Networking & Wireless forum

General discussion

Old PCI Network Card vs. Newer USB Dongle. Which is faster?

by wIresPeeD420 / March 22, 2011 7:58 AM PDT

So as I understand from my reading it seems that PCI Network Cards are always the way to go usually over USB. However in my case I just picked up a kind of older model one than my USB dongle is and I just am wondering am I sacrificing speed by giving up the dongle for the card.

Here are the specs:

My USB dongle is a N 150 Belkin Basic Wireless USB adapter, 802.11n

and

My Network PCI card is a RT2400 Wireless LAN Card, manufactured by Ralink Technology Corp. I believe I read it was 802.11b

The wireless router we use is a linksys (basic blue one) and we are on cable internet.(wired. not dsl)

My confusion lies here. When I use my USB Dongle for wireless it says under my wireless connection popup that I am receiving 54 MBPS and the connection says excellent.

When I am using the PCI Network Card on the other hand it shows that I am receiving 11 MBPS, and it also shows excellent.

Both seem to work fine however I haven't really put them to the test with downloading any heavy files or anything.

I am kind of leaning towards the PCI card. Any input? Is this the faster route even though it says 11 mbps and the dongle says 54 mbps? or should I be sticking with the dongle for a faster connection?

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54 Mbps is obviousely better than 11Mbps.
by ahtoi / March 22, 2011 6:00 PM PDT

however, PCI connection is faster than USB, but that's not your question though. I suggest you buy a better card or stick with the usb dongle. So which actually seems faster to you?

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Internet bottleneck
by bill012 / March 22, 2011 10:12 PM PDT

All depends how fast your internet is. I assume it is less than 11m so both are exactly the same. Its like asking which car can go faster. In normal situations the speed limit and the cops make sure it is exactly the same.

The numbers you are seeing is the difference between the various 802.11 b,g,n standards. 11m is the max for b, 54m for g and a number of speeds for n but in most cases bigger than 54m.

Comparing the PCI slot to USB gets complex because like wireless there are multiple verisons of USB. The older USB is most likely slower than PCI but the latest one is faster. Then you have to see which verison of USB the PC supports and on and on.

People are too hung up on speed tests. If what you have meets your needs then it is fast enough, this is a subjective thing only you can answer.

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Like Bill says . . .
by Coryphaeus / March 23, 2011 6:29 AM PDT

Your PCI card is wireless B = 11 Mb/s. Your USB dongle is wireless N - 54 Mb/s.

Simple. Are either of these faster than your ISP?

One slight qualification. If you have only one PC, then stop reading. If you have more than one PC and they are networked, the faster speed device will provide faster throughput between machines.

Personally, I avoid USB networking products of any flavor.

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