How to Choose Wireless Adapters

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A wireless adapter allows your computer to detect a wireless network signal and connect to a wireless router. When you connect to the wireless network, you will be able to share files, network resources and an Internet connection. If you need to choose a wireless adapter to install on your computer, you should know information about the router you will be connecting with, such as the brand and the standards the router uses. You must also determine your own technical capabilities when installing new computer hardware.

  • Inspect the router that your wireless adapter will be using to connect.

  • Record information about the router such as the brand name and the router's standards. You will often find this printed on the top or front of the router. An example of a router's standards may be "Wireless N" or "Wireless G."

  • Purchase a wireless adapter based on your technical capabilities. If you are comfortable installing hardware inside of your computer, an internal wireless adapter would be best. However, if you are not comfortable with installing hardware, you can purchase an external USB wireless adapter instead.

  • Purchase a wireless adapter based on the number of computers you want to connect to the wireless network. An internal wireless adapter can only be installed on one computer. However, an external USB wireless adapter can be installed and used on multiple computers by inserting the adapter into the USB slot on the computer you would like to connect.

  • Purchase a wireless adapter based on the brand and standard information you recorded from the wireless router. While any brand of adapter should be compatible with most brands of routers, it's best to purchase the same brand of adapter as the router. You must purchase an adapter that is compatible with the router's standard.

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  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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