Trendnet's PCI card is pretty
nice compared to the other entries for a couple of reasons. The Intersil WLAN
chipset isn't that unique, but the 203PI is the only card with a removable
antenna connected to a reverse SMA jack. As with the WAP, this WLAN card can be
connected up to a larger antenna to increase its range. The little antenna is
good for about a 2dbi of signal, while the card itself is capable of outputting
up to 15dbm.
The PCI card installs just
as another expansion card into a free expansion slot. The drivers can be loaded up from
the CD which Trendnet include with the package in a mater of moments.
Configuring the wireless adaptors properties in WindowsXP is accomplished via
standard windows menus and while they are not as nice to deal with as a custom
piece of software, they keep the cards lean and relatively trouble
USB adaptor works best if you install the software support for it
before actually connecting it to a hub or USB port on the computer. Once
the Intersil software has been setup the USB adaptor will be identified and should pop
up as a new wireless connection. Since we had already set the Trendnet WAP
to 64-bit encryption we were asked for the encryption key before the connection would be
accepted (which it then did just fine).
If you have a computer
which has used another USB wireless adaptor previously there is good chance that
it may become confused during the installation process so it is advisable to
pick out the driver specifically instead of letting windowsXP do it
Summary of the Trendnet Wireless equipment
TrendNet's products and SMC's there is a very close battle raging. Both
companies hardware was well built, but TrendNet's administrative features were
easier to set up, and keep working. Transfer
rates were about average, but throughput seemed to be slightly higher than on
the other units we looked at.