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QNAP Wi-Fi Adapter Adds Wireless Features To Linux-Based NAS And PCs

Discussion in 'General NAS Discussion' started by Julio Urquidi, May 25, 2018.

  1. Julio Urquidi

    Julio Urquidi News Editor

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    qnap-qwa-ac2600.jpg
    Utilizing two Qualcomm QCA9984 NICs, QNAP’s new QWA-AC2600 dual-band dual-concurrent PCIe 2.0 x1 wireless adapter can be used in Linux PCs and QNAP NAS products to give workgroups a wireless bay station with direct access to NAS resources, or as a wireless access point. As a 4x4 MU-MIMO device, the QWA-AC2600 also supports simultaneous connections with maximum link rates of 2533 Mbps.

    According to QNAP, in order to use the extended capabilities brought out by the NAS + QWA-AC2600 combination, customers need the QNAP provided WirelessAP Station app, while extended features like DHCP and NAT are enabled with the Network and Virtual Switch app.

    Available now, a quick Google search shows the QNAP QWA-AC2600 Wireless Adapter costing between $159 to $168. We’ll update this post with official pricing once we hear back from QNAP.
     
  2. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Assuming they (QCA) have good drivers - this might be very interesting for Linux folks...
     
  3. TheLostSwede

    TheLostSwede Regular Contributor

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    Problem is, how do you extract the drivers from QNAP's NAS OS? This is technically half a router, so the performance should be good if nothing else.
     
  4. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    I'm assuming they're getting them from upstream perhaps...
     
  5. TheLostSwede

    TheLostSwede Regular Contributor

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    From past experience, QCA only gives customers access to their drivers for this type of hardware. That said, it's the same Wi-Fi chips as in the Netgear R7800 which appears to have open source firmwares available. Not tried them myself, as my R7800 has been surprisingly rock solid and Netgear has been good at pushing out new firmware updates at regular intervalls.

    Could be an interesting solution for anyone wanting to build their own router. Not too many ARM based boards out there with a PCIe x1 slot that fits in a slimline desktop chassis though... A mini-ITX board might be more suitable for this.
     
  6. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Looks like it uses the ath10k driver that is in Ubuntu 17.10 and later...
     
  7. chadster766

    chadster766 Senior Member

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    I've read that ath10k driver doesn't support mu-mimo AP mode.
     
  8. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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  9. chadster766

    chadster766 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info. I'm getting confirmation from other forum resources on the ath10k driver mu-mimo AP mode with this new information.
     
  10. chadster766

    chadster766 Senior Member

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    It seem that there are some missing components in the ath10driver. Below are some quotes from responses I received:

     
  11. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    For MU perhaps....

    Moving forward @chadster766 - might be useful to link comments there...

    MU in AP mode is DL only (Tx Only) and Explicit Beamforming is a requirement for 802.11ac Wave 1

    MU group management is always a headache, as things can be very dynamic there, and this is where many implementations actually fail.

    Besides - who really cares about MU in the first place? It was an attempt to get some IP converted into a standards essential patent at the end of the day - MU in 802.11ac is pretty much "not very useful"