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Does my computer need a network card?

by cw47mecom / December 17, 2014 2:42 AM PST

One reason I would install a network card on my computer is so I can use software like InSSider to check what wireless channels my neighbours are using.
I suffer a lot from dropped wi-fi connection but are there any other benefits to installing one of these devices?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 17, 2014 3:24 AM PST

Simply no. A NIC or network card is classically a wired card to well, a wired network. You want to use WiFi so that would use a WiFi device. There are so many compatible WiFi cards to Inssider that I'll stop here.

For me I can check channel overlap with an Android app but did you try the usual? Set your router to 802.11g mode?

Why we do that is 802.11n has one non-overlapping channel. As you are an Inssider user, again I'll stop here.

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What Type? Ethernet or Wireless?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 17, 2014 3:25 AM PST

Either can be purchased as an actual "card" and since you didn't mention whether you have a laptop or desktop, then the advice may change there also. A laptop doesn't use an actual "card". Instead you purchase a USB dongle for the appropriate type of network connection, either wireless or ethernet.

But if you already have a wireless network adapter, then I'm not sure why you would need a second one, UNLESS it you simply want it because of the troubles you're having with your current one. If that's the case, the USB wireless dongles aren't very expensive and it might work better than your current one, especially if the new one has an external antenna attachment which could increase your signal strength. Still, you should be able to use the software mentioned on your current device. It's your choice.

Hope this helps.


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Kinda silly
by theNetnest / December 17, 2014 10:48 AM PST

Most internal wireless network cards used to be snapped into the one and only pci socket inside your notebook.
Now most are hardwired into the main board as with internal ethernet ports. Internally they are connected the same way, PCI/e .
One reason for a second is to keep private LANs more private. Assigning a different network address to a second network card is just one more hurdle for a trojan to go through in working through a system invisibly. Usually a trojan or worm is going to establish an independent user access to your system via the worm's port that it listens to for outside requests.
Secondly, if you have other ppl on the same internet connection a second network device will not affect their throughput when you print to a wireless printer. Where a hardwired switch can isolate connections across an ethernet LAN, a wi-fi device does not. Its a lot of work (cpu ticks) for a wi-fi device to change channels (frequency).
Outside of 802.11n wi-fi wireless, even an ethernet 100BT card has faster throughput.

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Does my computer need a network card?
by cw47mecom / December 17, 2014 6:17 PM PST

My desktop computer does not have a network adapter this is why I'm thinking of purchasing a PCI Express network card. I don't have an Android phone I have an IPhone and Apple in their wisdom chose to ban all apps that could check local channels.
I have alternated by guesswork to most wi-fi channels between 1-13 but would be good to know which are free and not overlapping.

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But how would that solve the 802.11n channel overlap?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 17, 2014 11:49 PM PST

I made an assumption since you were using inSSider that you had read or similar. In 802.11n 40 MHz OFDM you get one non-overlapping channel. Hunting for an open channel is meaningless in that mode.

Try pulling back to 802.11g and try the 4 non-overlapping channels.

However, I rarely find myself needing to run my android phone up to look around with

I don't see how getting "a PCI Express network card" will help. Those are for wired networks.

For inSSider you use your current WiFi card/dongle or get one inSSider uses like the AWUS036H.

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