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I'm wanting to buy a USB wireless adapter that works with OpenBSD.

My problem: finding one that I know will work.

There is a lot of documentation for what chipsets OpenBSD supports in this area, including a wikipedia page however it's proven very difficult to map chipset names to actual products that I can purchase. How can I do this as painlessly as possible?

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The best advice I can tell you is to do it the other way round and look at wireless cards available, then the specifications and see what the chipset is (sometimes referred to as chip or logic).

It can be hard, but, if a shop isn't going to help you, go somewhere that will and fire a presales question and ask them!

If you are really struggling, attempt to look at high resolution pictures of a card on the manufacturers website.

For example, I see you are in America from your profile and I know people talk about Newegg. I went to the first wireless card I could find, zoomed in, and I can see that this uses a Ralink RT2860 chip

enter image description here

Unfortunately, a lot of cards have a big plate over the chip so you can't see it. But, I hope this helps you a little or puts you on the right track to finding a card.

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You may get the info you need from the manufacturer's spec sheets or their product support site.

Sometimes you can get more info by looking up the FCC ID of a wireless card and checking out the documents posted by the manufacturer at this site: http://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/fccid/

Mind you, getting the FCC ID can sometimes take a bit of digging but, again, check the manufacturer's product specs or on their support site.

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