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Looking for a wireless PCI card

And once again I have to ask the lazyweb for some help. This time is to decide what hardware to buy, for a wireless PCI card.

I’m cleaning up my office as I write, I removed almost everything from the room, I just have some stuff on the floor to pick up, and as a result I’ll just have the two desks in it. Then it will be time to re-cable it entirely, as I did for my bedroom last september, and finally to put some new furniture in it (not exactly new because they are things that were downstair in the living room before, but new for my office at least).

Right now I only have here my laptop (as I have work’s stuff on it), the external harddisk for the laptop, where most of the data is, the old UPS as it’s slimmer and the harddisk’s PSU does not care about the waveform, and the IP phone, to receive calls, at least for what concerns computer stuff. I removed Enterprise this morning, together with its three monitors, the AV receiver and the bigger UPS.

One thing that this cleanup made me realise is that I only have one box here that is connected to the wired network segment. I gave Prakesh back to the friend who lent it to me for a while, while Farragut and Klothos are turned down for now in my mother’s bedroom, the IP phone is using DECT, while the base connected to the network is downstair together with the ADSL router. Why should I use a Linksys router to connect that? Okay it’s way easier to get network from rescue CDs, but it’s a waste of power at a minimum, as it has its own PSU which is likely to waste energy in heat. Additionally, it’s two more cables in an already messy office.

So I’m pondering adding a PCI wifi card, either to Enterprise or to the new box I’m going to buy as soon as I’m paid. The problem is to find a good card, very well compatible with Linux (Gentoo in particular, but I suppos that is not a problem, at the worst I’ll be working on adding support for it), 802.11n if at all possible, but not requested. I don’t have 802.11n network here, but I have at least two devices that are compatible with that (the MacBook Pro and the AppleTV), and I’d suspect more stuff to come).

If anybody has a suggestion, it would be very kind of you to share it with me 🙂

Comments 4
  1. Most PCI wireless cards are really a PCI to mini PCI bridges with a mini-pci wireless card. I recently picked up 2 Compex WLM54G mini-pci cards. They are 200mW Atheros A?/B/G cards, madwifi works perfectly with them.You’ll probably have an easier time ensuring linux support if you buy a bridge and minipci card seperately(don’t forget about the pigtails that go from the card to the mounting bracket) and buying a decent antenna. All that said, it’s cheaper to buy something pre-made like linksys or dlink.

  2. Scusa se rispondo in italiano ma così sono più a mio agio.Vuoi proprio una scheda wireless pci oppure ti va bene anche USB? A ottobre scorso ho comprato un adapter USB della Edimax (modello EW-7318Ug). Lo trovi a circa 20€, ha un chipset Ralink (id 148f:2573) supportato dal driver rt2x00 nel kernel vanilla dalla release 2.6.24 (modulo rt73usb) e funziona benissimo col mio router 802.11g in modalità wpa-psk.Configurazione minima, giusto inserire ssid e passphrase in wpa_supplicant.conf e infilare la penna in una presa usb. Assieme alla penna c’è anche una prolunga usb di 1m, comoda per posizionarla dove prende meglio.Non è proprio quello che avevi chiesto, ma funziona bene, costa poco e se tra un anno compri un access point 802.11n a metterla da parte ci perdi pochi euro e in campo wireless i prezzi calano e il supporto migliora gradualmente… quindi ad aspettare ci guadagniciao!

  3. Today I was shopping with a friend, and found a D-Link card (only 802.11g, finding 11n seems to be impossible for now) that advertised Linux compatibility. A quick search (thanks Nokia for the E61, sometimes it is nice to have) shown that the card had an Atheros chipset (at least in this hardware revision), and it would have worked fine on Linux. an emerge madwifi-ng later, the card is set up and working fine on Enterprise :)The card, if anybody is interested, is a DWL-G522 with hardware revision B4 (firmware 4.40).

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