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Wifi adaptor comparison

fpo
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I don't know much about wireless networks so bear with me. (There will be a TL;DR)

 

I am switching to linux because Win 10 just keeps ..ARHGh!!!! Because of my switch to the ever so loved Linux based environment, driver support is less... developed. I currently own 2 wifi adaptors from when Windows XP was supported. (imagine that.) One being the Netgear WNCE 2001 (which for the life of me I can't get to work on windows so I think it's completely broken) and the other the Netgear WNA 3100 which is not supported on Linux... at all. (read about it here)

Because of this I am reluctantly going to buy... a new wifi adaptor... (yay :( )

 

I wasn't sure on the real differences as I have heard things about LAN speed differing from internet speed when buying wireless devices for the household. (This is most likely more to do with routers than wifi dongles.)

 

TL;DR

I need a cheap wifi adaptor that works on linux without effort.

 

TS;NMI (too short, need more info)

I was looking at this because it is cheap, and the first result on amazon from searching "Wifi USB adaptor for Ubuntu" (I'm technically using Lubuntu, however from what I understand it's only a slightly modified version of Ubuntu)

 

1. I'm comparing to the usefulness of my previous adaptor; Not to state this is the highest priority, I'm just hoping the performance to equal, or excel beyond my current old adaptor.

2. It has to work on linux

3. It can't be expensive. (I don't need to stream at 30K 9,001FPS, I only NEED e-mail, and updates. CS:GO is less important.

 

I don't expect you to go on a google track down to find the best wifi adaptor for linux. Mainly I'm just asking if the adaptor I found is about the same as my current adaptor, and if it works on Linux.

If you are to be so kind to make a better recommendation, (or you see someone making a better recommendation and endorse him) I would be thankful for the extra effort in providing me with the alternative thought.

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I'm not to knowledgeable about Ubuntu, but what I do know is that you should try to find a wireless adapter that supports the AC standard. 

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3 minutes ago, Septimus said:

I'm not to knowledgeable about Ubuntu, but what I do know is that you should try to find a wireless adapter that supports the AC standard. 

When you say AC standard, do you mean a wifi adaptor that is powered by a wall socket? (Alternating Current wall plug.)

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1 minute ago, fpo said:

When you say AC standard, do you mean a wifi adaptor that is powered by a wall socket? (Alternating Current wall plug.)

Look in the name of the adapter that you linked above, and you'll see that it says "Wireless N USB Adapter". Essentially, there are different standards of wireless, a, b, g, n, and AC are the most common. While they're all backwards compatible, AC offers a much improved connection speed and signal integrity. 

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6 minutes ago, Septimus said:

Look in the name of the adapter that you linked above, and you'll see that it says "Wireless N USB Adapter". Essentially, there are different standards of wireless, a, b, g, n, and AC are the most common. While they're all backwards compatible, AC offers a much improved connection speed and signal integrity. 

I couldn't find anything about AC, nor anything about channels like a, b, g, nor n. I recall hearing g was something like the best or fastest (maybe back in 2011) however the only things I could find were 802.11 but that seems to be a security thing. (I think I have DHCP but that could be something different with how IP addresses work; I never took a Network class.) I do see something about g/n though.

After a quick google search I found this with AC in the name of the product. In the description of the product it has a bullet point noting 802.11AC for what seems to be Cell Phone networks. Is this the kind of thing you were leading me towards?

 

10 minutes ago, Julian2000nl said:

Most modern hardware will work automatically on Linux straight out of the box, but Linux has been known to have driver issues with especially older hardware that's proprietary(The community rather focuses on adding support for new hardware than adding support for older hardware. More info about how that works in this video).

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/150M-Mini-USB-Adapter-WiFi-Wireless-Adapter-Network-Lan-Card-802-11n-g-b-150Mbps-/142355580652?hash=item21250dc6ec:g:OCAAAOSwq1JZHpgX

If you just want something cheap, this will work fine for you.

oh yeah.. I completely understand the new hardware thing-I was just hoping a bit too much to have my wifi adaptor programmed by some programming wiz in a basement hissing at sunlight somewhere haha.

I looked at the link you sent. Have you personally purchased this? I'm a bit sceptical of $1 adaptors from china on ebay with 98% ratings with 4,000 sales also I didn't see any specification of the adaptor functioning on Linux. Is there anywhere that can confirm its Linux compatibility, and perhaps a more reputable store? (I don't really want to wait 3 weeks or more haha.)

