short cables as connectors.
- Wireless protocols: Wireless networking cards are broken down into different variants, represented by 802.11 followed by a letter. The letter that follows this number is what dictates the transmission protocol the router supports. Ensure that the wireless adapter you pick can transmit on the same protocols as your router.
- Type of USB ports: If you go for a USB dongle, the speed of your connection will depend on the type of ports you have. If your laptop only has 2.0 ports, for example, the maximum theoretical speed you can get is 60MB/s. In comparison, 3.0 tops out at 640 MB/s. However, the only problem associated with miniPCIe is that pins may be bent or broken if not well handled.
- Adapter Size: Some Wi-Fi adapters are bulkier than others, and more often than not, it's your computer setup that will determine how big you can go. USB ports are usually close to one another, which means the device you choose needs to be small enough not to block adjacent ports.
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