Wireless Adapter for Older Computer

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bigcfk
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Wireless Adapter for Older Computer

#1 Post by bigcfk » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:24 pm

Hey all,
I've got a Gateway 505GR that I'm putting Linux onto for my little brother. He digs it. But the only trouble is that there's no Wi-Fi. It can't be plugged into the router, because it will be situated too far away: up one flight, and on the opposite end of the house (~50-60 feet away). So I need a wireless router.

I've looked at Amazon, and my eyes are starting to glaze over.

- Does anybody have a suggestion for a solid-ass wireless adapter?
- Would getting a second router/an access point be better?

Thanks a bunch!


(Can anybody find out when 505GRs were first released? I can't find that info anywhere.)

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Quirk
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Re: Wireless Adapter for Older Computer

#2 Post by Quirk » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:56 pm

I haven't had to buy a wireless adapter in a long time, so no help there. Wireless adapters used to be a bitch with Linux, but anymore you don't have to think about it - especially if running a distro based on Ubuntu (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Mint).

If you have an old Linksys WRT54G, use that instead. Flash dd-wrt to it and you can set it up as a wireless bridge. It will connect to your current router over wifi, and allow you to hardwire into the WRT.

Other than that... I'm no help.

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PhaseDMA
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Re: Wireless Adapter for Older Computer

#3 Post by PhaseDMA » Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:19 am

So this is what I found for Ubuntu - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WifiD ... nufacturer

Specifically here is a PCI adapter - http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-DWL-520-Wi ... DWL-520%2B

Here is a USB - http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-DWA-110-Wi ... ds=DWA-110

Both are from D-Link. I don't in anyway vouch for either of these products.
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Matt
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Re: Wireless Adapter for Older Computer

#4 Post by Matt » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:12 am

I'd do a combination of what Quirk and Phase said. Get a router that supports dd-wrt (use the "router database" to check if it supports it -- down to the specific version number). FOLLOW EVERY INSTRUCTION or you could brick the router! DD-WRT is a custom firmware that gives your router many more features. Creating the network bridge with the existing WiFi network is probably the way to go. You can also play with settings to make the radio stronger, but I discourage that because you can actually damage the router.

Phase's links regarding linux and wifi are helpful. It used to be a royal pain to get wifi working on linux, but ubuntu has made strides to make it easier. Their help docs and forums are priceless. If buying a new adapter, make sure it is supported. And by the way, I highly recommend ubuntu as it is arguably the most well supported "consumer grade" version of linux.

I tinkered with linux a few years ago, mainly because my friends were so into it. I know a few tricks, but am now a Mac user and don't used the command line as much as I probably should. Sometimes I just like a computer that turns on and works (gasp!). Feel free to ask around here and if we don't know the answer, I can always ask my friends.

EDIT: According to this users guide for the 505GR (It's linked on gateways page -- a company which still exists!), the computer may have been released in the 2004 time frame?
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Jenna
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Re: Wireless Adapter for Older Computer

#5 Post by Jenna » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:12 pm

I've never had too much trouble getting wifi to work with Ubuntu. Newegg listings are usually pretty helpful for finding out if something is Linux compatible.
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bigcfk
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Re: Wireless Adapter for Older Computer

#6 Post by bigcfk » Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:09 pm

I had put on Lubuntu at first, but he investigated Linux a bit and asked for Ubuntu. Glad to hear it'll be pretty straightforward on that end. DD-WRT sounds intense, but do-able. But it turns out my mom doesn't want a computer in his bedroom, so… this project is done.


But this info will be helpful if/when I get a Raspberry Pi and want to set up wi-fi in my flat.

Thanks!

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