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Old 12-10-2004, 01:47 PM   #1
cyber-worx
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Which USB WIFI to buy


Hey all, i have slack current running on my laptop and as i sit here with kismet beeping away in the background i wonder "wouldnt it be nice to have 2 (or more) wifi's in the laptop" well yes, i think it rather would .

I have used up the pcmcia cardbus with my current Prism54 based 3Com card.

My Question Is:
What USB Wifi dongles have good support in linux?

is it a case of simply finding one with a friendly chipset like my 3Com above??

i want to stay away from the ndis wrappers if i can.

Many Thanks

Rob Clark
 
Old 12-10-2004, 05:52 PM   #2
snecklifter
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Hi Rob,

I haven't yet come across one instance of those USB wifi dongles working in linux. They definitely look neat but I'd be sticking with something that doesnt need 90% of what runs it loading each time. They seem to be almost just an aerial and you have to load firmware and all sorts just to get them working. I guess they'll be pretty heavy on CPU time as well like the soft modems were/are.
 
Old 12-12-2004, 07:21 PM   #3
Biogenesis
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There are a lot of cheap no-name brand USB dongles that work in linux. They all seem to be based on the Atmel at76c505_rfmd2958 driver available here: http://at76c503a.berlios.de/

There's also a sourceforge based driver here: http://atmelwlandriver.sourceforge.net/news.html However it's not as well written and I've had trouble getting it to work.

If you can get a Netgear MA111 they are a prism chipset and are supported by the linux-wlan-ng driver (http://www.linux-wlan.com/linux-wlan....html#Download) however the prism driver doesn't support the iwconfig interface so it's hard to configure.

Also adaptors like the Netgear WG111 (NOT WG111T) that are based on a prism54 chipset now work with the prism54.org driver.

In my experience it hasn't been too hard getting USB wifi's to work, and they don't tend to chew CPU or anything either.

edit: I regularly use a cheap Atmel based dongle that works fine, and I've recently got a MA111 (the only non-modded adaptor of mine ) that works fine as well. I've also tested a different brand (still some small makeshift company though) USB Atmel one that worked fine also.

Last edited by Biogenesis; 12-12-2004 at 07:22 PM.
 
Old 12-13-2004, 08:11 AM   #4
snecklifter
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Nice one Biogenesis. I didn't realise this was for the wifi dongles. Thanks for the info.
 
Old 12-13-2004, 09:42 AM   #5
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The atmel driver is not supported by kismet, but as long as you use your pcmcia card for kismet, that shouldn't be a problem.
 
Old 12-13-2004, 06:27 PM   #6
Biogenesis
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Yeah, you can use the berlios Atmel driver for monitor mode, you could use it in kismet but I don't know if it can change channels...actually it probably can't as it's done via iwpriv not iwconfig.

To put it in monitor mode you do:

iwpriv 2 <channel>

I'm pretty sure that's it from memory...I then would just use tcpdump to monitor packets as I was only doing testing with it not wardriving. Also for some weird reason the adaptor I got is set to the French frequency domain even though I'm in Australia so it can only work on 10-13 or something so I can't get channel 6 APs (which they basically all are here).
 
  


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