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16 minutes ago, fpo said:

I couldn't find anything about AC, nor anything about channels like a, b, g, nor n. I recall hearing g was something like the best or fastest (maybe back in 2011) however the only things I could find were 802.11 but that seems to be a security thing. (I think I have DHCP but that could be something different with how IP addresses work; I never took a Network class.) I do see something about g/n though.

After a quick google search I found this with AC in the name of the product. In the description of the product it has a bullet point noting 802.11AC for what seems to be Cell Phone networks. Is this the kind of thing you were leading me towards?

Yes, that would be better than the previous Wi-Fi adapter that you chose. Preferably something like a PCIe card with antennas would be better, but I don't know of any off the top of my head with support for Linux. 

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Just now, Septimus said:

Yes, that would be better than the previous Wi-Fi adapter that you chose. Preferably something like a PCIe card with antennas would be better, but I don't know of any off the top of my head with support for Linux. 

Will any desktop PCI adaptor work in a slot the size of a graphics card? My motherboard has a few graphics card sized ones, and then a few PCI lanes that are about 2-3 centimetres long.

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Just now, fpo said:

Will any desktop PCI adaptor work in a slot the size of a graphics card? My motherboard has a few graphics card sized ones, and then a few PCI lanes that are about 2-3 centimetres long.

Yeah, they're pretty darn small, no need for them to take up as much space. I mean, look at the size of this Gigabyte one: 59660df441b5a_GigabyteWirelessCard.PNG.2ae6501f0a06b51fdd8a07f45a43e2a4.PNG

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Just now, Septimus said:

snip

Cool, thanks.

i'll look some up and hopefully someone can verify what I find to be a good product basing off your recommendations.

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because newegg was too confusing to find wifi adaptors, I decided to go to amazon.

 

Under computers > wireless > internal network adaptors I searched ubuntu, and then I searched Linux and following the criteria of

1. Linux Compatible

2. Has AC for sure

 

I have come to only 2 available options. Both were made available on amazon in 2015.

first an antenna USB adaptor

 

second a non-antenna based USB adaptor.

 

The PCI based wifi adpators did not specifically state if they had AC, so I presumed they didn't. Not particularly important, however I noticed most PCI based adaptors to be pre-2010.

 

Any recommendations? Are these good adaptors?

I saw many adaptors for 100s of dollars, however they don't mention linux, and they're hundreds of dollars.

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12 minutes ago, Julian2000nl said:

snip

I'm a bit skeptical about the "works out of the box" for the one reason my current wifi adaptor doesn't work, though it is a bit older so I can kinda understand. 

 

Is there a fully compiled list of supported wifi adapters? 

Or is there a fully compiled list of chipsets supported? 

I looked on Ubuntu's website and saw a listed number of 52 supported wifi adapters. In addition, searching Netgear came with no relevant results. 

 

I was a bit baffled to think that Linux's kernel supported 52~ or less wifi adapters, and that no one ever wrote a single driver for any netgear products ever. I thought Netgear was one of the top Wifi adapter brands, but maybe it's because Ubuntu may only list chipsets and I don't know the naming schemes of chipsets. 

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4 minutes ago, fpo said:

I'm a bit skeptical about the "works out of the box" for the one reason my current wifi adaptor doesn't work, though it is a bit older so I can kinda understand. 

 

Is there a fully compiled list of supported wifi adapters? 

Or is there a fully compiled list of chipsets supported? 

I looked on Ubuntu's website and saw a listed number of 52 supported wifi adapters. In addition, searching Netgear came with no relevant results. 

 

I was a bit baffled to think that Linux's kernel supported 52~ or less wifi adapters, and that no one ever wrote a single driver for any netgear products ever. I thought Netgear was one of the top Wifi adapter brands, but maybe it's because Ubuntu may only list chipsets and I don't know the naming schemes of chipsets. 

Some times going to the WIFI card manufactures website can shed some light on it as well, they might say if its Linux compatible or not. But I can say that my laptop is only a few years old, and its WiFi adapter worked right out of the box when I install Linux Mint on it. I like to say I have an Intel WiFi adapter. 

I just want to sit back and watch the world burn. 

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