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Chapter 9. Wi-Fi on Your Desktop > Adding Wi-Fi to a Windows Desktop

Adding Wi-Fi to a Windows Desktop

The first thing you should know about adding a Wi-Fi card to a Windows desktop computer is that, as they say, mileage will vary. By this I mean that the physical installation of the card in the computer will depend on the make and model of the computer, and the software installation procedure will vary depending on the make of the Wi-Fi card. Please read the installation instructions that come with your card carefully, and be prepared to deal with recalcitrant screws when opening up your desktop.

WHAT CONNECTIONS FOR WHICH MACHINE?

You should understand what kind of Wi-Fi card (or expansion device) you can use with what kind of computer. This will help you to specify the device you need when you are buying it from an online source, and make sure you get what you need the first time.

  • PCI cards are internal cards for Windows desktop computers only.

  • PCMCIA cards (also called PC Cards) and mini-PCI cards are for Windows laptops only.

  • USB devices will plug into any computer with USB connectors, and will work with Windows desktop and Windows laptop computers (and also with Apple computers in many cases).



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