• Cisco-Linksys WMP54G Wireless-G PCI Adapter
Cisco-Linksys WMP54G Wireless-G PCI Adapter

Cisco-Linksys WMP54G Wireless-G PCI Adapter

SKU:HA0085BD8
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SG$ 50.00
Regular price
SG$ 82.00
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per 
( 39% off )
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Expected Delivery: 21-28 days

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  • Product Type - Adapter
  • Complies with IEEE 802.11g draft standards, and backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11b products
  • Supports up to 128-bit WEP encryption and WPA security
  • Up to 128-bit WEP encryption
  • 32-bit PCI Interface
  • Use instant messaging to chat with friends, and share files and other resources such as printers and network storage

Customer Reviews

Excellent dealWorks with windows 7 64 bitDoes not come like the one pictured, product arrived as a low profile card which I think is better since it allows better airflow in your case. The metal pci slot bracket is full height but the card itself is less than half height. I uploaded a picture of the item to see what you are getting. It is the same model except it has been updated. The antenna is adjustable and is removable for those of you wondering. It does not extend.Installation was easy, just make sure you install the cd software first before you install the card. Cd drivers worked excellent with no problems, windows 7 later suggested I install the newest drivers and they worked flawlessly as well.Signal strength is better than my laptop. I can find alot more wireless networks in my area than my laptop using this card on my desktop.Fits in the older "PCI" slots only not the newer "PCIe" or pci express as they are also called so make sure you have one empty "pci" slot before you install.I recommend this card since Linksys is "The" name brand when it comes to consumer home networks and is an unbeatable deal at the current price of $21.99 .5Installation difficulties in Windows XPI had a few problems getting the WMP54G to work using encryption with my router (WRT54G) under Windows XP.The quick installation guide implies Windows XP will detect the card and set it up automatically. It did no such thing for me; it wanted me to provide the driver manually. I highly recommend getting the latest driver from the Linksys website rather than using the one on the CD.I don't recommend using the Windows network wizard, or whatever the thing is called. It added a Network Bridge device with an odd IP address. I could not communicate with my router until I deleted this device. This was not intuitive at all, but again this is a Windows problem.On to the next problem: when I used WEP encryption (either 64 or 128-bit), the wireless connection would drop out at precisely three minutes. Everything worked fine with encryption turned off.I then decided to try WPA encryption, which is supposedly more secure than WEP anyway. There is a Windows XP update to add this capability to the operating system, which you'll need to install. Unfortunately I found that this didn't immediately solve my problem: WPA was not available as a selection in the wirless network setup. I then updated the driver for the WMP54G and I was able to use WPA with no problem! Again, a word of advice: do NOT use the driver on the included CD! Get the latest driver off the Linksys website. I would imagine this was the source of my WEP problems as well, but I never went back to try it. I'm happy with WPA.Also make sure your router's firmware is up to date. Some manufacturers have only recently added WPA capability.Other than these difficulties, this seems to be a great card. It works just as fast as my wired LAN connection.4Worked flawlessly with Windows 7, 64 bit operating systemI had no problem installing the device and yes, it DOES play well with Windows 7, 64 bit.I cannot explain the problems that so many have complained of in their reviews, however I suspect that they themselves MAY have been the cause of the problems. READ THE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS FIRST. You MUST run the CD first, BEFORE you install the PCI Card into the computer. Do NOT interrupt the installation program, even if it seems to hang before completing. It will PAUSE for several minutes before completing the install. For me, this pause took place at the 20% complete mark. Be patient... I was very near to canceling the install myself but task manager showed that all was well so I waited, and waited a bit more. Finally the install completed and you were instructed to shut off your computer and install the card, setup would continue after you restarted. I followed the instructions and had no problems at all. Windows 7 recognized the card and the card recognized my router and the two made the connection easily.I then tested the speed and reliability of the connection at the Charter testing site with the following results: download speed 15.2 mbps, upload speed of 1 mbps. These speeds represent the max speeds for the service that I currently subscribe to through Charter. I see no issues with the card for installation in a Windows 7 box, no issues for speed, no issues for reliability. As a result, the card gets all 5 stars.The card is labeled as version 4.1 with a manufacture date of 9/2010 - the driver is dated 2006 and version 2.0.3 -I consider myself an advanced user and was prepared to troubleshoot any issues if they showed up, they simply never did. Install was smooth, the performance as best as I could expect, maxed for my connection limits. I trust that this review will assist shoppers in making their own informed