Lost about wireless compatibility

  • Hi,

    I have a box running pfsense 1.2 with a wan/lan/dmz setup, now I want to had some form of wireless access point with captive portal but I'm totally confused about what wifi card I should use.

    I found this list : http://madwifi.org/wiki/Compatibility but is it for pfsense or madwifi ..?

    1 - From what I understand I can use anything that is Atheros based except AR5005VL, is that correct ?

    2 - Do I need to upgrade to 1.2.1 ?

    I have a "PCI to Mini-PCI" adapter so if anyone can suggest anything PCI or Mini-PCI I should be good to go, right ?

    I have a Mini-PCI Intel PRO/Wireless 2100, will that work ?  I read in some thread that I need to edit /boot/loader.conf to make it work (http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=ipw&sektion=4&manpath=FreeBSD+6.3-RELEASE)

    Thanks for your help!

  • The madwifi page you referenced is for cards supported by madwifi. Its use to a pfSense user, is that it helps to identify a WLAN card with a supported Atheros chipset.

    I've been using 1.2.1 for a few months now and it works well for me, though you need to be aware its not yet an official release so you have to download snapshot builds with the risk that something crucial to you might be broken in the snapshot you downloaded. I prefer 1.2.1 because of the better and more up to date hardware support.

    1.2.1 is based on FreeBSD 7.0. You can find the list of hardware supported by FreeBSD 7.0 in http://www.freebsd.org/releases/7.0R/hardware.html

  • thanks, can I pick any card from that list and make it function as an access point, host ap mode I think ?

  • If you mean the FreeBSD list of supported hardware, NO, you need to look at each of the supported wireless lan chipsets to see if access mode is supported. The web page has links to the man pages for the indicidual drivers and the man pages indicate what modes are supported by the driver.

    If you mean the madwifi list of cards with the Atheros chipset, then I think the answer is YES because the FreeBSD ath driver supports access mode on the Atheros chipsets it supports. However you need to exercise some caution because some suppliers (among them Belkin, D-Link, Linksys, Netgear) will use the same model name for cards with different chipsets.

    If you are looking for a PCI card based on the Atheros chipset I have had good experience with TP-Link TL-WN651G. It works well with 3 to 4 PCs in a home network. TP-Link seem to change model name when they change chipsets.

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