Originally Posted by Juneminuse;15153836
That's pretty lame news..... Why do the wifi cards in our laptop last almost forever but these more expensive USB alternatives have such shietty lifespans??
Its all about the form factor and market.
What do i mean? Well lets start with form factor.
Modern laptops have built-in wifi, as an integrated part of their main PCB (much like the intel or realtek LAN chip in most PC mobos). They have plenty of room, and are directly cooled along with the rest of the PCB. They are likely even attached to the laptop's main heatspreader.
Even old laptops which required an external wifi adaptor via expansion card slot were far larger, and their form factor was flat and thin, with a metal casing, directly attached to the metal skeleton of the frame. That means more surface area and more cooling.
Problem? PC wifi adaptors are shaped and sized like old flash drives. They are far too small to begin with and compound the problem by being encased in thick, usually non-ventilated plastic. Since they sit outside the computer, they do not take advantage of the computer's cooling system in any sort of way. You might as well be putting a blanket around the thing.
Now.. what about the market bit i mentioned...
Well, laptops are designed to be portable. Theres no room for a wired internet line. Wifi is the primary, if not only intended means of connectivity for them. As such, their wifi has to be reliable and powerful, especially since it usually is not replaceable.
In a PC, wifi adapters are an afterthought, and an easily replaceable plug-an-play afterthought at that.
Hope that makes some sense.