How to Buy Affordable Wireless Network Cables and Adapters

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How to Buy Affordable Wireless Network Cables and Adapters on eBay

The world is becoming less wired, slowly, but surely, and it is not because people are becoming less connected. On the contrary, connectivity is increasing at exponential levels. That evolution has been heavily weighted in the direction of wireless connections that are making electronic devices more portable. Rather than the wires that were the conduits of the past, signals are now being transmitted through the air over longer distances than ever before. Cumbersome wires are being replaced by components that require a range of cables and adapters..

Many people with older electronic equipment fail to realise that the devices can be modified easily so that they are adaptable to newer wireless gaming, video, and Wi-Fi connections. Perfectly serviceable computers or consoles are often discarded in favour of expensive new models, but could have been adapted easily for a far lower price. Therefore, it is wise for buyers to spend a little bit of time learning about the options available and then checking the prices on eBay. The marketplace offers a wide range of affordable wireless network cables and adapters. Buyers should be aware of the quality of the item in addition to considering the price. Typically expensive, high-end cables may be available at reduced prices if bought used.

Types of Wireless Network Cables

In the future, the need for wiring may be eliminated completely. For the time being, a wireless local area network (WLAN) still relies on cables and wiring to supply the initial input from the electrical and data transmission sources. The goal with any wireless technology is to free the end user's device from restricting wiring and to maximise the available range. eBay offers all of the solutions described below.

USB Cables

Universal serial bus (USB) cables are used popularly for wireless connections as a result of an agreement reached by many of the top equipment manufacturers in the mid 1990s. They are rated from USB 1.0 to USB 3.0 depending on the data transmission volume required for the specific device; most wireless connections do not require USB 3.0 capabilities. Each updated version is compatible with previous releases.

While it is hard to find any wireless device that does not have a USB port, the more important aspect is confirming that each end of the cable is appropriate for the connection; not all USB cable ends are the same. All eBay listings provide detailed photos of both ends to confirm accuracy when ordering.

Ethernet Cables

The development of Ethernet technology dates back to the 1980s. Typically, any new device includes the appropriate Ethernet cable but buyers may need a replacement or one of a different length. Ethernet cables are the same at both ends. An advantage of Ethernet is that the length of the cable is virtually unlimited for wireless networking.

USB vs. Ethernet Cables

There are times when USB and Ethernet cables are interchangeable, and there are times when they are not. The table below highlights some of the important differences between USB and Ethernet cables.







Response time



Maximum length

5 metres

100 metres

Device driver required



Hardware cost

No adapter needed

Requires network adapter

USB cables are available for specific interfaces. For practical home or office use, USB 2.0 handles just about anything that Ethernet can.

Category 6 Cables

Category 6 (Cat 6) cables are variations of the Ethernet design. They are an updated version of Cat 5 and Cat 3. They are backwards compatible, which means that they work with any device originally equipped with an earlier design. Cat 6 offers improvements in the areas of interference and system noise. All category cables are identical in appearance and the only means of determining the difference is the text on the cable's outer sheath. Like other Ethernet types, Cat 6 comes in 100 metre lengths and conforms to all other standard protocols.

VGA Cables

An older style of cable that is still found commonly on desktop computers and earlier gaming consoles is the video graphics array (VGA)). As the name suggests, VGA is associated with the video aspect of high-definition televisions and computer monitors. The cable connection consists of 15 pins arranged in three rows with screws to maintain the connection. VGA is often referred to as either RGB or D-sub. Those who find that they must transition from a VGA to a more recent HDMI or DVI device should be relieved to know that replacement cables and adapters are readily available on eBay.

HDMI Cables

HDMI cables are used to transfer uncompressed video and either compressed or uncompressed audio between digital devices. They essentially replace analogue transfer or VGA cables. One of the primary benefits of HDMI is its compatibility with digital visual interface (DVI), resulting in no loss of video quality when using an adapter to bridge the two. HDMI types are available in up to 15 metre lengths, although rarely is there any need for cables beyond five metres because the connected devices tend to be in close proximity to each other.

