List of Semi-Competant USB WiFi Adapters Thread

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cloneman

Occasional Visitor
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.
 

Val D.

Very Senior Member
instead use Intel or Broadcom MiniPCI-E Chips in laptop or in a Desktop

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. :)
 

cplay

Senior Member
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. :)

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!
 
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