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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

    Feb 2, 2014
    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

    Jun 16, 2019
    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:

    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

    Mar 23, 2020
    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!