buying decisions and even more, I hope that it will allow for Windows 7 users to avoid the problems that have somehow plagued so many.5Piece of crapI had good luck with several other Linksys products, but this one hit rock bottom. I wish I read the reviews before my friend purchased it. The wired and wireless broadband routers from Linksys are top-notch. Even their laptop wireless adapter works great for me. But this unit was unbelievable. It took hours to install. The software driver didn't even start when you clicked on setup. You got a quick flash and no software ran (using XP). I figured out another way to install it from a tip here (run setup from the Utilities folder). The hardware finally installed, but of course didn't work. Hours later after being on hold with tech support, I was told to hard-code an IP address in the card (my DSL provider provides IP addresses automatically). It worked for a few hours and stopped working. That was when we gave up. Linksys really struck out with this garbage. They obviously have no experience or business being in the PCI card realm. They should have stuck to routers. We bought a D-link PCI card (for HALF PRICE!!) and it was literally up and running in less than 5 minutes. It showed a strong signal and the funny thing is that for the few minutes that the Linksys card was connected it was reading a weak signal (from 5 feet away from the router).1Works, but had to disable Linksys software to connectThe card looks and feels high quality. Very nice. I know that it's probably a user issue, but I could not get connected to my wireless network using the included Linksys network manager. I use a WEP password and MAC address filtering. I could just not get connected with MAC address filtering using the Linksys software. I would enable, disable MAC filtering on my wireless modem, restart the modem, restart the computer, enable, disable, try again, different combinations etc. When I disabled MAC filtering on my wireless modem I could connect. But when I enabled MAC filtering I couldn't. (And yes I had the MAC # correct, it is printed on the box and the card itself).The Linksys network management software overrides and disables the Windows network manager. I left the card installed, then uninstalled the Linksys software, then windows found new hardware on a reboot, then I put the linksys disc in my drive and windows picked up the hardware driver off of the disc without installing the Linksys network management software. That allowed me to use the Windows XP network manager which connected with MAC filtering on the first try. And yes, I realize that is probably some kind of user error or settings error that I just couldn't figure out. But with using Windows XP network manager it works perfectly.4Easy, quick and powerfulThis is one very powerful and easy piece of equipment that you should be able to have up and running in under 10 minutes. I installed it on a relatively new (6 months old) Dell XP desktop. Like they say in the instructions, load the CD BEFORE you try to install the card. Follow the instuctions on the screen and you should be all set. I have an ATT 2WIRE wireless DSL router with an Apple Airport attached for increased range. This card detected both of the wireless routers and asked which one I would like to link up to. Since I was closer to the Airport I chose that one, clicked on it, and I was up and running in seconds. I don't really download a lot of big video files, but what I do download seems to open as quick, if not quicker, than when I was hardwired to the router. Web pages open as quickly also. Sure I installed it on a desktop that isn't going anywhere, but hey - one less wire under my feet.... Now if I could just get my stupid Dell to find and share my printer with my Mac...but that's another story.5Almost as simple as USB adapter!Network cards like these do not get any simpler to use. Sure, you can go for some USB Network adapter but if you can assemble a complex lego set and have a spare expansion slot on your desktop computer, why not free up your on-board USB ports with something that is designed to be a permanent install?The Linksys WMP54G Wireless PCI adapter is perhaps among the last internal network cards created before the consumer PC market switched to everything to USB. In my case, I installed the card on an Asus P4SP-MX motherboard in Windows XP SP3 and it could not have gone any easier - in less than 10 minutes, the card as installed and ready to be used by the Windows XP Wireless - I was absolutely sure I was ready to tap in to neighborhood wireless until I realized I still some more homework to do.Although seemed that it was ready use, wireless security protocols have changed in the ten years since its production. The included wired equivalent protection (WEP) is an outdated protocol within the 802.11 that has been superseded by much stronger wireless protected access (WPA) protocols that are NOT included with the Windows XP recognition mentioned above. You MUST check the Windows update page to download a driver update that should allow you to access current 2015 "WPA2" wireless networks. Another caveat is that some very unfortunate reason, it seems that driver support for this wireless cards ends after Windows 7 so its almost unusable on contemporary computers. For better or worse I am stuck using Windows XP Pro. and Windows 2000 Pro. and it really shows its age, with the the included CD-ROM that has drivers for operating systems for Windows 98 to Windows XP.Why should you get a PCI card? While in my case it was simply because I could - an internal card eliminates some of the speed problems related to motherboards with older USB