Any non-free firmware involved with the Wi-Fi card?

I’m debating whether to get the Compex WLE200NX from Crowd Supply or the ThinkPenguin TPE-NMPCIE. The ThinkPenguin card seems to have worse specs overall, but has the FSF RYF certification, while the Compex card has better specs, but I’m unsure if there’s some catch to it like some features not working with ath9k unless you load non-free blobs. Is there any reason not to go with the Compex card?

Depends on your risk profile. I personally going to use cards which I have in my stock, and there I have atheros and intel cards. While I’m glad to have blob-free card (eg on l5) I do accept the risk of running the blob on pci-e lane connected hw component. I would probably not accept it if it was on a soc though.

The Compex WLE200NX is blob-free.

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