USB Wireless Network Card, PCMCIA Or Internal For Long Term Usage?


I want to do some testing on my existing internal NIC to see if it is the source of these problems and for this i need another wireless NIC and of at least mediocre quality because i would need that NIC for other uses inland and abroad and as an addition to rely on it as a fallback device.

Question is should i get USB, PCMCIA or replace existing internal part with new part? Don't know about last one as it is computer's internal device that was already included in laptop. Not to mention laptop was bought in 2006.

USB i read doesn't use DMA and relies heavily on CPU and can have problems with drivers messed up. Feasible to assume that PCMCIA fits best in my case but most of them are B/G and less often i see N standards.


HP Pavilion 5282ea
Windows XP 32-bit Home Edition
Intel Pro Wireless 3945BG


Posted 2012-02-19T11:25:42.303

Reputation: 5 238

Question was closed 2012-02-24T06:23:23.717

With exception that my wireless NIC is 3945BG. – Boris_yo – 2012-02-19T13:08:18.560



Actually you have express card as an option as well.

Internal wireless nics are a bit of a pain to change - you'll need to open up the system, locate the mini pci-e or PCI card (the system in question seems to have a mini PCI interface according to HP's specs, but the NIC you mentioned is mini PCI-E), replace it and hook in the antennae. Its doable if you know your way around a system. If it isn't broken, don't bother. Even if it is, its a LOT of work. In addition some systems may require specific firmware -thinkpads for example may not work with wireless cards that don't have similar firmware. You have to do your homework before buying a wireless mini pci or pci-e nick.

PCMCIA and express card are the middle ground. Unlike PCI/mini PCI they are not internal, but are hooked into the PCI/PCI-E sub systems. These are nice if you don't want a dongle sticking out of your system - for example, for permanantly attached non internal wireless.

I have a soft spot for USB - i use it on quite a few machines, and the performance isn't really that affected. You can also abuse it - for example use it with an extention cord for better positioning or a cantenna. There's even ones that have a detachable/replacable antennae. If you want to use it for testing proper, USB can be a good choice.

Journeyman Geek

Posted 2012-02-19T11:25:42.303

Reputation: 119 122

Thanks. I have removed bottom cover and found circuit board with chips along with both screws. This is wireless NIC. But i think opening this little cover is not enough since i see a little cord coming from deep which cannot be removed easily. – Boris_yo – 2012-02-19T13:07:03.910

1There are often 2, and they fit into a sort of snap fit connector that looks almost like a screw head – Journeyman Geek – 2012-02-19T13:09:37.327


NIC is not a problem. No need to buy extenal NIC.

NAT problems are caused by wireless router not reponding to dhcp refresh requests, thus needing reset - upgrade - reset cycle.

Also check for free channel with "inssider"


Posted 2012-02-19T11:25:42.303

Reputation: 2 365

But my other laptop's NIC works fine with my router. – Boris_yo – 2012-02-19T14:52:24.780