v1.1 ports that limit themselves to about 11MB/s transfer rates. You may have so many devices already connected and the ports are so tightly packed that a thick USB wireless adapter forces you to choose which one to disconnect. While the simplest remedy would be to use a USB hub, it counterproductive to have to have MORE wires come out of your computer. With a PCI card, not only have I cut out the USB middleman, the detachable antenna also gives me the option to use specific antennas that can increase the distance and quality of my wireless reception. This might be beyond the needs of the average consumer, its nice to have around.In general, this is a great card in so many ways. Not only does have my computer have cool antenna/tail, I am connected to the internet and my local LAN with the same ease as any wired connection. I don't have move around any USB devices or worry about loosing them.5DO NOT install the CD software first! Power down, install card, then let Windows do the work.I don't care that there are numerous dire warnings in the instructions and packaging that the software should be installed first. Don't do it.If you don't believe ME, then do yourself a favor and Google around first.Linksys/Cisco wants you to install the full-blown (and buggy) management software package first, then power down, then install the hardware, then power up. Vast testimonies on the Web suggest that doing so will cause hardware malfunction and/or mis-installation.Instead, the correct approach is to first power down, then install the hardware, then power up and then let Windows recognize the device as new hardware. Then Windows will ask for the CD and install ONLY the core drivers needed (and not the buggy management software).I just did it that way (under a clean install of WinXP Pro, Service Pack 2, no updates). Thirty seconds after I inserted the CD on request, I was finished and advised of wireless networks available via a balloon pop-up out of the tray.You can manage the device and its settings using Windows via the path: Start, Settings, Control Panel, System Properties, Hardware (tab), Device Manager (button), Network Adapters (folder) .... instead of using LinkSys/Cisco's buggy software.Some posters stated that this is actually the solution that Linksys Tech Support staff offered when called about installation problems.Other than that glitch, the device is entirely recommended. This is the second one I own. The first one is a version 1.0 card I've been running for years with nary a hitch (It marries to a Linksys/Cisco WRT54G Router Version 2.0, the older black-and-blue version with twin rabbit ears popping up out of the back ... not the newer black spaceship-styled version).I "fine-tuned" the hardware/software settings using a piece of idiot-proof freeware (TCPOptimizer) that analyzes current settings and makes changes to, well, optimize them. The process vastly improved my speed/throughput/performance. Just be sure to back up the registry and create a restore point before you run TCPOptimizer, on the off-chance something goes wrong.By the way, the pictures for this product are incorrect. They are pictures of an earlier version, where the card was "taller." Amaz. is currently (09/2009) shipping version 4.1 of this product and the card is not very tall at all. I'll upload a current pix here shortly.4Connect Problems? Check the "CHANNEL"I've looked around on various boards to see if anyone had a solution to the problem so often described with this product where you see a message "A wireless connection is available", and the SSID shows up as an available network, but then you can't connect to it. I don't think I've seen anyone write up the solution I found, so I'm going to give it a try here, hopefully it'll help reduce stress for at least a few other users...I messed around with this problem for HOURS yesterday, but decided to try fresh today... I'd decided that if I didn't get it all working today, it was all going to get boxed up and sent back tomorrow! The root cause was that the router was on one channel (6 I believe), and the WMP55G cards (at least when you install the new driver) defaults to channel 11. (I may have these reversed).In this configuration, the network SSID was visible to the client systems, but would NOT connect - at least not usually - they actually connected once or twice briefly with the channels mismatched, but with everything in close proximity.The WRT54G's channel number (assuming you're using the linksys router) is on the "setup" tab on it's web interface. (I had a PC hardwired to the router to do this - that's a good idea if you're having RF problems as I was). It's down near the bottom of the screen in the "Wireless" section. Remember to hit "APPLY" after changing it, so that it takes effect.The WMP54G's channel number (Windows XP - SP1 with the latest driver, anyway) is on the "Wireless G Notebook Adapter Properties" window under the "Advanced" tab. It's labeled "IBSS Channel Number". You must hit the "OK" for it to take effect.I THINK I tried changing the channel on the router yesterday, but failed to hit "APPLY"...I had been seeing the same thing over and over... the network was visible to the client computers, but wouldn't connect... Interestingly enough, my portable WOULD connect, but the two PCI cards would not. Once I got all the channels synced up, it was fine.You would expect that if the card and router were on different channels (especially as far apart as 6 and 11), that the network would not be visible from the cards, but that's not the case! They are visible, but just will not connect - usually anyway.I believe that any sort of RF problem might cause a similar