wirelesscardThe cheapest new motherboard for a PC is about $40. On that motherboard regardless of OEM you will find a built-in network interface that allows for 10/100Mbps wired Ethernet connectivity. For any other higher-priced motherboard you would buy, it would also have built-in wired networking. In fact it’s probably true you’d have a hard time finding a PC (meaning not server) mobo without an Ethernet LAN port.

Here’s a challenge for you: Find a motherboard with built-in wireless networking on the board. Do they exist? Yes, but it will be something like this, and it’s not cheap.

Now of course you could just say "install a wireless card" or "use a wireless USB stick", both of which are cheap and readily available, but why do we have to do that? Given how cheap wireless networking is, why is it not included on every motherboard just like wired networking is?

In the notebook/netbook/tablet dept., there isn’t a single one made today that I know of that doesn’t have wireless built-in, so it’s not an issue of whether OEMs can place the technology on them. It’s also not an issue of driver support since both Windows and Linux support many different wi-fi cards.

Does anyone have a good explanation as to why wi-fi isn’t included on every PC motherboard?