I have an old  DELL latitude C610 laptop which is no longer in use because I bought new a year ago. However , one day I decided to use it for testing a small network but there was no wireless card installed , which made my task very difficult and the only way to  finish my work was to install one.

After some searching in  Google I found out that there are several possible types of cards to install and below I will try to give you some tips that will help you to choose the right type of wireless card for your laptop.

1. Wireless USB adapter   (probably the easiest option) This adapter requires a free usb port.

Wireless USB adapter

2. Wireless PC Card (also known as PCMCIA cards). Most of the old  laptops  have such (PCMCIA) slot.

Note: In the newer laptops PC Card interface is replaced by Express card interface so if you planning to buy wireless card note that the ExpressCard interface is not compatible with PCMCIA devices. I recommend you to check your laptop manual and to see what types of cards are supported.

wireless-pcmcia-card

dell-express-card8

3. Wireless Mini PCI card. This is the most convenient way for using Wi-Fi because  whole device is located inside the laptop and there is no risk of damage to the card when transporting (not like USB and PC Card devices which have parts of them  standing outside the  laptop ). Note that as the PC Card standard is replaced by Express card  in some  newer laptops Mini PCI standard is also replaced by Mini PCI Express .

wireless mini-pci card
wireless mini-pci-express card

Note: Mini PCI cards and Mini PCI Express cards are not interchangeable so be careful when  shopping. Also before buying such card ensure that there are antenna cables near the Mini PCI slot because these cards are sold without antenna cables and if they are missing your card will be useless.

wireless mini pci antenna cables

After I saw the differences between cards and slots I  bought an Intel Pro 2200 Mini PCI card.

The procedure for installing the card and drivers takes less than 10 minutes. On Latitude C610 the Mini PCI slot is located near the two memory slots.     Just remove the metal cover located on the underside  which is  attached to the case by three small screws.

bottom-metal-cover

Place the card in slot at an angle of about 45 degrees and carefully press it down until the metal clips are locked.

wireless-card-mounting

Don’t forget to connect the antenna cables because without them you will have a bad signal.

wireless-card-clips