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Old 01-09-2010   #1
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good network cards for laptops?

okay, I hate my network card on my laptop.
it lags out so much, even when I have a good connection.
I have a Lenovo Thinkpad, what would be a good improvement for a network card for that at a reasonable price?
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Old 01-09-2010   #2
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Being a laptop your better off getting a USB Wireless key instead of a wireless card. As installing things on a laptop are a pain in the ass, let alone void any warrenty you have on it currently.

That being said Netgear is usuelly the way to go. At least for me. Their stuff is extremely fast and all have stable connections. However Im currently using a Belkin Thumb Key and its decent, but the connection isnt very strong. My Netgear one is about twice as good.
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Old 01-09-2010   #3
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I have to second buying a USB based Wireless adapter, since they work with any computer with USB ports, so even when you're done with your Lenovo you could still potentially use the card on any computer you might want wireless on.

That being said, the best wireless card will depend on where you're willing to buy as historically Netgear isn't sold very much up here in Canada (Futureshop just started carrying Netgear equipment and it isn't priced very well). It will also depend on what kind of speed you want/need as you can buy a Wireless B/G adapter for less than $20 with the tradeoff being Wireless B/G is slower then Wireless N.

If you're willing to buy it from an online store, Newegg.ca has some great choices from Rosewill (house brand of Newegg and overall they make good stuff) including the Rosewill RNX-G1 (which I have owned and it worked well, but it is only a B/G adapter) for $19.75 including taxes and shipping (due to 30% promo code) or the Rosewill RNX-N180UBE for $51 with taxes and shipping (but this is an N adapter and is designed to get better range due to the antenna being external and separate from the adapter).

If you prefer going to a place like Best Buy or Futureshop then I'll have to recommend buying a D-Link product as they don't sell things like Rosewill and I've had great luck with D-Link as they built my Wireless G router I'm still using 3-4 years later and my newer N router as well and both have been great routers. Only thing with Futureshop and Best Buy is you're pretty much stuck buying a Wireless N adapter as they don't really carry G adapters. That all being said, Best Buy has a wireless N D-Link adapter for $39.99 with the antenna built into the card (something neither Rosewill adapter has).

One other note, even if you do buy a N adapter, don't be shocked if you don't get amazing speeds because the speed you can achieve is dependent on the network. If the equipment powering the network can only do Wireless B/G speeds, you'll still be able to connect to the network and everything will work fine but you don't get N speed. On your university campus this wouldn't be an issue as I'm sure they would have N equipment deployed but in other places you might be using your computer, it's something to keep in mind.
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Old 01-09-2010   #4
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Whatever you do don't get a Belkin PCMCIA card, we only get problems with them, especially on old laptops
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Old 01-09-2010   #5
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Also noting that you shouldnt spend alot more on N cards either. While its faster, there isnt a service provider in the US that can fullfill that speed just yet. If your in a Comcast area etc...your WAY behind in network speeds, but other places like here with COX its starting to get there but isn't there just yet, will be in a year or two.

Basically Wireless N is for this. You have 6 computers running, 6 web browsers, 3 or 4 just browsing network files, and 2 others printing etc...All this is communicating with a router, thus bandwith stacks up and the router starts to slow down. The high speeds and bandwith of N allow it to still out perform lower brand models as its more efficent and faster. Also explains why college campus' use N instead of G.

Also if Netgear isn't provided, and the ones X Racer provided, are not availible. Do yourself a favor and stay away from Linksys brand routers. Companies they own and happen to slap their name on are fine, but if its a Linksys router dont buy it. They suck, they are terrible, i hate them, never will buy one of those again.
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Old 01-09-2010   #6
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the thing is I mostly use wired connections for my laptop, so I wanna get something that will improve my wired speed because it's so slow with both
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Old 01-09-2010   #7
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If its running through ethernet, the only thing you can do to improve your speed is improve the connection. AKA upgrade to a higher speed, or tell your ISP its slow as hell.
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Old 01-09-2010   #8
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the thing is, it's my laptop, not my connection, I can play okay on PS3 with really minimal lag only once in a while
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Old 01-09-2010   #9
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Unless you got an older computer that has an ethernet card of a really low speed, its really weird and im not sure how to help. Im really good with wireless, but dunno about that. On a positive note, there are ethernet things you can buy that are extremely cheap to try out.
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Old 01-09-2010   #10
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I might just try a wireless adapter then.
would it be faster and as reliable as a wired connection then?
thanks for your help
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Old 01-09-2010   #11
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These days wireless is extremely good. Its not "as stable" as say a wired connection, and of course your always gonna get a better speed out of wired. However Wireless has improved tons and its extremely stable and extremely fast, if your router is within the house your not gonna lose a whole lot by going wireless.

