View Full Version : We've Talked About This Before (Network Adapter), But....
08-03-2009, 05:35 PM
.... since then, someone's told me that an ethernet cable would be a better way for min and D's computers to link.
The original problem (can't find the thread) was that I want to play WoW on MY PC, with OUR DSL, but my PC (in the next room) isn't getting the signal, and someone here told me I need a network adapter.
Well, I was getting ready to buy one and told the guy at the store what I wanted it for (gaming), so he asked me did I have a router (we have Netopias - one for D's computer and one for the XBox 360), OS, yada, yada... and then he told me that using a network adapter would slow my gaming speed down, and I would be better off buying a very long (35 feet) ethernet cable.
So now I don't know what to do. We live upstairs in my elderly sister-in-law's house, and MY bedroom is connected to D's with 1 and a half bathrooms inbetween, and I REALLY don't want 35 feet of cable snaking across the floor.
I would REALLY love it to be wireless, but don't want to slow down my gaming speed.
Do y'all have any suggestions for me?
08-04-2009, 12:31 AM
I still don't know what you mean by "a network adapter". There are exactly two ways for your machine to connect to your DSL router (and then to the internet and your other computer), by ethernet cable or by wireless.
I can't imagine that your PC or laptop wouldn't already have an ethernet port, so all you'd need would be the cable. If you can't get the wireless working you have no choice. The ethernet port in your machine connects to a "network adapter" (more usually called a NIC, LAN card, ethernet card, or network card) inside your machine. What your store guy is getting at I can't fathom, there's no magical extra board you can plug in to your machine that will connect to the DSL router and avoid the need to a wireless or wired connection.
If you truly do not already have an ethernet port - close up, they look like this (http://wiki.pomona.edu/bin/view/FAQ/EthernetPort) - then depending on what type of machine you have, you may have to buy a network card. In your situation I would just take your machine to a shop you trust and have them do it.
08-04-2009, 01:02 AM
Nitpick, USB can work as well too, so that is 3 ways
08-04-2009, 01:29 AM
According to this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_device_bandwidths) page, your most likely technology/speed options are:
Wired: Fast Ethernet (100base-X) 100 Mbit/s 11.6 MB/s
Wireless: 802.11g OFDM 0.125 54.0 Mbit/s 6.75 MB/s
Comcast's basic service in Chicago is 12 Mbit/s, or 1.5 MB/s. AT&T's fastest speed is .75 MB/s.
The only other thing is that the wireless signal can be affected by microwave ovens and certain cordless phones.
08-04-2009, 09:20 AM
he told me that using a network adapter would slow my gaming speed down, and I would be better off buying a very long (35 feet) ethernet cable.
This is all very confusing. Are you saying that you are thinking of using wireless to connect to your DSL router? Thats fine. Games like WoW can tolerate huge latencies. Heck you can play WoW over dialup!
I play Battlefied2 over wireless and thats a game that unforgiving with lost packets and latencies. So, dont worry about using wireless. If you do get some interference then simply switching channels will take care of it, but for the most part, most people dont have to do anything.
If it turns out that wireless doesnt work well for you, your other alternative is powerline networking (http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=1194444), but thats more of a crapshoot and much more expensive than wireless.
08-04-2009, 11:18 AM
It sounds like there's a lot of confusion stemming from misuse of terms and concepts.
A "network adapter" is not a generic term for a wireless adapter. It is any device that allows a computer to access any type of network. In the home networking environment, different types of network adapters provide wired Ethernet connections and wireless ("WiFi") Ethernet connections. Nowadays, most laptops have both built-in. Most desktops have built-in wired Ethernet adapters.
A "router" is not the same as a network adapter and is not a general term for network hardware. It is a device that intelligently routes (hence the name) traffic between two networks. In a home networking environment the router allows the single IP address given by the cable or DSL company to be used by multiple computers in the home, in order to share Internet access. There should be only one router.
In addition, a router is not the same as a switch or a hub. Switches and hubs are devices that allow multiple computers to be connected to one network through wired Ethernet connections and communicate. A hub or switch cannot share an Internet connection among multiple computers in a home networking environment.
Routers are not fundamentally linked with wireless access, switches, or hubs. A so-called "wireless router" is a device that combines a router and a wireless access point in the same unit. Furthermore, most home networking routers also contain an integrated switch. This combination of equipment is what often leads to confusion, as it can be difficult for non-technical users to see how the different parts work together. In a wireless router, the router component shares the Internet connection, the switch component provides multiple physical Ethernet ports for wired connections, and the wireless access point component allows computers to connect with their WiFi adapters.
08-04-2009, 11:20 AM
If you already have a wireless network adapter and your signal strength is low you can just get a more powerful antenna. I have this one (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833998042) and I went from 1-2 bars to 5 bars all the time. With the long wire, you can put the antenna on top of your desk so it's not blocked by all the wires (and electronic noise) that are in the back of your PC. Also, this antenna is 8 dB, where a typical antenna that sticks out the back of your PC is 2 or 3 dB.
As J Cubed says, the network speed between the PC and the router will be up to 54 Mbit/s. Almost no internet provider goes faster than 15Mbit/s (unless you are paying something like $150 a month), so the slow part isn't between the PC and the router. WoW will work great over a wireless connection.
08-04-2009, 11:27 AM
Now, for Quasimodem's situation specifically:
It sounds like you have some parts of a network set up already, but it may not be optimally configured.
You say you have two Netopia routers on the Xbox and D's computer. What are they connected to? There should not be multiple routers on a home network, and it sounds like you may have mistakenly believed that each computer needs its own router.
