Originally Posted by EricT
I would look more into signal strength- thats what gives you your range, and hence larger operating area. 11mb vs 54mb doesnt really matter since your internet connection is around 1mb.
11 Mbit/sec vs. 54 Mbit/sec does indeed matter, even when communicating over your internet connection, especially if your connection is pushing 2-3 Mbit/sec. If your connection is 1 Mbit/sec, your are probably right, it won't make much difference.
The reason is matters relates to your signal strength statement. You're wireless bandwidth can only approach 11 or 54 Mbit/sec only if you have 100% signal strength. If your signal strength is degraded, then your bandwidth will be degraded. So, if you're getting only 70-80% signal in some area, you may only approach 5-6 Mbit/sec with 802.11b (11 Mbit/sec signalling rate). Then, if you consider the overhead of the 802.11 protocol and your data encryption (which you should have enabled), you can easily drop below the maximum bandwidth of your internet connection with 802.11b.
That being said, if you're using dial-up or a low rate broadband connection (less than 1 Mbit/sec or so) and do not regularly transfer files computer-to-computer in your household, 11 Mbit/sec (802.11b) should be fine. However, you might have a faster internet connection in the future so I would still recommend getting 802.11g. If you have a higher rate internet connection (> 1Mbit/sec) and/or regularly transfer files on your LAN, definitely get 54 Mbit/sec (802.11g). I would not determine a laptop or card purchase based on the 108 Mbit/sec option unless you are buying a compatible cable/dsl router.