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Wireless in Linux

Dutch version available here

last update: 27-10-2006

Building a wireless network in Linux is a lot harder than in Windows. This is not because Linux is difficult, but because most manufacturers of wireless chipsets refuse to release specs of their chipsets, so that building a driver becomes really difficult.
Another problem is that card manufacturers tend to use different chipsets in the same batch of network cards (usually the only difference is a revision). So you are gambling everytime you buy a wireless network card.
The reason that this gives so little problems with Windows lies in the fact that the card manufacturer also delivers the drivers. Unfortunately this is not (yet) the case with Linux, and that does cause problems, as you can see on this list.

If you do want a wireless network with Linux, you have a couple of choices:

We think we now have a solution to this problem when you are looking for a PCI wireless card:
We built a PCI card based on the Intel PRO/Wireless IPW2200 network card.
This card is natively supported in Linux by Intel through the IPW2200 project on Sourceforge.
The card is based on the ieee802.11g standard, and is ieee802.11b compatible. Both WEP 64/128 bit and WPA and WPA2 are supported. The card is also easy to use as an Access Point. This way you can use it for advanced firewalling or filtered and proxied net access.

pic pci card close-up pic pci card
The pci card; Intel PRO/Wireless close-up of the wireless module

You don't have to do much to install and use this card with Linux.
All major distro's: Red Hat/Fedora, Debian, Suse, Mandrake have compiled the driver into their kernel. This means that you don't have compile your own kernel. The only thing you need to do, is to install the firmware for the card. When you're done, and you attached the card to the mainboard, you can use the graphical tools of your distro to configure the card. But of course you could also use the commandline. Look for more information at the references at the bottom of this page.

Even in a Windows environment there are a lot of reasons to choose this card: In a wireless company network you normally need another driver cd for all the different network cards or card revisions in the network. Managing this is a nightmare, especially in larger environments.
The benefits of this card are:

As a more complete option, we can also supply the Intel ipw2915 on a pci-card. This card supports, next to the ieee802.11 b/g standards, also the ieee802.11a standard.

The Intel IPW2200 pci network card costs €65,-
De Intel IPW2915 pci network card costs €70,-
shipping costs depend upon your location:

We accept money transfers by bank, but also PayPal payments (since 2-1-2006).
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If you have any questions and/or remarks, then you can alway reach us at our e-mail address.