[nSLUG] WIFI dongle for linux?

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Tue Jul 11 07:54:28 ADT 2017

On 10 July 2017 at 22:15, Frank Geitzler <frank.geitzler at ns.sympatico.ca>

> I acquired a Lenovo desktop E7500 system last week, and installed Ubuntu
> 16.04 on it to do some experimentation.  The system does not have a wifi
> card, and I would like to acquire a USB2 wifi dongle.  A-1 Laptop at the
> Dartmouth Shopping Centre has two models -an Airlink N150, and an Airlink
> N300.  The paper documentation for each of these models in the store
> assures the purchaser that each dongle will work with many models of
> Windows and Apple, but does not mention Linux drivers.  Has anyone in
> either club any experience with either of these dongles (or any others)
> running under Linux which you could recommend?

When buying a USB dongle, find out which chipset is used and then research
the linux driver support.  Some vendors sell the same model for several
years but use different chipsets.   I'm on my 3rd USB dongle.  I buy a
model that is supported on linux, but have issues with poor signal strength
and after roughly 5 years the drivers are dropped from the kernel.   For my
desktop I'm using a wireless to ethernet bridge.  The Trendnet model I'm
using is no longer being made, but there are several similar devices, such
as https://www.iogear.com/product/GWU627/ (2.4 Ghz only) or
http://www.tp-link.com/lk/products/details/TL-WA890EA.html (2.4/5GHz).
These devices have better antennas than a small dongle and can be placed
further from the desktop since they are connected by ethernet rather than
USB.  Linux only sees ethernet, so as long as the desktop ethernet chipset
is supported you are good to go.  These devices are built around a SOC so
could host malware.  I wouldn't use one where there is direct internet

My home network runs 5GHz (too many 2.4 Ghz signals in the area), but I
have old portable devices that use 2.4 GHz so the most recent USB
dongle (Plugable
USB 2.0 Wireless N 802.11n 150 Mbps Nano WiFi Network Adapter with Realtek
RTL8188CUS Chipset, 2.4 GHz only) was being used as an acccess point.
Moving from Ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04 gave me a new driver that doesn't support
AP mode (AP support was on the "todo" list -- haven't checked recently to
see if AP is working).

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia
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