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Wi-Fi, Windows 95, on a laptop

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I'd like to install Windows 95 OSR2 on an old laptop and use a PCMCIA cardbus Wi-Fi card for wireless internet access.

Does anyone know of any wireless 32-bit cards that could do the job?

I'd like the card to use the 802.11g connection standard (or newer), rather than the old 802.11a/b standard, for two reasons:

1) 'g' has a faster maximum speed than the old 'a/b', and...
2) I understand that although 802.11b can use WPA security, many 802.11b cards did not receive the necessary firmware update, and so in fact can't use WPA.

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I have had some success using the extremely cheap wireless cards seen all over EBay for less than $15 each.

Finding the drivers is a pain though.

And I can tell you a secret...

WPA isn't going to be 'happy' on 95. Don't ask me why... all I can tell you honestly is I have yet to get it to work on 95. Blew out a wireless card the last time I tried it. Still not sure what killed what and how... but I won't be trying it again.


"Hotswapping" a wireless card on 95 is NOT suggested. Plug it in, turn on the machine. Turn off machine, unplug the card.

9x doesn't include an easy way of refreshing the IP address; the OS expects a WIRED, ALWAYS ON connection. This poses a few interesting problems...

You **must** use the driver supplied network software; otherwise you can never configure the connection to use an access point.

You may wish to create a shortcut to run "ipconfig /renew_all" whenever your wireless connection gets flaky (to renew the IP address and connection).

The hard part is finding the right software to work with the right driver.... on Windows 95.

Orinoco is the company that makes the wireless cards that work on 95 (to my knowledge).

Atheros also makes 95 compatible network cards.

I own 3 Orinoco wifi cards, 1 came with all the 95 files on its CD. I also own 5 Atheros wifi cards, and 3 of them came with 95 files included. I have never seen a Linksys or DLink wifi card come with 95 drivers (not since 2002/3). Then again, I buy most of my parts wholesale/OEM...

Important note:
The driver CDs that *do* work on 95 DO NOT include drivers for any other hardware! So, the 1 Orinoco CD I have does NOT support the other cards. The 4 Atheros CDs do NOT include drivers for any other card. Ever looked for the ac'97 sound driver for a motherboard? It is **just like** that- totally useless without the original CD.

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