Recommendations for a PCMCIA wireless card for an old Linux laptop?

Can anyone suggest a good PCMCIA wireless network card that “just works” with Linux? Ideally, the driver would be open source and included upstream (and in all the major Linux distros).

This is for a very old laptop running Linux, so the cheaper the better. It just has to be something that works and is purchasable (as in, available in stores).


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13 Responses to “Recommendations for a PCMCIA wireless card for an old Linux laptop?”

  1. griff says:

    I purchased a card at Best Buy sold under their in-house brand. I believe it has an atheros chipset, although I haven’t yet had a chance to play with it. I know that their PCI card has atheros.

  2. Claudio says:

    I have a Dlink DWL-G650 running on my main machine as in my “mp3 player laptop” (and amd 450 mhz). No probs using madwifi.


  3. Slawek says:

    I recommend 3Com Wi-Fi (B) PC Card: “3CRWE62092B Wireless LAN PC Card”, driver: atmel_cs. Nice design with retractable antenna.

  4. qhartman says:

    I have a cheapie airlink101 54g card I got at Fry’s for $15 that works great. No problems whatsoever. If this sounds good drop me a line and I’ll look up the specific model when I get home.

  5. jaime says:

    When you say “a very old laptop”, are we talking 16-bit pcmcia socket, or 32-bit cardbus socket?

    Just checking…

  6. Lewis says:

    Netgear WG311T, Atheros chipset

  7. garrett says:

    @jaime: It’s old, but not _that_ old. It supports Cardbus, either type-II or type-III. It is old enough to only have one USB slot and no wireless, however.

  8. Tim Lord says:


    I’ve had very good luck (after the years in which nothing seemed to work at all) with Linksys and Netgear cards. Not that others don’t work fine, but those two brands seem generally safe.


  9. sxpert says:

    Asus WL107G contains an RT2500 chip. works very well ;D

  10. Ryan says:

    I bought a D-Link WNA-2330 for a old Linux laptop myself. Works out of the box with no configuration under Ubuntu.

  11. Oliver says:

    Enterasys Orinoco Gold – works out of the box with Linux (Archlinux here) and Windows XP.

  12. zMk says:

    I would recomend some Cisco or Atheros.

    MAny others have support in linux, but due limitation in drivers, i’d suggest these two brands.

    Anyone with Atheros chipset is simple and easy to use in linux, but, requires some cpu from the machine.

    The Cisco, for example the cisco aironet 350, its a wireless card that’s simple to find in ebay, or anywhere else in the web, and even in stores, and it can be used with recent computers (laptops too …) or old computers (once again, laptops included).

    I have one, and i use it with my hp jornada 720, and my laptop Toshiba Tecra 8100 ( PIII 700 Mhz) both under linux .


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