I love wireless, always have. Its simple to setup, and its so much better for me. Especially with a laptop. Some people disagree and wont budge when i tell them to go wireless though.
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Old 01-09-2010   #12
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Problem is it's a laptop, most replacement Ethernet cards are PCI, PCI Express or some other desktop PC standard. In fact on Newegg I could only find two USB based ones and then you're speed is limited to the bandwidth of the USB interface so your net gain in speed would be nothing.

To me that leaves only a few possibilities, one your wired card built into your laptop is failing/damaged and since that's part of the motherboard it ain't cheap to get fixed, two you got some Lenovo ****ware connection manager that isn't helping your speeds or three you got some malware on your PC that's consuming part of your network connection. Although I have to ask where are you experiencing connection issues, is it you get slow speeds in a lab at your university, at home, etc and is it all the time, like if you take your laptop different places, you still experience slow speeds.

EDIT: Wireless is fine as long as you get a good card and have a good network behind it (so at home have a good ISP (i.e TekSavvy) and a good router and at school, your school has decent networking equipment. Oh and I again must second Dustin, don't buy Linksys. Anyone I know who uses Linksys hates their equipment meanwhile I laugh while my D-Link WBR-2310 router acts as a perfect switch for my cable modem in my apartment and my D-Link DIR-628 router powers 3 computers, my new HP wireless printer and an XBOX 360 back at home on sucky Bell Internet access.
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Old 01-09-2010   #13
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I get lag everywhere and with whatever I do, browse the internet and gaming, but surprisingly more with browsing the internet.
I never thought that it could just be failing though or I had a connection manager.
would I be able to turn the connection manager off?
EDIT-here's the router that I'm using if that matters
and my school has really bad internet but at home I'm with Bell and usually can get a good connection with my PS3
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Last edited by m0tl3sl4y3r; 01-09-2010 at 05:03 PM..
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Old 01-09-2010   #14
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Connection managers you can uninstall and then subsequently you just use the Windows one (they will appear somewhere in your Installed Programs list), most of the time this does help with issues (it's why in the upgrade to Windows 7 for my machine, I went for absolute clean install, no HP software included). For that matter, most of the software you get from an OEM is useless or worse than the original Windows solution and is just unnecessary bloat on your system and although I don't know your system specs, I imagine if it's a computer your school forced you to buy, I don't imagine your computer is going to be fantastic.

EDIT: Uninstall is the safer function to take out the connection manager as stopping a service isn't nearly as simple, although you don't need to use a CMD for it, it XP, Vista and 7 you can disable startup services by running msconfig from a RUN command or simply install CCleaner and go to Tools then Startup (example below, disabled startup services are greyed out):



In my case, I disabled Windows Live Messenger from running at startup along with a few other programs.
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Old 01-09-2010   #15
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Its a nice router, shouldnt have any issues with it. If you want to try, go on the admin of the router (you input your IP address of the router and login) and just update the software, that may help.

Also yes you can disable the connection manager if you have one. Task Manager, look for it, close process if its there. If it is then go to Run and type CMD (i think it is?) and disable the service from the boot up process. So it never turns on.

If its still not working properly. Check your firewall and virus protections and make sure they are not hogging bandwith. Also have them scan for any malware, virus etc... on your comp as that can slow your speed down alot.

Also another obvious clue, make sure your not downloading any torrents or seeding any torrents etc...make sure your not streaming videos, playing games online, and everything all at once.

Being your PS3 has a good connectiong it has to be whats stated about the card going out, or getting old. And like stated in a laptop its motherboard based so your outta luck if it is. Or its one of the above.
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Old 02-09-2010   #16
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I think that my school might have malware installed on my laptop because there's a program installed where they can view my uninstall and install list.
they didn't want students to find it but my old roommate and myself found it.
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Old 02-09-2010   #17
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If that is seriously the case, I would just consider nuking the entire Windows install and starting over. Just get yourself an original Windows disc for whatever version your using (XP, Vista, 7), not a recovery disc from Lenovo or your school and on install tell Windows to delete the partitions currently on your drive. Then setup Windows on the newly created unpartitoned space and quick format it.

Bam, clean Windows install without any OEM crap or school junk. Of course this does take work as you need to backup any necessary files to something before reinstalling Windows and you need to re-install any programs necessary along with all the drivers for your computer (although Vista and Windows 7 can do a pretty good job of finding them automatically). But then you know your system is clean and a side effect is, it will be running much better than before in most cases.
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Old 02-09-2010   #18
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that's probably what I'll do, I'm really getting annoyed with the lagging
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Old 03-09-2010   #19
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Some schools and networks do that. However if its an open network, like it is, im sure someone probably hacked it too and put something there.

So even if you format and all that, it will still install. Unless you have virus protections and what not all open when you connect.
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