Good WiFi Card for Mini PC

What's a good or the best WiFi card to have on my mini PC running OpenWrt? I have tried Intel AC 3160 but couldn't get it to work on AP mode.

Is Atheros AR9565 any good?

Which card is the best one available now?

That series is excellent. Be careful, some add-on cards will only do one band at a time.

All (with very few, oversized exceptions) wlan cards can only operate on a single channel at a time.

In terms of price you're most likely (esp 11ac) better off getting actual routers and running them as dumb APs over ethernet. Prices for a decent wifi card (if you can find one) very often exceeds the price of a router and that's excluding antennas etc.


...especially considering that the first option either comes in 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz only flavour for both radios (not dual-band) and the second not having any linux drivers so far.

I wonder how manufacturers can get them much cheaper than we can , theirs is not pcie I assume?

Maybe mini pc routers are such a small niche, but a growing one now. I started building mine because of vpn, regular routers can’t max out our internet speeds. But anyhow I’m getting a little off topic.

I think I will be getting an Atheros AC if I can’t get my Intel AC 3160 AP more to work (it should work because it does on Ubuntu).

Thanks guys :grinning:

Buy a few thousand ...

... or "acquire" the "overrun" of someone that bought too many.

Or use an AP in combination with the PC router. The Ubiquiti Pico Station is a great choice, but there are many others Ubiquiti or otherwise (like the TP-Link CPE210 or 510), and the cost will be cheaper and the range and quality better. You can run it as a dumb AP.

PCIe cards are generally intended for use as clients in laptops so their RF performance isn't the best. A card inside an x86 should be considered only for serving nearby users, not several rooms.

The PicoStation is discontinued, and not the ideal general purpose AP since it has only a single antenna (1x1 MIMO). The round indoor UniFi APs are good as indoor use.

In my setup I have a Tenda Nova MW6, it's a mesh WiFi with 3 AP's in total. It works pretty and it's currently the best cost benefit mesh in the market IMHO.

My mini PC / OpenWrt router came with an AC 3160 though and I'm still trying to make it work as an AP :man_facepalming:

Most of the Intel cards are prevented by firmware from initiating radiation on 5ghz so they can only be AP on 2.4ghz. the iw command will show "no ir" for those channels