If you already have a wireless access point in place, and your computer does not have a wireless network adapter (if it is a desktop this is probably true), then you should purchase one and use it to connect to the wireless network. Unless you have a lot of interference, which would be evident by the other computers frequently dropping their connection, then it will work fine for gaming. A USB wireless adapter is probably your best bet as it plugs in externally. Internal adapters can be more robust, but require opening the computer and installing an expansion card.
08-04-2009, 12:28 PM
We have ethernet ports, that isn't the problem.
What is a problem is running 35 feet of yellow ethernet cable inbetween our bedrooms.
We thought we could go the "wireless" way with the router my wife has, but the other computer (mine- the gaming one) won't recognize my wife's, so someone told us we needed a "network adapter" which could be hooked to a USB hub and which would solve the problem.
Then, we got the advice that going wireless would slow down my gaming, and I should buy an ethernet cable long enough to connect the 2 .
We just don't wanna trip over computer cable, so I came here to see if there's a better solution?:)
Long Time Lurker
08-04-2009, 12:50 PM
but the other computer (mine- the gaming one) won't recognize my wife's, so someone told us we needed a "network adapter" which could be hooked to a USB hub and which would solve the problem.
Is the problem:
(i) your computer won't recognize the network (i.e. the signal strength is fine, but you still can't connect to the router because it is improperly configured);
(ii) you have insufficient signal strength to connect to the router (you can see the wireless network from your computer, but it's too weak to sustain a viable connection); or
(iii) your computer does not have a wireless network card (probably the case if it is a desktop computer rather than a laptop).
If it's (iii), then you need a wireless network adapater, which can either be usb, like this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124327) or pci like this (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127080).
Fake Tales of San Francisco
08-04-2009, 01:09 PM
I would personally go for PCI over USB. I don't know if the figures reflect this, but in my experience USB internet connections are quite noticeably slower, especially when you're trying to play a game.
Wireless will be slightly slower no matter what, but it shouldn't really be a problem - unless you're quite far away from the router and there's a lot of devices that might interfere. If that doesn't work, and you really need an ethernet cable, they're not expensive at all. Much of my house is connected via ethernet, but so it's not intrusive it's a lot more work. Most of ours are invisible, under floorboards, in the walls, taped to wall corners, painted to match the walls etc.
08-04-2009, 02:02 PM
Thanks to everyone for your time and advice!
It's iii: My PC doesn't have a wireless network card.
We have a cordless phone (the Xbox360 isn't hooked up yet), and some small appliances between our bedrooms.
So PCI is better than USB?
08-04-2009, 02:45 PM
Quasi, the guy at the store is right that playing WoW over a wireless network will affect your performance. What will be affected is your latency, as HorseloverFat mentioned above. More latency means there will be a slight delay between when you give the game a command and when it responds. For example, if you right-click a creature to attack it, you'll see your character start swinging away but it may take a quarter of a second to actually start registering damage.
From what I know of your playstyle, though, this isn't going to be such a big deal. You don't generally group up with other players who might be counting on you to have quick reaction time. You might start to notice the delay and find it a distraction, but apart from that you're probably just fine playing the game via wi-fi.
I, on the other hand, have an ethernet cable running from my desk down the hall to the dining room where I have my computer set up after my knee surgery. Since I raid with my guild, it's more important that I have less latency in my connection.
08-04-2009, 02:51 PM
A decent wireless connection ads 2 to 5 ms of latency. In terms of gaming that's next to nothing. I can ping my basement wireless router from upstairs in 2ms, which is excellent for something that is traveling through a floor. Dont worry so much about wireless. Its works fine for a lot of gamers.
FWIW, I play BF2 with a 33ms latency from computer (chicago) to server (texas). I have played on foreign servers with 120 ms latencies with only rare problems. WoW is such a simplistic game, network-wise, that you could have a 150-200ms latency and still be okay.
08-04-2009, 02:59 PM
My advice is get the wireless network card, and don't let some clerk change your mind. Go find a different clerk if they can't help you get a card which you want. Go to a different store if none of the clerks listen to what you ask them for. This sounds like when I'd help people and write down a model number and tell them this is the product they are to get. Chances are one in three the clerk doesn't sell them the item written down on the paper, and I send them back. When they come back the second time without the right product I go with them and speak to the manager.
08-04-2009, 03:13 PM
Wow! (and I don't mean the game!:))
I hope my IBuyPower has a slot for the card, and since D has taken some basic computer science at our local tech school, she'll be the one to open up the tower and see.
We've both been kinda busy helpign care for a relative who's just had a stroke, so it may be a few days before we can tackle this thing, but I sure do appreciate all the replies, and the technical stuff I can't grasp, I know she will understand, so I'm gonna have her read the thread so she'll know what we need to do.
Yeah, she's the "Cyber-Guru" of the family, but certainly not as advanced as y'all are.
Thanks for taking a look at ol' Wolkie and me and get well soon!:)
08-04-2009, 04:23 PM
If youre intimidated by opening the case just buy a USB wireless adapter. They seem to work fine.
08-04-2009, 05:23 PM
FWIW, I play WoW on a wireless laptop and have no issues. In general, a wireless network in your house is still faster than the internet service you have. It's not as "solid" or as fast as a wired connection, but a game like WoW doesn't typically suffer for it.
Fake Tales of San Francisco
08-05-2009, 10:53 AM
If youre intimidated by opening the case just buy a USB wireless adapter. They seem to work fine.
I think the most noticeable speed problem occurs when you're using USB 1.0 and you have a 2.0 device.
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