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Author Topic: I'm here wirelessly!  (Read 2055 times)

GrannyGeek

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I'm here wirelessly!
« on: August 09, 2010, 05:22:26 pm »

For the first time, I'm networked over wireless on my new-to-me Dell Inspiron laptop. I got a Trendnet Wireless N USB Adapter last week and finally got it set up,  which proved to be a major feat (for me, anyway, who can be wirelessly challenged). I checked very carefully before I ordered the adapter to make sure it was known to work with Linux. Several google hits confirmed the Linux compatibility, but when push came to shove, it took a lot of doing to get wireless working.

I updated the kernel on this laptop to 2.6.31.8 in hopes better wireless support was  built in. The wireless chip is a Ralink RT2870 and Ralink has Linux drivers and firmware on its site. Support is built into the kernel but I couldn't get the wireless connection to be seen. I was probably doing something wrong.

I did compile the driver from Ralink and add the firmware but VectorLinux 6 Light just didn't see it. I followed directions from a couple of sites on the Internet plus what I could find on this forum. It wasn't until I ran vlwifi and was able to set up the ra0 wireless connection with my fixed IP address and WPA security that wicd was able to see it. Before I did that, I had to do some blacklisting and similar unintuitive things.

The signal is strong and so far, so good. Wireless in Linux gets better and better but we still have a ways to go. It would probably have been easier to use ndiswrapper, but since  Ralink provides a Linux driver I decided to use that. It will be nice to be untethered from an Ethernet cable.
--GrannyGeek
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nightflier

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Re: I'm here wirelessly!
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 06:35:43 pm »

Congrats Granny!

I've had some "fun" with wireless drivers myself. Held off a long time, but when the kids started bringing their laptops over and wanting net access, I broke down and got a wireless router. Now I have to admit it is convenient to be able to use my laptop anywhere in the house or on the patio.

Still, all the fixed machines have cables connected to a gigabit router. Ethernet provides ease of setup, speed and security unmatched by wireless.
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GrannyGeek

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Re: I'm here wirelessly!
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 08:44:01 pm »

I like Ethernet, too, and my desktop computers are wired. This laptop was, too, until I got wireless working.

When my grandchildren are here they bring their laptops and other guests do, too. So I really do need wireless. My ISP recently gave me a new DSL modem/router, which supports both wired and wireless networking. My old router didn't support wireless but I added a wireless access point, which did the job. I didn't use wireless myself, as none of my computers had wireless built in. But I just installed a USB wireless adapter so I can have freedom to move around.
--GrannyGeek
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w2ibc

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Re: I'm here wirelessly!
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2010, 12:24:15 am »

I have noticed. wireless with linux is much better then with windoze.

in my tests linux is able to work with very weak signals. im able to use a connection that is say 4dbm above the noise floor its slow but its useable. with windows 4dbm over noise floor if you can even get it to connect you get alot of drop outs and allmost need it to be 10dbm over noise to get a "slow" connection

in short linux wifi is alot better for weak signal wifi work
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