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Some Tips on Wireless Adapters for Linux

LinuxEmporium over in the UK sells three Linux compatible devices made by Belkin. On their web site, they give some "insight." Here's a quote:

These products all use a Ralink chip set. Ralink have 'got the message' on Free Software, and have released their drivers under the GPL, so let's support them! For their pains Ralink won Linux Journal's Editors Choice 'Product of the Year' award in August 2005.

Out of this was born an Open Source project to develop the drivers, which aims to produce a feature-rich driver supporting all the Ralink varieties, PCI, PCMCIA, USB and mini-PCI.

Since I live in the Colonies and I needed an adapter in short order, I went looking for the Belkin 802.11g 54 Mbps Wireless PCI Card. But, I'm winding up with the Belkin 802.11g 54 Mbps Wireless USB Stick.

I'm hoping other manufacturers wake up and see the value of Ralinks smarts. I imagine that in places like China, Belkin's adpater will go quickly, especially in notebooks where the PCMCIA card should grab some serious market share.

I also found an interesting product called the AeroPad Mini 802.11g Ethernet Adapter. The AeroPad Mini is an ultra-compact, Ethernet to wireless 802.11b/g adapter, 54Mbs. It allows an Ethernet port to access Wi-Fi networks. AeroPad Mini does not require drivers to function and is compatible with Linux along with Mac OS 9-10 and Windows.

You might have trouble finding an AeroPad since they didn't expect the demand. But, it's worth a Google. You'll find Belkins at most retail outlets and online.

After fussing with Wi-Fi drivers that use NDIS wrappers, I found the two product lines above refreshing to say the least.

Hopefully, you'll find these worth your while.

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