symptom... a bad antenna connector, an interfering wireless phone, (another network next door?) or what have you.The first thing I did today was to disconnect all the wireless phones in the house BEFORE starting to troubleshoot. The next thing was to turn SSID transmit back on, and security off. Once we got the channels synced up, both PCI cards synced up right away... then I turned SSID transmit off, verified that it was OK, then put in a WEP key, verified again, then went in and restricted the mac addresses to those of my client computers. It's all working reliably now.4Works like a charmI purchased this wireless card to install in a 7 year old Dell Dimension 2350 desktop computer running Win XP Home SP 3 that was re-located to our basement rec room when we purchased a new Win 7 machine. After reading many of the reviews posted here I was undecided whether I should take the advice of some reviewers and ignore the Linksys instructions which advised to install the software first before installing the card into the computer case. Other reviewers suggested installing the card first, then using the software disk to only install the driver and not the full software package. I ultimately decided to follow the Linksys instructions, and I'm very glad that I did.My set up has a Verizon FIOS combination modem/router on the upper floor office of a two story house. The desktop computer located there is hard wired into the router via a standard ethernet cable. When the old desktop computer was moved to the basement, two floors down, my concern was that the signal would be so weak that either the card would not conect to the router at all, or speeds would be so low as to make it impractical to use.Because I had installed a Linksys Wireless G PCMIA card into an old notebook computer that lacked an internal card, my first experiment was to see if this card would connect the notebook to the FIOS router. So I took the notebook to the exact location in the basement where the desktop was going to be placed and turned it on. When it immediately connected to my network and the signal strength remained within an acceptable range, I decided that the Linksys WMP54G Wireless-G card might just be the answer for the desktop.The software installation was a snap. I shut down the computer, unplugged it and quickly installed the card into one of the available PCI slots. I powered the computer back on, booted up, and held my breath, hoping it would work, but also kind of expecting it to give me a problem of the kind described by other reviewers.I expected to find that the Linksys software had over-ridden the built in Windows network manager with its own proprietary network management tool, as some reviewers have described, but this was not the case. This is exactly what had occurred when I had installed the Linksys PCMIA card in that old notebook, making the set up somewhat problematic and time consuming while I had to play with its unfamiliar settings. Perhaps Linksys has modified its software so that it does not pre-empt the Windows network manager. In any event, when the computer booted the Windows network manager appeared on screen, which was a very pleasant surprise.It took two attempts before the card was able to connect to the network. I think the first attempt may have timed out, I'm not sure. But at that point I was thinking, oh oh, here's a problem. But before doing anything else I simply put in my key once more and tried again. The card connected on this second attempt.I have shut down and turned the computer back on several times and each time upon booting up the card has flawlessly connected to my network without any further input from me. Signal strength has fluctuated from a low of 12 Mbps to a high of 48 Mbps with an average of 24 and 36. Signal strength has also fluctuated between "low," "good," and "very good." Regardless of the reported signal strength and speeds, I have had no issues with opening a variety of web pages, and they all appeared to have loaded relatively quickly. I haven't tried downloading any large files or watching streaming video, so I can't determine yet how that will go, but by and large, I am very satisfied with this card giving me internet access on this old PC without having to try to drop ethernet cable down two floors.I have used Linksys wireless equipment (three routers, three wireless cards) until I signed up for FIOS and retired my latest Linksys router. I have never had any issues with Linksys equipment, and they have proven to be very reliable. This Linksys WMP54G Wireless-G PCI Adapter has, so far, been fine. But then, it's only been in use for a couple of weeks.I would recommend that if you purchase this card follow the instructions provided by Linksys. Install the software first, shut down your PC, unplug from the electrical source, and then install the card. When you re-boot, you should see the Windows network manager on screen. Search for your network and put in your WEP or WPA key when prompted. If it fails to connect on the first attempt, try again. It should connect and you are done.I tried moving the card's antenna around at the back of the computer to see if it would make a difference on signal strength, but I don't think antenna placement has any effect. One last piece of advice, if you run into a problem when doing your install, only call Linksys as a last, desperate resort. Their tech support is not very good and you will just waste your time and your issue will most likely not be resolved. Better to use the old Google and try to find a solution to your problem on some of the various online tech forums. Linksys gets high grades from me for its hardware, but an "F" for tech support.In sum, I'm certainly pleased with this product and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who wants to untether their desktop PC.5
