Network card for OpenWrt installed on old x86 pc

Welcome to the wondrous world of "unless it's Intel, it might not even work with latest Windows", aka the wireless card/dongle world.

The main way to search for cards and dongles with a specific chipset has to be done through sites that took over after wikidevi died, like https://wikidevi.wi-cat.ru/Main_Page
where you can find lists of chipsets and possibly the names you can use to search for cards https://wikidevi.wi-cat.ru/Qualcomm_Atheros

If you ask me there are much more important things to go on the to-do list than running after the manufacturers of wifi cards for x86. Note that x86 is only ONE of the 10-ish targets supported by OpenWrt.

Besides, most of the market of PC-grade Wifi has been cornered by intel, just because their driver support on Windows isn't absolute trash. It's not like a few years ago where there were Atheros and Broadcomm too in the race, now it's "mostly Intel with some rare Broadcomm, plus realtek on the cheap trash tablets", so it really isn't that interesting.

At this point in time, it really is orders of magnitude simpler/better/cheaper to just buy a whole wifi AP or router than a true decent PCIe wifi card capable of AP mode.

Nobody in this forum has been paid, and even contributing does not give you any contractual power.

I'll try to throw some water on the fire. I've been using Mikrotik hardware for a while and I like them, so even if I never personally used these, I have found some confirmation that they work so I'll suggest them. Do more research and use at your own risk

what about
https://mikrotik.com/product/R11e-5HacD
which seem to work fine on OpenWrt (apart from some bs with MAC address) Same MAC address for both PCI modules - #11 by pepe2k

Also there is https://mikrotik.com/product/R11e-5HacT
That also seems to work Best MiniPCIe Wireless Cards for Custom AP - #6 by neheb

Yes you will probably need a mini-pcie to PCIe adapter but at least you know the specs and you can be certain that they are designed for router use (i.e. they have high power transceivers and a heat sink)

Also note that this is a card that does 5Ghz ONLY, so if you want also 2.4Ghz you need to get others (Mikrotik also has 2.4Ghz cards like the R11e-2HPnD mentioned in the post I linked)

2 Likes