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Following on from my review of the Belkin wireless router, this is the piece of kit at the other end of the link. The PCI Desktop Card is whats required to allow the PC to communicate with the router.
This product cost me £25 when I bought it. I was interested in the Belkin wireless router, so I played safe and used the same manufacturer for both items that would allow the router and my PC talk to each other.
--Whats in the box--
On opening the box, there were no real surprises. There was the PCI card, the antenna, a quick installation guide and a CD which contained the drivers and a full manual.
On reading the quick installation guide, it was apparent that the software had to be installed before the card was plugged in. The reason for this was because, when the hardware was detected, the software would be available to complete a trouble free install. Installing the software was straightforward. There was a limited number of standard questions, such as install location and the wizard was happy to carry on unattended.
Once the software was installed, it was time to plug in the PCI wireless card. As a computer professional this bit did not phase me, though for the novice, opening up the PC and looking at an array of circuit boards and wires could be quite daunting, so depending on your level of competency and confidence, either proceed with caution or get somebody else more qualified to help. You will need to find a free PCI slot in your computer, remove the protective metal plate from the back of your PC and snap the card into place. Put the lid back on your PC and screw the antenna to the newly positioned card. That is the hardest step out of the way and you are almost ready to surf the net wirelessly.
When you turn your PC now, it will detect your new hardware and install the correct drivers that you just set up prior to inserting the card.
If you have no encryption on the router, you are ready to surf, though this is not recommended. If you have encryption on the router, open up the Wireless software on your PC and select the encryption mode you are using and enter the pass key. I must admit, this baffled me for a day or so as it wasnt apparent from the manual what I should have been entering here. As it was over Christmas, I wasnt able to contact technical support but eventually figured it out.
I have had no problems with this card in all the time I have been using it. Occasionally the signal will drop down to a low level but it has never cut out completely. Once the initial setup has been done, there is no need to worry about the card, it will look after itself and connect to the router once it has been switched on.
This card is so easy to set up and use, you'll probably forget you have it installed. It looks after itself and has proved to be very reliable. Setting up the security key is straightforward providing you take your time (unlike me) and after that, there is really nothing else to do. This product complements the Belkin wireless router perfectly, although it can be used, just as easily with other routers.
I would highly recommend this wireless card to anyone, whether they are new to the wireless scene of just looking to upgrade their exisiting setup.
I am network system operator at several big companies in Hungary, so I have seen weird stuff, but this card gave me something new!
I have bought this card along with a Belkin 54G plus wireless router. The router works fine with 2 laptops, but I always lost connection with the desktop, that has a Belkin 54G wlan card inside. (Other peers are ok in the meantime). If I let win xp repair connection, it usually gets working, but not always. I have 70% signal level, but despite of this the adapter is getting lost.
And now is the interesting part.
There is a shared folder on the windows desktop, that I always accessed via smbmount from my laptop. Now, if try to mount the remote shared folder on my linux laptop, the "remote" windows desktop dies with a memory dump!!! Can you image that?
From a simple network communication, the desktop hangs on!!! Now eat this! I do not recommend this card!
No incidents, I tried it 10 times, the computer always died just right after I press enter at the end of the command prompt smp command.