WiFi has become a central part of connecting to the Internet. If you’re not fortunate enough to be able to connect via ethernet, WiFi is still a solid choice for a fast connection. However, when getting a computer online, you’ll be faced with two of the most popular options – a PCI adapter and a USB adapter. They both do the exact same job of getting you online, but it’s very unclear as to what the differences are!Ads by GoogleSo if you’re planning to get a computer onto a WiFi network, what are the choices you have and which one is best for you?PCI AdaptersPCI adapters have been the mainstay of WiFi connectability since the start. Plugging into a PCI slot onto your PC, they come with an antenna that sticks out of the back of your PC to maximise signal.What Makes Them Good?Due to PCI cards coming with antennae, this makes them naturally better at picking up a stronger signal than USB adapters. While you can find USB adapters that come with one or two antennae attached, you can just as easily find a PCi card with two or three of them installed! Even better, if you’re struggling to pick up a decent signal with a PCI card, you can easily detach the antenna and replace it with a much stronger one which may not be an option on some USB models.Using a PCI slot also helps free up your USB ports. Having the adapter on a USB port can be a real pain if your USB slots are full, and you need to plug in something else. Removing the dependency on USB and moving it to the PCI means that you can plug in as many keyboards, mice, tablets, phones, or other devices as you want without worrying about having to remove your Internet as a consequence.There have also been reports that USB adapters can be prone to overheating should you use them for network-intensive activities. While not every USB adapter will break when put under a huge strain, you can help negate this problem entirely by simply opting for a PCI card instead. That way you can do as much data transfer as you like without having to worry.
PCI vs. USB WiFi Adapters: Which Is Right for You? – Make Tech Easier