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5 Linux compatible USB wireless adapters – 2012

Couple months back I wrote a post on how to fix wireless problems in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS release. Although I listed a few good Linux compatible USB wireless adapters that work, several readers emailed me asking if I could a bit more detailed list. In this post, I am going do a basic review and compatibility check of best Linux compatible USB wireless adapters. This is a follow up post to my previous post, in which I looked at Ubuntu compatible USB wireless adapters. While there are numerous cards that may work in Linux, covering all of them is beyond the scope of this review. I am going to concentrate on just 5 USB wireless adapters that I think are among the best of the currently available models. Listed below 5 are Linux compatible USB wireless adapters that work on Linux (Ubuntu and Fedora) without the need for any configuration, compilation, driver-installation, etc. (plug-and-play). For best Mini PCIe Wifi cards that work on Linux, check this post.

Linux compatible USB wireless adapters

Medialink – Wireless N USB Adapter – 802.11n


Another highly rated Linux-compatible USB wireless card. Key features include:

  • 150Mbps data transfer rate
  • USB 2.0
  • Docking Station Included with Attached 3ft USB Extension Cable for Desktop Convenience
  • Security Protocols: WPA/WPA2, 64/128/152-bit WEP

AirLink101 AWLL6075 Wireless N Mini USB Adapter

Linux compatible USB wireless adapters
I have had positive experience with this card and it is definitely one of the top Linux compatible USB wireless adapters. Just plugin, wait for a few seconds, and that is it; you are now ready to connect to your wireless network. Key features include:

  • Standards IEEE 802.11b / g / n
  • Interface: USB 2.0
  • Transimitting: Up to 150Mbps
  • Receiving: Up to 300Mbps
  • Security: WPA2/WPA-PSK (AES, TKIP) WEP 64, 128-bit

Panda Mini Wifi (b/g/n) 150Mbps Card


Panda Mini Wifi works in the 2.4 GHz range is compatible all major OSes including Linux. Key features include:

  • 802.11 b/g/n
  • 150 Mbps
  • USB 2.0
  • Security: WEP 64/128bit, WPA and WPA2

ASUS (USB-N13) Wireless-N USB Adapter


The second of only two 300 Mbps capable USB wireless adapter reviewed in this post. This is also one of the most purchased Linux compatible USB wireless adapters. Key features include:

  • 300 Mbps
  • Wireless N
  • USB 2.0
  • Security Protocols: WPA/WPA2, 64/128/152-bit WEP

TP-Link TL-WN722N 150Mbps High Gain Wireless USB Adapter


TP-Link has an omni-directional detachable external antenna that improves connectivity. Key features include:

  • 150Mbps wireless transmission rate
  • Compatible with 802.11b/g/n devices
  • USB 2.0
  • Security WEP 64/128bit, WPA and WPA2

Linux compatible USB wireless adapters – Final Thoughts

Among the 5 Linux compatible USB wireless adapters listed above, only ASUS (USB-N13) Wireless-N USB Adapter and AirLink101 AWLL6075 Wireless N Mini USB Adapter support up to 300 Mbps. If this is a concern for you then you may choose one of these two cards. I hope this helps.

About the author

Anand

Anand is a self-learned computer enthusiast, a part-time blogger, and a Food Scientist by career. He has been blogging since 2010 on Linux, Ubuntu, Home/Media/File Servers, XBMC, and related HOW-TOs (read more).

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