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Replying to:
jphughan
5 Rhenium

Re: Vostro 1700 WLAN card upgrade to N or AC

Building on Mary G's answer above, if you find that you do indeed currently have a WiFi card in that slot and can therefore upgrade it, the Vostro 1700 is quite an old system, and judging by the diagrams in the Owner's Manual linked above, it appears to use a full-height PCIe mini-card slot.  Newer systems (and WiFi cards) switched to half-height PCIe mini-card, and the newest systems use an even newer M.2 card.  I actually thought that the diagram showed an M.2 card since the proportions are similar, until I checked the specs and saw how old the system was!

So, in terms of options: To my knowledge, nobody ever made an 802.11ac card in full-height form factor.  However, there are several in the half-height form factor, and there are also adapter brackets that allow you to securely fasten a half-height card into an area meant for a full-height card, like this one.  So as long as you have enough slack in your WiFi antennas to allow them to reach reach a point halfway down the height of your current WiFi card, you should be good to go with that bracket.  As for the WiFi card itself, the best 802.11ac card made in half-height PCIe mini-card form factor in my opinion is the Intel Wireless-AC 7260HMW.  Just make sure you get the Wireless-AC version, not the Wireless-N 7260, which only supports 802.11n -- why Intel used the same model number for two very different cards is anyone's guess.  Also make sure you get the 7260HMW and not the 7260NGW, because the latter is the M.2 slot version, and although it looks like a better fit for your system proportionally, the connector style is completely different.  Good luck!

One other note: It appears that the Vostro 1700 has a separate Bluetooth card as well.  If your system has that installed, you may want to remove it when installing this new WiFi card, because the Intel 7260 includes both WiFi and Bluetooth on the same card, and it will support a much newer version of Bluetooth than whatever came with that system.

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