Encore ENLWI-N 802.11n PCI Wireless Adapter

Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 8 January 2010. Page 2 of 2. 13 Comments

The PCB for the Encore ENLWI-N is only half the height of a standard PCI card, however, only a full-length PCI/expansion bracket is included. Anyone hoping to install this wireless card in a low-profile chassis will need to find a compatible low-profile bracket. The version of the Encore ENLWI-N that we had purchased was marked 37NB-W40300+411 and was revision 1.1. The wireless ASIC is marked RT2860T GT42540D0 0711ST and is manufactured by Ralink.

Besides the three antenna connectors is a single green LED for indicating network activity. The three antennas simply screw on and they are fully adjustable for optimal placement.

We had installed the Encore ENLWI-N 802.11n PCI wireless adapter into a desktop system that was running Ubuntu 9.10 (x86_64) with the Linux 2.6.31 kernel. Immediately upon entering the GNOME desktop, we were able to connect to both secured and unsecured wireless networks -- both 802.11g and 802.11n too -- through NetworkManager and this RT2860T-powered wireless card. There were no firmware headaches, driver problems, or connection issues. We did not even need to use Ubuntu's Restricted Driver Manager to obtain any packages. The Encore ENLWI-N had "just worked" with Ubuntu 9.10 using the rt2860 Linux driver. For over a month now, we have been running this 802.11n wireless adapter in a system constantly for over a month and have yet to run into any problems with this wireless network adapter. The rt2860 Linux driver is also not some reverse-engineered wireless driver, but in fact, Ralink had created this Linux driver.

Overall, we are quite pleased with this 802.11g/n PCI wireless adapter. This adapter costs just over $20 USD, which is not bad at all for a triple-antenna wireless adapter that has worked very well for us for over a month and offers a nice range that we tested indoors, works "out of the box" with Ubuntu 9.10 (and will work well too with other distributions shipping the rt2860 driver and firmware), and has been a trouble-free experience for us. The Encore ENLWI-N can be found at Amazon.com.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via TwitterLinkedIn,> or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.