A wireless card is used to connect your computer to the Internet without the use of a cable. Connecting directly to the wall outlet typically allows for a more stable connection, but many don’t use this option, as a cord in the way can be a hassle, or an outlet may not be nearby. Wireless cards come in different types designated by letter: B, G, and N. B is the weakest connection and G is the strongest. For your wireless card to reach its full potential, you must select a card compatible with your router. For example, if you have an R router, even if with a G card, your Internet speed cannot run higher than R, and thus your downloads may be slower.
If you are using a wireless connection and notice slow speeds or poor connections, you may be too far away from the router. In addition, your wireless provider may not offer high speed Internet in certain areas. Check with your provider to see where their best service areas are. If you live outside of those areas, you may be unable to have a higher download speed at this time.
Most Internet providers have a number of plans at varying speeds. Even the slowest available speeds for cable modem and DSL will still be much faster than dial-up, but if you are on the least expensive plan, you may get slower downloads. Keep in mind that depending on your area, you may be unable to reach the highest advertised speeds, even on the fastest Internet plan. It is a good idea to see what the maximum connection speed for your location is to be sure you are not paying for speed that you can’t get.
If you are using a shared Internet connection, the Internet use of those sharing your connection will affect your download speed. If someone on the same connection as you is playing an online game or downloading files, this will slow your own download speed. Too many users on the same wireless signal will bog down the network. Be sure you are using a secure, password protected network. Otherwise, anyone can connect to the Internet through your network.