There are five different types of HDMI, ranging from A to E. Different devices specify the type that they require. Adapters are available to convert from one type to another, assuming that the devices are compatible.

Types of Wireless Network Adapters

Wireless network adapters are indispensable when attempting to move from one type of cable connection to another. They are also used commonly to bring multiple devices of the same type together to minimise the need for additional input ports. Although the most common types of adapter are described below, virtually every conceivable type or configuration can be found on eBay to connect any computer, video, game console, phone, or camera to create instant compatibility.

PCI Adapters

PCI adapters or cards are intended for use with a traditional desktop computer. Provided there is an open PCI slot on the computer's motherboard, installation is simple. This is an inexpensive way to eliminate wiring that restricts mobility, especially for newer gaming components connecting to older computers. The only noticeable change is a short antenna protruding from the connection port on the computer tower. Obviously, it is important to confirm the adapter and device are compatible.

PCMCIA Adapters

PCMCIA adapters are used for laptops or notebooks with available PCMCIA slots. They offer the advantage of eliminating internal modification. One end of the card protrudes about 2.5 centimetres from the side of the computer and contains the antenna. The benefit of PCMCIA versions is that they do not occupy a USB port that may be required for other devices. However, most newer computers, do not provide this slot as all wireless functionality is contained within.

Mini PCI Adapters

Mini PCI adapters are functionally the same as any built-in wireless network adapter. They can be installed into a laptop, assuming that a mini PCI slot is available. They eliminate the protruding antenna common to all PCMCIA adapters by relying on a built-in wireless antenna. Experience with installation is beneficial, but novices can generally make do with the instructions provided.

USB Adapters

USB adapters provide the ultimate in simple wireless conversions. They require nothing more than an available USB port and are removed easily whenever that port is needed for other devices. They are about the same size as a standard flash memory drive and are just as portable. Note that they are available in speeds up to about 300 mbps. Some are also offered with an antenna to provide a greater range.

HDMI Adapters

HDMI adapters are used widely to bridge HDMI to DVI and VGA devices. They are also often used to connect with smartphones and to connect two or three devices to a computer with only one available port. Variations with switching capabilities are available on eBay.

Buying Affordable Wireless Network Cables and Adapters on eBay

The eBay is the marketplace to visit for affordable wireless network cables and adapters. Every eBay page provides a search feature that helps you to find the items that you are need. For example, to find specific video adapters,, simply enter that phrase into the search bar. Many buyers use eBay ' s Search Tips to learn about ways to find products.

Finding Affordable Items

Buyers should investigate the quality and reliability of the wireless network cables and adapters in addition to considering the price. This information should be contained in the item description. If not, buyers can contact sellers directly for further details. Typically expensive, high-end cables may be available at reduced prices if bought used. The easiest way to find affordable items is to tailor the search by specifying new or used condition or a price range.

eBay Desktop and Mobile Tools

Many people are accessing eBay from different locations and with several devices. You can now download a series of browser extensions and apps for any computer, smartphone, or tablet. Regardless of which Internet browser you are using, you can keep abreast of daily deals and pick up alerts. Download an app available for smartphones to stay in touch wherever you are.


A range of connections, cables, and adapters are used with electronic and multimedia devices, and the technology continues to develop. After the original Ethernet protocol was established, along came USB followed by HDMI. This technological progress means that buyers may need to update their cables and adapters. Fortunately, there are many sellers that provide affordable products that enable buyers to operate in a wireless world.

One of the most impressive features of eBay is that most types of cable and adapter can be found in a single marketplace. In one transaction, buyers can gather together all of the items that they need to create a wireless network. As there is a large and diverse pool of sellers offering these components, the pricing is competitive and affordable. Buyers should ensure that they confirm that the cables and adapters are of good quality for the price that they wish to pay in order to get the best performance.

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