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Description
  • Product Type - Adapter
  • Complies with IEEE 802.11g draft standards, and backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11b products
  • Supports up to 128-bit WEP encryption and WPA security
  • Up to 128-bit WEP encryption
  • 32-bit PCI Interface
  • Use instant messaging to chat with friends, and share files and other resources such as printers and network storage
Reviews

Customer Reviews

Excellent dealWorks with windows 7 64 bitDoes not come like the one pictured, product arrived as a low profile card which I think is better since it allows better airflow in your case. The metal pci slot bracket is full height but the card itself is less than half height. I uploaded a picture of the item to see what you are getting. It is the same model except it has been updated. The antenna is adjustable and is removable for those of you wondering. It does not extend.Installation was easy, just make sure you install the cd software first before you install the card. Cd drivers worked excellent with no problems, windows 7 later suggested I install the newest drivers and they worked flawlessly as well.Signal strength is better than my laptop. I can find alot more wireless networks in my area than my laptop using this card on my desktop.Fits in the older "PCI" slots only not the newer "PCIe" or pci express as they are also called so make sure you have one empty "pci" slot before you install.I recommend this card since Linksys is "The" name brand when it comes to consumer home networks and is an unbeatable deal at the current price of $21.99 .5Installation difficulties in Windows XPI had a few problems getting the WMP54G to work using encryption with my router (WRT54G) under Windows XP.The quick installation guide implies Windows XP will detect the card and set it up automatically. It did no such thing for me; it wanted me to provide the driver manually. I highly recommend getting the latest driver from the Linksys website rather than using the one on the CD.I don't recommend using the Windows network wizard, or whatever the thing is called. It added a Network Bridge device with an odd IP address. I could not communicate with my router until I deleted this device. This was not intuitive at all, but again this is a Windows problem.On to the next problem: when I used WEP encryption (either 64 or 128-bit), the wireless connection would drop out at precisely three minutes. Everything worked fine with encryption turned off.I then decided to try WPA encryption, which is supposedly more secure than WEP anyway. There is a Windows XP update to add this capability to the operating system, which you'll need to install. Unfortunately I found that this didn't immediately solve my problem: WPA was not available as a selection in the wirless network setup. I then updated the driver for the WMP54G and I was able to use WPA with no problem! Again, a word of advice: do NOT use the driver on the included CD! Get the latest driver off the Linksys website. I would imagine this was the source of my WEP problems as well, but I never went back to try it. I'm happy with WPA.Also make sure your router's firmware is up to date. Some manufacturers have only recently added WPA capability.Other than these difficulties, this seems to be a great card. It works just as fast as my wired LAN connection.4Worked flawlessly with Windows 7, 64 bit operating systemI had no problem installing the device and yes, it DOES play well with Windows 7, 64 bit.I cannot explain the problems that so many have complained of in their reviews, however I suspect that they themselves MAY have been the cause of the problems. READ THE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS FIRST. You MUST run the CD first, BEFORE you install the PCI Card into the computer. Do NOT interrupt the installation program, even if it seems to hang before completing. It will PAUSE for several minutes before completing the install. For me, this pause took place at the 20% complete mark. Be patient... I was very near to canceling the install myself but task manager showed that all was well so I waited, and waited a bit more. Finally the install completed and you were instructed to shut off your computer and install the card, setup would continue after you restarted. I followed the instructions and had no problems at all. Windows 7 recognized the card and the card recognized my router and the two made the connection easily.I then tested the speed and reliability of the connection at the Charter testing site with the following results: download speed 15.2 mbps, upload speed of 1 mbps. These speeds represent the max speeds for the service that I currently subscribe to through Charter. I see no issues with the card for installation in a Windows 7 box, no issues for speed, no issues for reliability. As a result, the card gets all 5 stars.The card is labeled as version 4.1 with a manufacture date of 9/2010 - the driver is dated 2006 and version 2.0.3 -I consider myself an advanced user and was prepared to troubleshoot any issues if they showed up, they simply never did. Install was smooth, the performance as best as I could expect, maxed for my connection limits. I trust that this review will assist shoppers in making their own informed buying decisions and even more, I hope that it will allow for Windows 7 users to avoid the problems that have somehow plagued so many.5Piece of crapI had good luck with several other Linksys products, but this one