While wireless chipsets are not as complicated as graphics processors, under Linux they can cause just as many headaches when it comes to getting them working reliably. More hardware vendors have opened up to supporting their wireless chipsets under Linux, but still it can be a pain having to hunt down the firmware for a wireless adapter, needing to build an out-of-tree driver, having issues with the driver such as with WEP/WPA authentication, or if all else fails trying to get the Windows driver working under Linux through ndiswrapper. However, for those looking for a PCI-based 802.11g/n wireless adapter that will work "out of the box" with modern distributions like Ubuntu 9.10, one that we have found to do the job is the Encore ENLWI-N.
The ENLWI-N that is produced by Encore Electronics is compatible with 802.11b/g wireless networks along with 802.11n Draft 2.0. This PCI 2.3 compatible wireless adapter supports QoS: WMM, 64/128-bit WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, multiple BSSID, and all of the other common features for modern 802.11g/n ASICs. The rated range coverage for this desktop wireless adapter is between 35 and 100 meters indoors while outdoors the range should extend 100 to 300 meters. There are three antennas to the ENLWI-N and the wireless chipset itself is a Ralink RT2860T.
Encore's ENLWI-N wireless PCI adapter arrived in a small retail package that simply contained the Windows drivers and utility (for Windows XP and Vista) along with a PDF version of the user's manual. There is no printed user's manual included with this wireless adapter, but that really should not be necessary. The PCI 802.11n adapter resided in an ESD bag and the three antennas were disconnected and found within a smaller bag.