AB9IL.net: Wifi Adapters for Linux in 2023

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Wifi connectivity on Linux can be completely easy and transparent if you use interfaces with drivers built into the kernel. There are plenty of wireless adapters with Wifi 6, and even more with Wifi 5 and older signal modes. Make it a priority to use one of these; avoid picking your hardware at random. Believe me when I say it is aggravating to pick up a cheap wifi adapter, then discover that it needs a manually compiled, non-free driver to work on your slick and efficient Linux system.

Use a recent Linux Kernel, if possible. Kernel 5.18 has extensive built-in support for Wifi 5 and Wifi 6 adapters. Kernel 5.19 and newer are even better. If you truly must use an older kernel, then consider installing the BACKPORTS package, which brings new drivers to older kernels.

Linux Compatible Wifi 5 and Wifi 6 Chipsets

Manufacturers make a plethora of wifi interfaces; they actually use a smaller number of chipsets, which you should always verify when shopping for any devices with wireless connectivity. See the list below for the top Wifi 6 and Wifi 5 chipsets:

Seek "tri band" wifi interfaces supporting the following
types of 802.11 wireless: "ABGN" with "AC" and "AX".

Wifi 5 and 6 chipsets:
    Mediatek MT7921AU (tri band devices)
    Mediatek MT7612U (dual band devices)
    Mediatek MT7612UN (dual band devices)
    Mediatek MT7610U (dual band devices)
    Realtek rtl8811cu (dual band devices)
    Realtek rtl8821cu (dual band, also bluetooth)

Tri Band Devices (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz):
    Comfast CF-951AX
    Comfast CF-953AX
    Netgear Nighthawk AXE3000

Dual Band Devices (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz):
    Alfa AWUS036ACM
    Alfa AWUS036ACHM
    Asus USB-AC51
    AVM FRITZ! AC 860
    Comfast CF-WU782AC
    Comfast CF-WU785AC
    Comfast CF-WU982AC
    Linksys AE6000
    Lomubue M-1200M
    Netgear A6210
    Panda Wireless PAU0A
    Panda Wireless PAU0D
    ZyXEL NWD6505

Linux Compatible Wifi 4 Chipsets

Wifi 4 is just a little older and a little less capable than Wifi 5 and 6, but they still exceed throughput of Wifi "ABG" devices. If you do mobile computing and still use single band wifi, do yourself a favor and upgrade to at least Wifi 4 / wifi type "N" or you'll miss connectivity to a lot of access points...

Wifi 4 chipsets:
    Ralink RT5572 / Realtek RT5572
    Ralink RT3572 / Realtek RT3572

Dual Band Devices:
    Panda Wireless PAU07
    Panda Wireless PAU09

Try a search on you favorite electronics e-commerce
site for "RT5572 chipset" or "RT3572 chipset."

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