hit rock bottom. I wish I read the reviews before my friend purchased it. The wired and wireless broadband routers from Linksys are top-notch. Even their laptop wireless adapter works great for me. But this unit was unbelievable. It took hours to install. The software driver didn't even start when you clicked on setup. You got a quick flash and no software ran (using XP). I figured out another way to install it from a tip here (run setup from the Utilities folder). The hardware finally installed, but of course didn't work. Hours later after being on hold with tech support, I was told to hard-code an IP address in the card (my DSL provider provides IP addresses automatically). It worked for a few hours and stopped working. That was when we gave up. Linksys really struck out with this garbage. They obviously have no experience or business being in the PCI card realm. They should have stuck to routers. We bought a D-link PCI card (for HALF PRICE!!) and it was literally up and running in less than 5 minutes. It showed a strong signal and the funny thing is that for the few minutes that the Linksys card was connected it was reading a weak signal (from 5 feet away from the router).1Works, but had to disable Linksys software to connectThe card looks and feels high quality. Very nice. I know that it's probably a user issue, but I could not get connected to my wireless network using the included Linksys network manager. I use a WEP password and MAC address filtering. I could just not get connected with MAC address filtering using the Linksys software. I would enable, disable MAC filtering on my wireless modem, restart the modem, restart the computer, enable, disable, try again, different combinations etc. When I disabled MAC filtering on my wireless modem I could connect. But when I enabled MAC filtering I couldn't. (And yes I had the MAC # correct, it is printed on the box and the card itself).The Linksys network management software overrides and disables the Windows network manager. I left the card installed, then uninstalled the Linksys software, then windows found new hardware on a reboot, then I put the linksys disc in my drive and windows picked up the hardware driver off of the disc without installing the Linksys network management software. That allowed me to use the Windows XP network manager which connected with MAC filtering on the first try. And yes, I realize that is probably some kind of user error or settings error that I just couldn't figure out. But with using Windows XP network manager it works perfectly.4Easy, quick and powerfulThis is one very powerful and easy piece of equipment that you should be able to have up and running in under 10 minutes. I installed it on a relatively new (6 months old) Dell XP desktop. Like they say in the instructions, load the CD BEFORE you try to install the card. Follow the instuctions on the screen and you should be all set. I have an ATT 2WIRE wireless DSL router with an Apple Airport attached for increased range. This card detected both of the wireless routers and asked which one I would like to link up to. Since I was closer to the Airport I chose that one, clicked on it, and I was up and running in seconds. I don't really download a lot of big video files, but what I do download seems to open as quick, if not quicker, than when I was hardwired to the router. Web pages open as quickly also. Sure I installed it on a desktop that isn't going anywhere, but hey - one less wire under my feet.... Now if I could just get my stupid Dell to find and share my printer with my Mac...but that's another story.5Almost as simple as USB adapter!Network cards like these do not get any simpler to use. Sure, you can go for some USB Network adapter but if you can assemble a complex lego set and have a spare expansion slot on your desktop computer, why not free up your on-board USB ports with something that is designed to be a permanent install?The Linksys WMP54G Wireless PCI adapter is perhaps among the last internal network cards created before the consumer PC market switched to everything to USB. In my case, I installed the card on an Asus P4SP-MX motherboard in Windows XP SP3 and it could not have gone any easier - in less than 10 minutes, the card as installed and ready to be used by the Windows XP Wireless - I was absolutely sure I was ready to tap in to neighborhood wireless until I realized I still some more homework to do.Although seemed that it was ready use, wireless security protocols have changed in the ten years since its production. The included wired equivalent protection (WEP) is an outdated protocol within the 802.11 that has been superseded by much stronger wireless protected access (WPA) protocols that are NOT included with the Windows XP recognition mentioned above. You MUST check the Windows update page to download a driver update that should allow you to access current 2015 "WPA2" wireless networks. Another caveat is that some very unfortunate reason, it seems that driver support for this wireless cards ends after Windows 7 so its almost unusable on contemporary computers. For better or worse I am stuck using Windows XP Pro. and Windows 2000 Pro. and it really shows its age, with the the included CD-ROM that has drivers for operating systems for Windows 98 to Windows XP.Why should you get a PCI card? While in my case it was simply because I could - an internal card eliminates some of the speed problems related to motherboards with older USB v1.1 ports that limit themselves to about 11MB/s transfer rates. You may have so many devices already connected and the ports are so tightly packed that a thick USB wireless adapter forces you to choose which one