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WLAN for Linux

I was tired of finding the right drivers and procedures to get integrated WLAN module in laptops to work under Linux. For a large number of cards you need the NDISwrapper and if you want to do something more than sending the standard TCP package you are screwed anyhow. So, what can one do? Find a suitable PCMCIA (Cardbus) adapter :)

Lets admit, we want a good card and play with Aircrack, Airsnort, Wireshark(Ethereal), Airodump and other such tools (for personal and educational use offcourse).

After looking arround I noticed that the Atheros chipset is quite good supported and stable. Typically the NETGEAR WAG511 card seems to be recommended.

NETGEAR models *sigh*

In the store I was confused and misread the model, I bought the WG511 v2 (*NOT* a Atheros based card). Just how many similar models are there?

And finally the WAG511, but wait... There seem to be more then 1 model and the supplier also tells me he has the WAG511 card in stock, it is on his list under the name WAG511GE. Nooo...

  • WAG511 - model 1 (text left aligned with 2 LED's perpendicular to "NETGEAR")
  • WAG511 v2 - model 1 (sold as WAG511GE, text left aligned with 2 LED's perpendicular to "NETGEAR")
  • WAG511 - model 2 (text right aligned and fatter end, little man left of "NETGEAR", 2 integrated antennas?)

Here are the pictures:

WAG511 model 1


WAG511 model 2


I read somwhere that the Ralink cards where somewhat unstable and sometimes need to be reinitialised. Also the card is only supported (read usable) for some software tools on both Lunix and Windows. So i did not choose them - too bad but still not first choice.

Ralink chipset based cards:

  • MSI CB54G2
  • D-Link DWL-G630 E1
  • Edimax 54 Mbps Wireless PCMCIA card (RT2561 chipset)
  • Linksys WUSB54G v4 (RT2570 = USB device, not cardbus!)

Best cards too choose have chipset: RT2500 and RT2570 (USB)

What is left? Ah yes, the good old Prism cards... Newer chipsets are: Prism2 and PrismGT (SoftMAC)

Prism models:

  • D-Link DWL-650 (Prism 2.5), problem: only HW revisions A1 thru J3 are Prism
  • Senao NL-2511 CD PLUS EXT (Prism 2.5)

For now, i'm lost! Lets wait and see what the supplier says. Otherwise i might search for a USB device (Ralink?).

UPDATE 9 Aug 2007: Ok, i just convived the store to trade my WG511 card (31EURO) for a WAG511 card (with some additional payment, it costs 115EURO) and am now proud owner of a Decent card that i know should be supported. But wait... I did get the older model (which i think is good) but on the back it says WAG511 v2; so even for this card there is a second version released!

some links...

  • ifconfig wlan0 up
  • iwlist scan
  • iwconfig wlan0 essid "xxx"
  • wpa_passphrase <myssid> <my_very_secret_passphrase> ; copy to /etc/network/interfaces or /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf
  • wpa_supplicant -B -iwlan0 -c/etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -Dwext
  • dhclient wlan0


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Page last modified on January 04, 2016, at 09:56 AM