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List of Semi-Competant USB WiFi Adapters Thread

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by cloneman, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. cloneman

    cloneman Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2014
    Messages:
    17
    There seems to be a lack of high-quality USB WiFi adapters in the marketplace. Concepts like "current gen" ,"2x2" , "brand name" , "RF Testing" seem to be compeltely absent 90% of the time. Then I see threads on other communities like Coreelec , desperately looking for a USB device that offers a driverless experience or any compatibility whatsoever (and most of the time, it's 1x1 devices with no external antenna) .

    I recently picked up an "AC" product (RealtekRTL8821CU Based) on aliexpress that provided worse performance than a 6-year old N-product that I already considered to be mediocre and have contemplated throwing away many times.

    And so the idea came to be to make a thread of "interesting or half competent WiFi adapters" including:


    - Any USB device that actually supports 2x2 AC

    - Any device that has actually been reviewed for RF performance

    - Any sub 15$ product that has some redeeming qualities , like good throughput under optimal conditions, or builtin-bluetooth

    - Any semi-competant device that offers a good driver experience under at least 1 OS:
    (Linux, Linux ARM / Core Elec, Mac, or Windows)

    Perhaps you guys can dump interesting products in the thread and then we can make a nice table out of them

    The best solution currently available (IMHO) is to not use USB at all, and instead use Intel or Broadcom MiniPCI-E Chips in laptop or in a Desktop with a PCIe converter & Antenna kit.
     
  2. Val D.

    Val D. Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2019
    Messages:
    1,480
    May not get so lucky with some brand mane products and BIOS hardware whitelists they have.

    About USB adapter question:

    Relatively good performance, relatively cheap, good compatibility, actually using USB 3.0 and 2x2 AC:
    https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/usb-adapter/archer-t3u/

    After playing a long try/return game with Amazon no-name/big-promises products, I found this one works as advertised. It's a compact device, Realtek RTL8812BU chip based, holds good link speeds on quite some distance, PnP with no extra drivers needed in Windows 10, even supports MU-MIMO and is recognized as MU-MIMO capable client, has a bright green activity indicator LED. :)
     
  3. cplay

    cplay Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2020
    Messages:
    162
    Good call.

    I have the original version of that bought like 4 years ago. not bad adapter, range isn't the best but is super stable!