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Old 03-19-2006, 11:19 AM   #1
Saurian
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PCI Wireless native support question


My college that I am at provides internet through a Wireless setup, so I am required to keep a WNIC to access the internet. I'm currently running PCLinuxOS because of it recognizing my USB wireless device immediately. I've tried to setup ndiswrapper on Ubuntu with various versions of the drivers on the CD, but I couldn't seem to get it working. Would a PCI card be recognized natively in Ubuntu or Debian? I have the WUSB54G from Linksys. I'd be willing to buy a cheap PCI wireless card if Ubuntu or Deb or other distro's would recognize it more readily. Are there certain chipsets that are and aren't? I'm not really sure, I just really wish my school had wired ethernet.

As I mentioned, I'm wanting to run Ubuntu, but I will also probably be messing with Debian. I can't seem to get ndiswrapper to work properly.

EDIT: I figured this went here instead of Networking because of this being just a hardware issue. If it belongs in Networking...go ahead and move it..

Last edited by Saurian; 03-19-2006 at 11:26 AM.
 
Old 03-19-2006, 05:28 PM   #2
J.W.
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The LQ HCL entry indicates good (but not unanimous) success, but in terms of "will it work with Linux?" the answer is Yes.

The main deal with chipsets (as I see it) is that the more common and the older they are, the more likely they will work right out of the box with Linux. If you are using the very latest and greatest, then getting the device to work with Linux may be more work, due to the fact that the device manufacturer may not have released any Linux drivers, and thus, it may be a while until a hacker (in the good sense of the word) can figure out how to get it to work under Linux

As a random comment, I am somewhat surprised that your college does not offer a wired alternative and is apparently 100% wireless. While that's certainly convenient, that just seems like a potentially serious security issue. At least for myself any time I am wireless, about all I do is surf the web, but I wouldn't even consider logging into, say, my bank account, or even go to Amazon and buy something. It's just too easy for people to "eavesdrop" on my session and I wouldn't necessarily even know they were doing it
 
Old 03-19-2006, 10:11 PM   #3
Saurian
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It is completely unsecured, actually. No encrption, no username/pasword - just see the broadcast and connect. I don't like it either. Then again, this is redneck Iowa (Appanoose county, one of the top three poorest counties in Iowa seriously). I'm also the resident computer fixer here in the dorm's. Spent Thursday night cleaning up one hell of a mess on a friend's computer (windows), and then had to continue fixing the mess today. Blah.

Is my reason for not getting ndiswrapper to work properly the fact that the deviceis USB?
 
Old 03-19-2006, 11:30 PM   #4
beagle2
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No, some USB devices do work - http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/m...dex.php/List#L shows some success depending on which chipset your card has.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 09:46 AM   #5
Genius16
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I just recently built a system to run Ubuntu exclusivly. I also wanted a wireless pci card to work "out of the box". Searching new egg i found one i really liked. The Foxconn WLL-3350 its one of the cheapest (25 bucks or so shipped) and its quite small. Comes with an SMA connector and an antenna on a ~12" wire. I replaced said antenna with a stationary rubber duck type.

But it works out of the box quite well. 802.11b/g compliant.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 11:42 AM   #6
Saurian
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What would be another card which is recognized natively by Ubuntu? I've read that the Foxconn wireless has issues dropping signal alot and stuff like that. How has yours been? I would buy it right now if I knew it would be dependable.
 
Old 03-21-2006, 01:17 AM   #7
Genius16
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i read those reviews from newegg as well. personally, i cant say wether it drops signal or not. but it has never happened with mine.

reading those reviews i took into consideration three things.
1) They were all proably using windows. i've only ran my card in linux.
2) They were using the drivers provided on the disc (which i hear suck alot) which is proably the cause.
3) I'm using a different antenna. the stock one is a small 4inch omni antenna on a cord. I replaced it with a 4 inch "rubber duck" type off an old dlink (similar antennas cost <10$) but i think that would only have a negative effect since its closer to the box and hence has less SNR due to the extra interference caused by the computer/fans/etc.

since im using linux with the card, and not the crappy drivers, i think that is why it has never dropped signal. but i have had the card for just 5 days. using the test build of dapper (ubuntu) it has been running for the entire 5 days and hasnt lost signal once.

as far as other pci cards that work "out of the box" in ubuntu, i dont know of any because i havent looked. i didnt want to pay anymore than 25 bucks for one

but yeah im sure you can get the usb card you have to work.
 
Old 03-21-2006, 01:49 AM   #8
Electro
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I do not recommend using wireless PCI NIC because they create conflicts with other hardware in the system. I recommend using a wired NIC like from Linksys or 3Com. Then use a wireless to wired bridge (aka access point). You just need to set a static IP address and use a web browser to configure the access point.

The access point can be used in two ways. One is connecting it directly to the computer through a NIC. Another way is connecting it through a hub or switch to share the connection with other computers.

Bridges do not have a firewall, so you will have to setup iptables/netfilter to protect your computer. Though you will have to do this too if you use wireless NIC.
 
Old 03-21-2006, 08:42 AM   #9
Saurian
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What is a wireless NIC going to cause conflicts? Even when I have all unused processes shut off in the BIOS (onboard sound, ethernet, parallel ports, serial ports, etc etc).

I think I might give it a shot. I thouht about that too, hte fact they were using it with Windows and Windows ALWAYS conflicts with everything.

Edit: Access points cost more money...maybe I could find my receipt and bring back the damn USB one i might think about it.

Last edited by Saurian; 03-21-2006 at 08:45 AM.
 
Old 03-21-2006, 11:52 PM   #10
Genius16
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yeah im unaware of any conflicts a wireless pci card would create. it should create no more or less of a hardware conflict as a sound card would. heh.
 
Old 03-22-2006, 03:57 PM   #11
Electro
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Wireless NIC conflicts:
1) My instructor has problems with his son's computer when using a wireless NIC with World of Warcraft.
2) My brother had problems with wireless NIC on a friends computer while re-installing Windows.

Sound cards actually has the least conflicts with other hardware because the frequencies are very, very low. Video cards have the most conflicts with hardware. They either have power supply conflicts with certain motherboards or they create problems with sound cards and NIC.

I recommend buying the accessing point because you have more ways to use it, it is a lot easier to setup, and uses less system resources. The cost of an access point costs the same. If your university is using 802.11b, then there is no point using and even investing money for 802.11g.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 04:01 AM   #12
Genius16
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those are all conflicts with software. not hardware.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 07:55 PM   #13
Electro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genius16
those are all conflicts with software. not hardware.
It is both. I still recommend the access point or use external wireless NICs.
 
Old 03-23-2006, 11:56 PM   #14
Genius16
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Ok... could you explain how windows having a problem with a wireless nic is the wireless nic's fault and not windows? and the world of warcraft thing... has nothing to do with the piece of hardware either. either bad drivers or something wrong with the wireless network. wireless nic's dont cause "hardware" conflicts. as mine works fine in linux. (havent tried in windows, but if it ran crappy it wouldnt be the nic's fault) and ive installed dozens of wireless networks... none of which caused any "hardware" conflicts.
 
  


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