In this tutorial, you will find out how to install a wireless cart to a desktop PC. If you are fed up with using USB wifi sticks, this tutorial is for you.
I do not why but even though I built my PC myself I did not buy a wifi card for it. I thought that I will use a USB network card instead but had a lot of problems with it recently. So finally, one year later, I have decided to upgrade my PC and install a proper, internal wifi card.
To my surprise, it turned out that WiFi cards come these days together with Bluetooth functionality so you can easily sort out two issues at the same time.
This is what I did.
How to upgrade your PC to wifi and Bluetooth card
1. Check if PCIe slot is available and buy WiFi/Bluetooth card
If you have a fairly modern PC, it is almost certain that it will contain at least one empty PCI Express slot and in the first step, you can just buy your card. I have bought Ubit AX/AC WiFi 6 Card Dual Band 2974 Mbps AX200 PCI-E Bluetooth WLAN Network WiFi Card with Bluetooth from Amazon for around £29 but of course there are many types available on the market.
If you look closely at the picture above, you will see the type of connection. It says PCI-Express X1. PCI Express slots can be of different physical configurations: x1, x4, x8, x16, x32. The number after the x tells you how many lanes that PCIe slot has. A PCIe x1 slot has one lane and can move data at one bit per cycle.
As mentioned, if your PC is not too old you should be fine but if your PC is fairly old (over 5-6 years) it is worth checking if any PCI Express slots are available. You can basically, open your PC and have a look. Before you take the side panel from the case, please make sure the power cable is unplugged and the power switch set to 0. Be careful, do not touch any components just have a look at the available PCIe slots.
One thing to keep in mind is that you can insert a PCI Express x1 card into a PCI Express x16 slot, all the details informing about correct configuration will be included in the instructions that come with the card.
As mentioned, my PC and motherboard are fairly and I could put the WiFi card into a few different locations. Below the picture of my motherboards with PCIe X1 slots marked.
2. Attach the USB cable to the card and make space for the card by removing a small metal piece at the back of your PC
Once your card arrives, read the instruction 🙂 If it is similar to mine, you need to connect the USB cable to the card. Technically you can do it later when the card is installed but is easier to do it beforehand.
OK, now again take the precautions, unplug the power cable from your PC, but the power switch to 0, and open the side panel. Depending on your cover, you may remove one or more screws. Again, be careful, do not touch any components, you just want to install the card.
Check where the available PCIe slot is. Also, make sure there is a nearby USB slot to connect your cable.
At the back of your computer, remove a small metal or plastic piece so that the part, where you connect the antenna, can be slightly sticking out of the back of your computer. It is sort of difficult to explain but I am sure you will figure it out.
3. Insert the card, secure, connect USB cable
Now carefully put the card into the slot. It should go fairly easily if it doesn’t, do not force it! Take this out, readjust and try again. Once it goes nicely in, secure the card to the PC by putting a screw.
The last stage is to connect the USB cable to the motherboard. If you look closely, in one of the corners of the cable there is no hole for the pin so it is not possible to connect it to the motherboard incorrectly. Realign the cable so the part without the whole meets the missing pin, and delicately insert it fully.
4. Finish the installation and switch your PC back on
That is all, but the cover back, attach two antennae and switch your computer on.
Once your PC is switched on, right-click the icon of This PC, choose properties and Device manager (alternatively you can press the Windows key and start typing Device manager).
Analyse the devices and check if both Network card and Bluetooth are discovered by your PC. In my case, they were discovered straight away but it may happen that you should install the drivers that came with the card.
Once the drivers have been installed, both cards should work correctly and you can use fast and reliable WiFi and Bluetooth.
I hope this has helped you to install wifi and Bluetooth card to PC. Trust me, I was surprised how easy it was.
In the following days, I will try to make a short YouTube video where I will show you the exact process. As always, please feel free to ask me any questions about this topic.