Can Librem 15 accept 802.11 /A?

About Ltops, not phones and I’ve read the other two questions similar to mine. Those are old, and don’t address the issue.

My recent experience with cabled and Wi-Fi is that if I want any of my devices to reach 300 - 600, the card MUST be a 802.11 /a plus/or/not anything else (n,g,b). The /a is the most important to have.

I discovered from a ISP engineer and my Ltops, that n,g,b will only hit a high of 100 - if that, and not more when cabled, and 40 - 50 WiFi for laptops. The /a I’m told, if for 100 - 999.

Cabled: download: 278.2 - - - Upload 15.05 – Bufferbloat 7.2 ms (B)
Wireless: download: 33.4 - - - Upload: 18.19 – Bufferbloat 407 ms (D)

My tests: (I used DSL Reports) because they include Bufferbloat.
WiFi Card is a Atheros 802.11b/g/n

I know. If mine is a /bgn, how do I get near 300 cabled! Good question - got a good answer? :slight_smile:
But I still would like a /a card. So would PureOS / Librem 15 accept a newer /a/whatever/else card?


If it’ll fit the slot and if you can get the driver/firmware for it, then yes.

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I am confused about what you are asking.

802.11a is long ago obsolete and was not widely used.

Maybe you want 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) or 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6).

It is unlikely that you can use any better than 802.11n (Wi-Fi 4) on a Purism Librem laptop using PureOS without sacrificing your purity. In other words, you have to decide whether privacy/security are more important or less important than wireless performance.

Regardless of the WiFi device in your computer and support therein for that device … you will not do better than the WiFi standard supported by your access point (router). Hence if you have an 802.11n access point (router) then your computer will not get better wireless performance even if you install an 802.11ac or 802.11ax device in your computer. In other words, you may have to upgrade both in order to get better wireless performance.

For my money, if I want good performance then I go wired (gigabit ethernet).

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Purism uses wifi cards that have open source drivers and are accredited with the Free Software Foundation. I don’t think there is a wifi card higher then /n that fits their requirements. You may be able to replace the wifi card in any of the Librem devices with a wifi /ac card. You’ll just need to make sure it fits, has the correct connector, and the required antenna. Then it’ll be easy to download the driver off the Debian archive.

If you find a few possible candidates I’m sure some people here might be able to help to find out if it might work.

Again, you’re right! My bad, I did mean to add the C (/ac not /a) it was late.

I should stick with the Librem 15 (L15) and ask the question better : Does the L15 come with RJ45 to a 802.11 /ac?
The “Technical specs” are not clear on that.

Same here - ergo my query.

As a side note FYI to anyone else searching, a friend sent me his stats he tested last night:

  1. Cabled:
    Downloads = 263.9
    Uploads = 287.0

  2. WiFi:
    Downloads = 335.3
    Uploads = 271.5

His modem/router settings are:

I hope to install PureOS today on a external drive as suggested by you earlier - - to get a better idea of how it works… and disable ‘sleep’ while trying PureOS. It will be like Christmas (aka ‘The Holidays’).


Hi @dean

My router is capable of 10/1000 and “up to 900” says my ISP (and when asked, “does up to mean anything from 0 to 900?” she said “Yes”. Sigh.

The Librem 15 technical details for the Librem 15 does not go in to those kinds of details so I’ll see where else the Internet might have size, antennae and connector.

FYI - I prefer using cable over WiFi any time I can, hence I have a question out as to whether or not Librem 15 has a RJ45/Ethernet connection.

Many thanks for chiming in - I appreciate it.


To the best of my knowledge, no - although quite a few people have asked about it. So no gigabit ethernet out-of-the-box.

For those that care about these things, gigabit ethernet is 802.11ab :slight_smile:

Some people have chosen to get a USB 3 to gigabit ethernet dongle e.g. Terrible WiFi performance with Librem13, Librem15

It is a pity that Purism doesn’t sell a suitable dongle, for those that want ethernet - or just add an ethernet port .

What most people do is buy the Intel Wireless-AC 9260 802.11ac (or some other miniPCIe WiFi card).

While you still have the old Atheros ath9k card in your Librem 15, install the proprietary firmware for the Intel WiFi card:
sudo dpkg -i firmware-iwlwifi_20190114-2_all.deb

That should solve your problem.