Needed: Best WIFI setup possible

Ok, just about to get all this new laptop "mess" straightened up. :huh: But just a couple questions remain...

Im looking for a good WIFI setup. Lets just keep an internal wireless card out of the question. Was looking at an Orinoco Gold with a antenna setup, but have stumbled upon many other cards "saying" they have better range than these. (in quite a rural area, so power/range is a must!)

Just wondering what ya'll have out there and what seems to be the best....

What exactly is Netstumbler and is it better than my comp's software for finding hotspots?

(Thanks to all reply's for help!!)

What exactly is Netstumbler and is it better than my comp's software for finding hotspots?
(Thanks to all reply's for help!!)


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe NetStumbler just shows you the available signals, otherwise, It's useless.. It doesn't connect you, or anything of that nature, to my knowledge.. I hear Boingo is pretty common and works well, but don't quote me on this, there are plenty of members on here that know more about this stuff, so I'll let the pitch in..
net stumbler is only used to find wifi doesn't do anything else

Stay with the Orinoco's THE standard by which all other cards are measured.

Buy the biggest/baddest/most powerful antenna you can.

It's not the card that makes the's the antenna.
This is what you want:


This actually outperforms the Orinoco Gold card by a good margin (this card transmits at 200mw).

The only downside is that it uses a very strange antenna connector (reverse polarity MMCX), and that it will be difficult to find antennas for it. They do exist, though, you just have to look for them. The card is a bit trickier to set up, too, especially if you want to use WPA encryption. Personally, I just shut off the software that comes with the card and let Windows do all the work.

Here's a nifty (very technical) page comparing wifi cards:
I'll second the comments regarding Orinoco cards; while they had their day they do not measure up to most of the quality high-power cards out there. Add to the confusion that there are several different models (and clones/imposters).

I've owned the SMC card mentioned above and was happy with it, but I now run a model from Senao/Engenius and won't look back. I also use an Antennex external antenna with an NMO mount.

Be prepared to do some online ordering for the equipment you need. The Seattle Wireless site is a wealth of information, take a moment and read up on what you'll need.. which in summary will be the card, likely a "pigtail" and the antenna (although you may be able to get an antenna that goes right to the card). Forget about going to a store to buy most of this stuff... and beware of ebay unless you know what you're getting.

You can get by using Windows XP wireless networking built-in functionality to find the networks; although Netstumbler is pretty cool and provides a lot of info you don't acutally need it for basic needs. Boingo can simplify things somewhat but some people have had trouble with it.
Thanks for the info all!

Something like this then?

or would this be more liable?

Don't mind shelling out the $250 for the "trucker" kit...but just want to make sure its not complete overkill!


I think the second one would be better Nick; the first one is obviously intended for trucker mirror installation and might be ungainly for other vehicles. I don't entirely agree with the wording of the ad though; they mislead you a bit on "G" vs "B" networks, although you won't go wrong with a "B" card since almost all wireless networks will allow you to access them (even the "G" networks in most cases). The 2511 card is highly regarded and the price seems appropriate for what you're getting, although I didn't see what coax they are using which can be important (might list this elsewhere on the site).
Thanks John...I was leaning more towards that one myself. Although i've already got twin Wilson Trucker 2000 "whips" mounted on the toolbox, still dont want another big one. B) Also really cant justify an extra 130 bucks. Looks like i'll hunt a bit more, but this looks like the best setup.

Thanks again and good day

I'm also looking to set up Wifi on my lap top.. its an older model Latitude C400.

I was wondering if anyone had, or knew anything about these two set ups.

I'm new to the lap top world so having all that come together would be a lot easier than going through and finding everything seperately. So basically I'm looking for anyone who can tell me if I should stay away, or if this seems like a logical purchase.
Ive never seen those setups, they look pretty good though. Any time you can get your signal outside the vehicle the better your range, reception will be greater. Thats good gain, I use a 5 db whip.