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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 04-04-2003, 01:32 PM   #1
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Q about wireless hardware/infrastructure.

I wasn't sure where to put this, either here or networking (moderators, feel free to move it if I made the wrong choice).

I'm coming into some cash and I'm going wireless at home but just as an addition to my existing network (I have a gateway hooked into an old cisco hub from my work and 4 other PCs hooked into the hub).

Now I'm pretty sure what to look for when buying a card from my laptop (in fact, there was a thread earlier on a new Realtek that looks mighty sweet) but its the rest I'm looking for advice on.

Options I'm looking at (please feel free to tell me if I'm suggesting the impossible)

I'm looking at having a PCI wireless card added to my server as eth2 and having that as an access point...would this cause problems? Limitations?


(does this even exist?)
Do they have some sort of basic wireless access point router that is JUST an access I just plug it into my router and it just serves as an interface between my laptop wireless card to my actual network? Are these a better idea than just a PCI wireless turned WAP?

The reason I ask is that I've only seen used these devices you buy that "do it all" for you (WAP, routing, firewall) and I don't want that...I like to control my hardware and I like my linux router/firewall just fine.
Old 04-06-2003, 01:50 AM   #2
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From what I know this is possible, because with wireless lan cards you have two options, infrastructure and ad-hoc...infrastructure requires an AP, while ad-hoc connects computers together directly. So for one lcomputer only it should work...but I will have to leave it up to someone else to tell you if you can use one of these PCI cards to make an infrastructure type AP, I don't know quite enough about servers, wireless networks or linux.

Just thought I'd say that it should be possible...and that those routers usually have the option of making a computer handle all the routing and firewall stuff...but anyone feel free to correct me on this as I have no direct experience with this.

Good luck, and read up on installing the drivers for wireless networking in Linux before you decide what you are going to buy...just a warning that some adapters are harder to get working than others.
Old 04-06-2003, 12:28 PM   #3
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I ran a P133 laptop as my WAP for a long time in ad-hoc mode, it worked pretty well, had an uptime of somthing like 160 days once.

Now the WAP is an old WPC11 and a WDT11 bridge in a P1 200 that is also... heck, a webserver, a DNS machine, a mail server, a blender, I can't even keep track.

Really, both of my solutions were for back when I was dirt broke and gear cost $100-200, now a good wireless AP is $40, and 1/2 of the PCI cards are labelled as one thing but are really another (The WMP11 for instance, v2.5 < is a prism2 chip, v2.7 is a broadcom one; the only way to see the difference is after you open the box.) With the wireless router, you can always turn off what you don't need, just have it bridge over a wireless set of IPs onto your gateway on the same subnet... at least you should, if they're anything like the regular Linksys blue bomber.

Also, aside from ad-hoc, you can set a normal wireless card in true infrastructure master mode, it was built into the firmware of the prism2 chips, the WPC11, the MA401, the DWL-650/520, etc... only works with an odd little driver, but that's what I've got running.


Old 04-07-2003, 10:36 AM   #4
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Okay, I guess I'll start shopping then

I spotted a couple of nice affordable 801.11g cards (that handle b as well) for the laptop...and cheap PCI cards for the server.

I won't have the cash for a week or two so I'll be able to list what I'm thinking about and go looking for docs one at a time (and then pick the one with the best docs/support in linux).


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