[nSLUG] Wireless Router

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Mar 13 12:43:55 AST 2010

On Sat, Mar 13, 2010 at 9:43 AM, Peter Dobcsanyi <petrus at ftml.net> wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 07:01:44PM -0400, Daniel Morrison wrote:
>> I have tried to connect a laptop running Ubuntu to a WPA2 network, and
>> I have had friend running Ubuntu on their laptop try to connect to a
>> WPA2 network. I don't know what Ubuntu is doing with wireless
>> (everything else is good!) but even after lots of clicking and
> It is not so much an Ubuntu but rather a Gnome problem.  Replace Gnome's
> default NetworkManager with "wicd" (http://wicd.sourceforge.net/).

I've had pretty good results with NetworkManager in Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10, but
I don't use a static IP, just avahi/bonjour and <host>.local for NFS and iSCSI.
I've been on a number of trips with work laptops that had Vista and linux.  In
some cases Vista was able to connect and linux not, in others the pattern
was reversed.

>> Unfortunately, I think most Linux-based wireless routers are out of
>> production now, so that means finding a used or old stock. My
> What happened to the Linux-based routers? What kind of OS is used in the
> new ones?

Linux is not ideal for a consumer product.  You need a current kernel to get
drivers for the newest wireless chips, but that comes with a lot of extra
baggage that adds cost (more RAM, CPU, power).   If you are going to
write your drivers then a BSD kernel might be a better choice, in part due
to more liberal license conditions.

See: <http://glozer.net/soekris/soekris.html>, but this is a bit
dated.  I'd think
a 2nd hand netbook might make a nice home wireless router and server if
the antennas are good enough.

Antennas are very important if you have a difficult environment.  MIMO
makes a big
difference.  Some boxes with MIMO have 3 antennas sticking up, others use patch
antennas that are hidden in the box.  There are huge differences
between different
laptops in their ability to work at a distance from the router -- I
assume that is due
to compromises in the antenna design to fit in a small space.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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