Anyone recommend wifi pcie mini card to work as access point ?

  • Hi there,

    I've just joined this forum. I've just built myself a pfSense system using jetway hardware JNF96FL-525-LF and triple gigabit lan daughter board AD3RTLANG, which works very well. (it's a home router for a shared apartment, max 20 machines connected)

    I'd like to be able to use pfSense box as an access point, as it has a free pcie mini slot. I'd also like to have "n" capability on the card, for as and when "n" works with pfSense.

    My research has shown that Intel is pretty much out, and it seems that Atheros is very well supported for wifi (from spreadsheet posted in another thread), something like AR5008 or AR5418 ABGN card ?

    So my question is can anyone recommend a suitable card, that they are using and is working (and reliable !) ?

    Kind regards

  • You're really better off using a separate access point.  Everyone will have their preferences, but I've personally had a LOT of luck with the Apple AirPort Express & Extreme units at home.  I went through about $1200 of wireless equipment at home over the past 3 years, trying to find something that was reliable, and these have been, by far, the best.

  • Hey, thanks for the reply.

    That matches with what I'd heard, and you're right the apple equipment doesn't come cheap, their access point is cheapest around £75 in UK. I will probably go this route if I can't get a one box solution :)

    I also heard that apple use Atheros wifi hardware ?

    My research on ebay shows that used Atheros ABGN pcie mini card can be bought quite cheaply, so I think I'll buy one and see if I can get it working … anyone had any experience with pfSense / Atheros pcie mini (or any other similar cards) ?

    Kind regards

  • Not sure if these fall into your category of "similar". I've had good results with a PCI Atheros card on pfSense.

  • I've decided to try a Intel 3945ABG, which doesn't have "n", but was £2.50 on ebay and appears to have it's own set of drivers in pfsense/freebsd, with hostap capability (access point).

    Still be interested if anyone has a pcie mini that does "n" and hostap …

    Kind regards

  • SOLVED !

    The Intel 3945ABG didn't work at all, was a waste of time …

    I did however purchase an Atheros 5008 (AR5418) also described as AR5BXB72 (and the same as the card in Apple Macbook Pro) from ebay for around £14. The card I bought was manufactured by Toshiba, I did consider an ex Apple one, but wasn't sure about compatibility between Apple pcie mini and PC.

    GOOD news is - It works fine as Access Point, hostap mode for wireless "g"

    Seems to use the driver 5416 ...

    I tried "gn" mode and this didn't work.

    Hopefully when pfsense/freebsd catch up with wireless n, then I'll be able to use it.

    Good luck

  • The Winstron DNXA-95/AR9285 works fine with pfsense 2, but G only.. does not have any N support. Got mine from linitx.

  • thanks thermo, I saw that one but wasn't sure, linitx is where I bought the rest of the router from …

    update - the Atheros card I bought has been working fine for quite a few days, and I'm putting it into "production" soon.

    Anyone else coming across this thread, the Atheros wifi hardware for mini pcie seems to work best and is a neat solution for a mini-itx based "one-box" router/firewall/access point.

    Hopefully "n" support will sort itself out in later versions of freebsd/pfsense.

    Kind regards

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