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#1 2017-02-09 23:56:15

Registered: 2017-02-09
Posts: 7

USB WIFI antennae recommendations?

I have this new-ish laptop and it has no Ethernet and I'm not easily finding the drivers. This got me thinking, maybe I should buy a nice USB WIFI antenna, just to have in my bag.

I posted the same question to Hacker News

I'm thinking it would be a good idea to have a reliable USB WIFI antenna in my bag for times when I'm installing Linux on a new laptop, or for when I'm out somewhere and can't get a good signal. A balance of speed, distance and future-proof Linux compatibility would be ideal. What do you recommend?

Last edited by pjbrunet (2017-02-10 01:07:05)


#2 2017-02-10 07:39:03

From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759

Re: USB WIFI antennae recommendations?

Do not buy Broadcom, they are useless with GNU/Linux.

Also, your ethernet card will almost certainly be supported by the drivers that can be found in the newer kernel version that is available from the jessie-backports repositories. … mage-amd64

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#3 2017-02-10 07:40:45

Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 4,616

Re: USB WIFI antennae recommendations?

misleading term: usb wifi antenna.
no such thing exists.
i think what you mean is a usb wifi adapter with an antenna integrated.

what is your interest? durability? price?
have a look:

not tried any, but i'd think the ones that have an actual usb cable and separate antenna stand would be better, because if the antenna sticks out right out of the usb port, you can easily break it or your usb port or worse.

also it might be worth looking if the laptop has an antenna plug. yes. maybe under a lid on the bottom?
in that case you'd really only need an antenna.
i made myself one with some coax cable (by far the most expensive part) and a tincan.

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#4 2017-02-10 16:30:43

Registered: 2016-04-27
Posts: 168

Re: USB WIFI antennae recommendations?

I've used this one - Edimax USB WiFi Adapter - … ew-7811un/

Admittedly it's been on Windows and MacOS but it's been proven on the Raspberry Pi so there are known Linux drivers for it.


#5 2017-02-10 23:47:15

MX Linux Developer
Registered: 2016-08-08
Posts: 381

Re: USB WIFI antennae recommendations?

Just about all USB wifi adapters now also require non-free firmware, so that will have to be taken into account.  Some distros will blithely include the firmware by default; others won't.


#6 2017-02-11 01:47:56

Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 2,811

Re: USB WIFI antennae recommendations?

Devices that use older realtek or ralink chipsets tend to work really well these days. I can recommend … 5431421052 or similar for 2.4GHz and … 1630348024 for 5GHz (used both). Nowadays I'd always get a device that has 5GHz band support…

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#7 2017-02-11 12:16:28

Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 98

Re: USB WIFI antennae recommendations?

I use a Panda 2.4GHz on my Lenovos. Both the one with the antenna that sticks up three inches, and the one with no visible antenna. Pandas work well.

Also, the older Alfa model 2.4GHz works well and has good range.

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