SDB:Wireless cards quality

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We experience few quality problems with wired ethernet cards, most 100 MBit/s models provide indeed 100 MBit/s, but in the wireless world, things are pretty different, therefore this page.

PCI-Express cards

Broadcom BCM94311MCG

The PCI-E (express) card given with some ACER laptop works with openSUSE (module bcm43xx, need non-OSS firmware), but the card or the driver have some drawbacks:

  • the network manager (and wifi-radar) signal level are very optimistic.
  • If the connexion is done, data flow is good.
  • tested range is 10/15, connection impossible under 90% level indicated by the card

Intel PRO 3945ABG

This card is pretty cheap (€25 on Feb 2008) and card and/or driver is very good - at least compared to the BCM94311MCG).

  • the level indication is (seems) accurate
  • the sensitivity is very good
  • tested range 30/40m, connection good with 40% indicated signal strength
  • easy to install, search 3945 in YaST, then go to network install.



This device is a very interesting one. It works under Linux, format the internal drive as Ext2 :-).

  • This is a mixed Ethernet/wifi/Hard drive/USB server device. It's sold in the $50 range without drive.
  • you can add an internal 2.5" (laptop) drive and share it through ethernet or wlan
  • Very easy to setup as standard AP, with other much less understandable functions (WPS, AP client)

Its wifi sensitivity is medium, link the the internal drive is by smb (slow and buggy with Konqueror/openSUSE 10.3) or ftp (without problem with Konqueror/openSUSE.

The USB use is easy for USB keys, but buggy with USB big hard drive, however it should work if the setup is not modified too often.

It's a true Linux/ext2 device, so any power loss results in a long reboot time (probably checking ext2)

HTML setup, no problem, DHCP server or client or fixed IP