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Connecting to a Wireless LAN with Linux, Part 2 - page 6

Getting Online

  • February 7, 2005
  • By Carla Schroder

Wireless networking is going to be a moving target for some time. When you have the right wireless adapter, wireless tools, and kernel support, getting up and running is as simple as installing the adapter and configuring your network settings.

The number one hassle is finding the right hardware. I still recommend the Senao 2511 and Orinoco Classic Gold because they are dependable, even though they are 802.11b cards. If you are looking at any other cards, especially 802.11g or multi-mode, insist on testing before purchase. I can't even recommend Prism54 anymore, due to this update on the Prism54 site: "Manufacturers started buying the SoftMAC chipsets, which are not yet supported and may never be." You can always try NdisWrapper, which allows you to use an adapter that does not have native Linux support by using the Windows drivers. However it does not work all the time.

When you are having problems the first place to go is the mailing lists for your Linux distribution. Fedora, Red Hat, and Debian have great user lists with a lot of information on using wireless adapters. The next place to go is Wireless LAN resources for Linux, which is the #1 comprehensive resource.

Finally, have some patience, and don't believe everything you read. There is all kinds of hype such as "Turbo mode!! Watch streaming video over wireless!!" and "108 Mbps!!" and similar silliness. These may work under ideal conditions in a test lab, but in the real world don't hold your breath.

Resources

Build A Linux-Based Wireless Access Point
Wi-Fi Planet
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