to disconnect. While the simplest remedy would be to use a USB hub, it counterproductive to have to have MORE wires come out of your computer. With a PCI card, not only have I cut out the USB middleman, the detachable antenna also gives me the option to use specific antennas that can increase the distance and quality of my wireless reception. This might be beyond the needs of the average consumer, its nice to have around.In general, this is a great card in so many ways. Not only does have my computer have cool antenna/tail, I am connected to the internet and my local LAN with the same ease as any wired connection. I don't have move around any USB devices or worry about loosing them.5DO NOT install the CD software first! Power down, install card, then let Windows do the work.I don't care that there are numerous dire warnings in the instructions and packaging that the software should be installed first. Don't do it.If you don't believe ME, then do yourself a favor and Google around first.Linksys/Cisco wants you to install the full-blown (and buggy) management software package first, then power down, then install the hardware, then power up. Vast testimonies on the Web suggest that doing so will cause hardware malfunction and/or mis-installation.Instead, the correct approach is to first power down, then install the hardware, then power up and then let Windows recognize the device as new hardware. Then Windows will ask for the CD and install ONLY the core drivers needed (and not the buggy management software).I just did it that way (under a clean install of WinXP Pro, Service Pack 2, no updates). Thirty seconds after I inserted the CD on request, I was finished and advised of wireless networks available via a balloon pop-up out of the tray.You can manage the device and its settings using Windows via the path: Start, Settings, Control Panel, System Properties, Hardware (tab), Device Manager (button), Network Adapters (folder) .... instead of using LinkSys/Cisco's buggy software.Some posters stated that this is actually the solution that Linksys Tech Support staff offered when called about installation problems.Other than that glitch, the device is entirely recommended. This is the second one I own. The first one is a version 1.0 card I've been running for years with nary a hitch (It marries to a Linksys/Cisco WRT54G Router Version 2.0, the older black-and-blue version with twin rabbit ears popping up out of the back ... not the newer black spaceship-styled version).I "fine-tuned" the hardware/software settings using a piece of idiot-proof freeware (TCPOptimizer) that analyzes current settings and makes changes to, well, optimize them. The process vastly improved my speed/throughput/performance. Just be sure to back up the registry and create a restore point before you run TCPOptimizer, on the off-chance something goes wrong.By the way, the pictures for this product are incorrect. They are pictures of an earlier version, where the card was "taller." Amaz. is currently (09/2009) shipping version 4.1 of this product and the card is not very tall at all. I'll upload a current pix here shortly.4Connect Problems? Check the "CHANNEL"I've looked around on various boards to see if anyone had a solution to the problem so often described with this product where you see a message "A wireless connection is available", and the SSID shows up as an available network, but then you can't connect to it. I don't think I've seen anyone write up the solution I found, so I'm going to give it a try here, hopefully it'll help reduce stress for at least a few other users...I messed around with this problem for HOURS yesterday, but decided to try fresh today... I'd decided that if I didn't get it all working today, it was all going to get boxed up and sent back tomorrow! The root cause was that the router was on one channel (6 I believe), and the WMP55G cards (at least when you install the new driver) defaults to channel 11. (I may have these reversed).In this configuration, the network SSID was visible to the client systems, but would NOT connect - at least not usually - they actually connected once or twice briefly with the channels mismatched, but with everything in close proximity.The WRT54G's channel number (assuming you're using the linksys router) is on the "setup" tab on it's web interface. (I had a PC hardwired to the router to do this - that's a good idea if you're having RF problems as I was). It's down near the bottom of the screen in the "Wireless" section. Remember to hit "APPLY" after changing it, so that it takes effect.The WMP54G's channel number (Windows XP - SP1 with the latest driver, anyway) is on the "Wireless G Notebook Adapter Properties" window under the "Advanced" tab. It's labeled "IBSS Channel Number". You must hit the "OK" for it to take effect.I THINK I tried changing the channel on the router yesterday, but failed to hit "APPLY"...I had been seeing the same thing over and over... the network was visible to the client computers, but wouldn't connect... Interestingly enough, my portable WOULD connect, but the two PCI cards would not. Once I got all the channels synced up, it was fine.You would expect that if the card and router were on different channels (especially as far apart as 6 and 11), that the network would not be visible from the cards, but that's not the case! They are visible, but just will not connect - usually anyway.I believe that any sort of RF problem might cause a similar symptom... a bad antenna connector, an interfering wireless phone, (another network next door?) or what have you.The first thing I did today was to disconnect all the wireless phones in the house BEFORE starting