I have a small mini-PC, running Linux, which I use as a wireless access point and router.
It came with a Realtek RTL8191SEvA mini-PCIe wireless card. It works very well under Linux, supporting AP/master mode and running
hostapd quite stably and with adequate performance.
However, it's 2.4 GHz only, and 802.11n only.
I'd like to replace it with a newer card that…
- Supports 802.11ac (if not 802.11ax as well)
- Supports AP mode on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands (Intel WiFi adapters are out, because their firmware only allows 2.4 GHz AP due apparently to paranoia about FCC regulations for 5 GHz APs 🤦🏻♂️)
- Runs stably and efficiently under Linux with a driver that's in the mainline kernel
- Ideally, mini-PCIe… but I could live with an external/USB adapter if there's a much better option.
Based on reading Wikipedia's comparison of Linux wifi drivers and kernel.org's comparison, it seems like either an Atheros or MediaTek device would be the best choices… but I'm open to others. Any recommendations?