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I'm looking for a wifi adapter that ticks the following boxes:

  • Support for Windows 10 (or if not support then at least a driver that actually works on Windows 10)
  • Fits in a PCI slot (not PCIe)
  • Can use the 5GHz wifi band
  • Works with 802.11n or newer

Does anything like that exist? I'm currently using an ancient TL-WN851N which mostly does the job but is only capable of using the 2.4GHz band.

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I can see only one option: The Linksys WMP600N.

It's capable of operating on the 5ghz band with N technology though it's not going to get the speed boost from that capability - although the interface does seem to be capable of it, the controller isn't.

Then again you just need it to get on the 5ghz band, so you're good.

The last problem for you to overcome is running it on Windows 10, but I think I've got you covered there. Linksys doesn't support the card anymore, but because I was able to determine that it uses the RT2860 chipset by Ralink, I was able to find drivers for the chipset that should work under Windows 10. Mediatek acquired Ralink at some point, it seems, so now they host the old Ralink drivers. Here's yours.

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  • Is it possible to find out whether the available drivers for windows 10 support the 5GHz band? – user3490 Aug 16 '16 at 18:29
  • No - it is not. I can tell you, though, that if a driver supports a chipset then it basically supports the whole card. The rest is just antenna wire and PCB tacking it all together to the PCI interface. – Adam Wykes Aug 16 '16 at 18:30
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    In most cases, the 'default' ralink/mediatek drivers are better than the manufacturer/oem ones. – Journeyman Geek Aug 17 '16 at 6:41
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Another possible option: the TL-WN951n also seems to meet these requirements. Unconfirmed on Windows 10 but there's a windows 8 driver for it that might be compatible.

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  • Question answers on Newegg confirm this card works on Windows 10. Where do you see that it is capable of accessing the 5ghz band, though? – Adam Wykes Aug 17 '16 at 2:40

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