to troubleshoot. The next thing was to turn SSID transmit back on, and security off. Once we got the channels synced up, both PCI cards synced up right away... then I turned SSID transmit off, verified that it was OK, then put in a WEP key, verified again, then went in and restricted the mac addresses to those of my client computers. It's all working reliably now.4Works like a charmI purchased this wireless card to install in a 7 year old Dell Dimension 2350 desktop computer running Win XP Home SP 3 that was re-located to our basement rec room when we purchased a new Win 7 machine. After reading many of the reviews posted here I was undecided whether I should take the advice of some reviewers and ignore the Linksys instructions which advised to install the software first before installing the card into the computer case. Other reviewers suggested installing the card first, then using the software disk to only install the driver and not the full software package. I ultimately decided to follow the Linksys instructions, and I'm very glad that I did.My set up has a Verizon FIOS combination modem/router on the upper floor office of a two story house. The desktop computer located there is hard wired into the router via a standard ethernet cable. When the old desktop computer was moved to the basement, two floors down, my concern was that the signal would be so weak that either the card would not conect to the router at all, or speeds would be so low as to make it impractical to use.Because I had installed a Linksys Wireless G PCMIA card into an old notebook computer that lacked an internal card, my first experiment was to see if this card would connect the notebook to the FIOS router. So I took the notebook to the exact location in the basement where the desktop was going to be placed and turned it on. When it immediately connected to my network and the signal strength remained within an acceptable range, I decided that the Linksys WMP54G Wireless-G card might just be the answer for the desktop.The software installation was a snap. I shut down the computer, unplugged it and quickly installed the card into one of the available PCI slots. I powered the computer back on, booted up, and held my breath, hoping it would work, but also kind of expecting it to give me a problem of the kind described by other reviewers.I expected to find that the Linksys software had over-ridden the built in Windows network manager with its own proprietary network management tool, as some reviewers have described, but this was not the case. This is exactly what had occurred when I had installed the Linksys PCMIA card in that old notebook, making the set up somewhat problematic and time consuming while I had to play with its unfamiliar settings. Perhaps Linksys has modified its software so that it does not pre-empt the Windows network manager. In any event, when the computer booted the Windows network manager appeared on screen, which was a very pleasant surprise.It took two attempts before the card was able to connect to the network. I think the first attempt may have timed out, I'm not sure. But at that point I was thinking, oh oh, here's a problem. But before doing anything else I simply put in my key once more and tried again. The card connected on this second attempt.I have shut down and turned the computer back on several times and each time upon booting up the card has flawlessly connected to my network without any further input from me. Signal strength has fluctuated from a low of 12 Mbps to a high of 48 Mbps with an average of 24 and 36. Signal strength has also fluctuated between "low," "good," and "very good." Regardless of the reported signal strength and speeds, I have had no issues with opening a variety of web pages, and they all appeared to have loaded relatively quickly. I haven't tried downloading any large files or watching streaming video, so I can't determine yet how that will go, but by and large, I am very satisfied with this card giving me internet access on this old PC without having to try to drop ethernet cable down two floors.I have used Linksys wireless equipment (three routers, three wireless cards) until I signed up for FIOS and retired my latest Linksys router. I have never had any issues with Linksys equipment, and they have proven to be very reliable. This Linksys WMP54G Wireless-G PCI Adapter has, so far, been fine. But then, it's only been in use for a couple of weeks.I would recommend that if you purchase this card follow the instructions provided by Linksys. Install the software first, shut down your PC, unplug from the electrical source, and then install the card. When you re-boot, you should see the Windows network manager on screen. Search for your network and put in your WEP or WPA key when prompted. If it fails to connect on the first attempt, try again. It should connect and you are done.I tried moving the card's antenna around at the back of the computer to see if it would make a difference on signal strength, but I don't think antenna placement has any effect. One last piece of advice, if you run into a problem when doing your install, only call Linksys as a last, desperate resort. Their tech support is not very good and you will just waste your time and your issue will most likely not be resolved. Better to use the old Google and try to find a solution to your problem on some of the various online tech forums. Linksys gets high grades from me for its hardware, but an "F" for tech support.In sum, I'm certainly pleased with this product and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who wants to untether their desktop PC.5
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