Dual-Mode Wireless LAN Adapters for Desktop PCs

Elan's range of dual-mode PCI to PCMCIA desktop adapters is ideal for 802.11a and/or 802.11b wireless LAN cards and the adapters are designed to accommodate the new 802.11g technology making your WLAN setup both backward and forward compatible.

Each of these card drives uses internationally patented design technology to provide a simple, secure and reliable solution for using any PCMCIA compliant Wireless LAN PC Card in a desktop computer, enabling communication with other desktop PCs or with portable PCs also using a Wireless LAN card.

Why WLAN in a desktop?

Universal Wireless LAN adapterWireless technology may have started life in PCMCIA cards in laptop machines but it is now spreading to the desktop environment. New technologies - in particular the WLAN 80211b standard - mean that wireless communication can be fast and secure, and the advantages of being able to link laptops to your network are obvious. Increasingly however PC cards are being used in desktop machines to provide wireless LAN connectivity in the workplace.  This kind of networking allows easy connectivity of desktop machines, printers and servers in the office and allows laptop users to easily connect when they are in the office.

Having a wireless network inside the office also means that you can move your desktop PCs around at will - without having to unplug any cables. A single Access Point can cover plenty of machines and each one needs only a small PC card to allow it to connect to your company network without a cable in sight.

WLAN is also ideal for environments where it is not practical to lay cables, for example in older buildings where cables would look ugly and obtrusive, or where the walls may be too thick to drill holes. A single PCMCIA card could replace the wires linking every room in a school or hotel into the main wireless network.

How Does It Work?

Wireless LAN cards are PC cards - interface cards complying with the PCMCIA standard - with a transmitter and receiver inside.  PCMCIA cards require a PCMCIA slot, something now standard on laptops, but rarely found on a desktop machine. However, there is technology available to provide a PC card interface on a desktop platform using a standard PCI slot

Elan's PCI/PCMCIA adapter uses patented technology and plugs into a PCI slot on the motherboard. A whole range of options are available, offering PCMCIA slots in a 3.5 inch front drive bay, a small box external to the PC or through a rear expansion slot (rear slot models are the most popular for wireless LAN applications.) Many models offer 2 PC card slots from a single PCI slot, so you can have your Wireless LAN card in one, and use the other for any other PCMCIA card - such as a digital camera memory card  or another network card.

The technology supports Windows 9x, ME, NT4 and 2000 as well as LINUX and also works on the MAC. Once the adapter is installed it can be used with any make of wireless LAN PC card (or in fact with ANY PCMCIA card, including flash, SRAM, compact flash and modem cards.) and you can even hot-swap cards without restarting the PC.

Where Can I Find More Information?

Elan are associate members of WLANA - the Wireless LAN Association - their web site is full of general WLAN information.

Our most popular models for use with Wireless LANs are our rear slot models, though some customers prefer a twin slot front loading model so that the WLAN card can be used alongside a memory card.  (For an example from a digtal camera.)