Hello guys,

I wrote to the freebsd-wireless@ list on 12 August, looking for a working USB 
wireless adapter that can work on HOSTAP mode. There was no reply on my message 
and so far i have been unsuccessful in finding any device that works without 
some kind of limitation.

The problems are:

1) FreeBSD supports only a limited range of wireless adapters, mostly older 
products that are not sold anymore or are hard to come by

2) FreeBSD has limitations on supported products, such as no working HOSTAP or 
no working 11n (only 11a/b/g) or no proper power-save features

3) FreeBSD lacks up-to-date information about actual supported products; many 
products have newer revisions which use different chipsets

4) Documentation is not complete; for example the urtwn manpage does not 
specify that HOSTAP is not supported under the CAVEATS section

5) Products are sold with different chipsets under the same name, products sold 
in the USA may work while the same product sold in the EU does not work

6) It is generally very hard to find out what chipset a product uses

I've been trying for weeks to find a working solution. I have given up on 11n 
support, i just want things to work. I got fed up after trying two devices 
which should be supported but didn't work in the end, so i bought a bunch of 
devices and hoped that one would work:

Asus WL-167 (supported by rum driver; because of missing power-save in HOSTAP 
mode it only works with some clients; andriod phones for example don't seem to 
work; they can connect but not perform any IP traffic)
TP-LINK TL-WN822N (supported by urtwn, but despite manpage not mentioning this, 
HOSTAP mode is not supported; 11n not supported but documented)
TP-LINK TL-WN725N (should be supported by urtwn, but only the USA versions; the 
EU version appears not to be supported by this driver at all; not documented)
EnGenius EUB9707 (only device that actually works in HOSTAP mode; but without 
11n support)
Dlink GO-USB-N150 
Eminent EM4579 (no info about this device)

It appears the lack of HOSTAP-mode in the urtwn-driver was known by OpenBSD, 
from which the driver was imported. So then, why is this information not shared 
with us by including it in the urtwn manpage? There is a patch for the OpenBSD 
driver to add HOSTAP mode for this driver; i am not sure whether it can be 
applied to FreeBSD.

Long story short; FreeBSD's wireless support is lacking. It's almost a complete 
mess. It takes many time and frustration for a user to get a working product 
that works decently with FreeBSD. And even then, it often works without 
features like 11n and proper power save features. It's one of the areas that 
FreeBSD is much behind in terms of hardware support compared to virtually every 
other operating system out there. That's a shame; FreeBSD would be an excellent 
wireless access point when paired with pf-firewall.

I propose the following: create a wiki with a list of known working wireless 
products. Each product should note which chipset it uses, what driver it 
connects to, what features are suported (i.e. HOSTAP), what FreeBSD versions 
are supported, whether it is open source / binary blob, any license 
requirements (like Realtek) and a dmesg snippet where the driver is detected. 
It can be managed by a maintainer that accepts email reports from users who 
provide the required information. That way, we get a list of hardware that is 
known to work with FreeBSD that people can actually buy. Even a NewEgg-link or 
something to that effect can be provided.

This website was a lot of help to me in figuring out what chipset a wireless 
product uses: https://wikidevi.com/wiki/Main_Page
I propose something simpler for FreeBSD; just a single wiki page that lists 
products that either work or do not work.

With very limited hardware support for wireless devices, such a list is needed 
very badly, to prevent other people from going through the same hellhound that 
i've gone through. If even just a handful of wireless devices that are still 
being sold are known to be working with FreeBSD, this list would be very 
helpful i would presume.

Anyone who likes this idea?
freebsd-wireless@freebsd.org mailing list
To unsubscribe, send any mail to "freebsd-wireless-unsubscr...@freebsd.org"

Reply via email to