Anyone here have a recommended PCIe WiFi card with either WiFi 6 (preferably) or WiFi 5, and is guaranteed to work well with Linux?

I’d prefer one where you can extend it so that the antennae can be placed on the desk.

I’d like to stay away from the USB variants because I didn’t have good experience with those.

Ziyituod WiFi 6 Card, 3000Mbps Wireless Adapter with Bluetooth5.1

I bought 4 of these 3 went into linux computers and the all worked flawlessly. I wouldn’t make any promises though.

1 Like

For an extension you need a card that uses standard RP-SMA connectors. Then you can buy any generic RP-SMA extender to move the antennae(s) anywhere you like.

As for which device…

Standard Freq
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) 2.4/5 GHz
Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) 5 GHz
Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) 2.4/5 GHz

You’re looking for AX or AC wireless.

Here’s the tricky part… beyond wireless N there’s no more FOSS firmware which means no more guarantees of working out of the box. In many distros like Debian and Fedora you’ll need to enable a non-free repo to be able to install the firmware

I did a deep dive into AX/AC/AD Linux support and here’s what I uncovered:
https://discourse.destinationlinux.network/t/community-list-of-wireless-devices-with-foss-firmware/3704/5

It’s a semi-infinite rabbit hole so I had to call it quits but the idea is you find the supported firmware (all found), then the chipsets that use that firmware, then the devices that use those chipsets and you have purchase options.

While deep diving the only devices I found that i’d be comfortable buying (assuming I didn’t mind non-free) are both AC, see below:

Linux Support: Linux support for MT7612U based products - ALFA Network Docs


Linux Support: Linux support for MT7610U based products - ALFA Network Docs


…or any device using the MT7612U or MT7610U chipsets.

** Edit: Thanks to gemmakaru I found Intel’s list of Linux compatible devices which include three Wifi 6 models: Linux* Support for Intel® Wireless Adapters **

Alternatively if you’d be happy with Wireless-N there’s lots of “works out of the box” FOSS options here.

Nice!

I looked up the card and it’s using the AX200 chipset under the iwlwifi driver which is on the Kernel support list.

Ubuntu it may work out of the box, for Debian it’d be:

# Enable non-free repos
sudo apt install firmware-iwlwifi

@YamiYukiSenpai As a general rule lower frequency radios (such as 2.4 GHz) travel through walls better than higher frequencies. However, the increased attenuation of higher frequency radios (such as 5 GHz) may mean less interference from a neighboring device. I bring this up just in case that is going to make a difference in the selection of a unit and the placement of the antenna.

Sometimes the mere physics of the matter (pun intended) makes all the difference.

I should have mentioned that my use of those cards have all been pop and elementary and other distros downstream of Ubuntu.

Not available in Canada. Bummer.

I found this Gigabyte WiFi+Bluetooth card, which has an Intel chip. Same one as the one @gemmakaru recommended.

What’s that all about? The frequencies?

Going off gemmakuru’s information I was able to dig up the chipset range that should work and being it’s Intel that’s also the model #.

Intel Wifi 6 AX210, AX201 and AX200 (gemmakuru’s card) all fall under the iwlwifi driver.

They’re the top 3 on this list:

Searching for one of those models should get you what you need. The card can be any brand, just as long as it’s using one of those Intel chips.

1 Like

You’re referring to the spec those WiFi generation support?

I’m questioning why that card is not available in CA.

Wish I knew