recommendations for wireless nics

Steve Franks stevefranks at
Sat Feb 3 21:33:04 UTC 2007

Don't get the motorolas; you can check, but classically, they all have
non-open-source (and therefore unsupported) broadcom chipsets.  My
usual method is to type in the model number of the card and "chipset"
into a google search, which ususally works.  I'd say the atheros cards
are most widely used in freebsd, although anything prism/orinoco has
been supported forever too.  I tried a ralink with my laptop (non pci
obviously), but all laptops these days will lock up the bios if you
don't put a manufacturer approved card in, so I didn't get to try it.
Intel cards are also supported by iwi and ipw(?) drivers.  Just type
"man wlan" to get a list of drivers, man for each driver will give you
a pretty good idea of what chipsets.

Another consideration is that the pci->pcmcia docks are supported in
freebsd - I have an atheros card in a proprietary linksys dock for my
primary personal server with no hiccups.

I don't know under 6.2, but under 6.1 both intel and texas instruments
chipsets were supported, but you had to build some propriety/closed
source/licenced thingamabob from /usr/ports to get them to work, so
they are good after your system is running, but a pain if you are
installing and they are your only card.

Summary: my best luck has been the atheros.  Had some trouble on prism
with dhclient not renewing the ip when the link would drop
intermittently.  Several others reported similar issues.  One
resolution that I did not try was to use an alternate dhclient package
from /usr/ports, don't recall which.


On 2/3/07, Paul Eskello <paul.eskello at> wrote:
> Hi all,
> looking for any recommendations regarding wireless lan pci cards and
> freebsd, please.
> Thx in advance.
> Cheers,
> Paul
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Steve Franks, KE7BTE
Staff Engineer
La Palma Devices, LLC
(520) 312-0089

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