Recommend a 5 Ghz USB WiFi Dongle for Ubuntu 22.04


What is everyone using for a WiFi dongle? Can you please link me to actual model your using on your Linux box. I’m preparing to move my desk across the room where it would be much easier to use WiFi instead of running CAT5 around door frames and such. In the past few months, I’ve bought 2 or 3 WiFi dongles that say they work with Linux (Ubuntu specifically) but BIG SURPRISE – they don’t work. :roll_eyes: I returned 1 and kept the other as it works with W10 at least. I even dug around and followed tutorials on the specific chipsets yet still had no luck.

I don’t mind spending a little extra for something that actually works without having to ‘hack’ it in. I’d like something that is plug and play. It needs to support 5 Ghz. Bonus points if it does Bluetooth too but I do have a separate BT dongle. Having WiFi and BT integrated will just save me me a USB port.


@daniel.m.tripp just got a dongle. He can let you know how happy he is or isn’t with it.

Not a dongle, mini PCIe laptop WiFi and BT card… easy enough switcheroo, but re-attaching the antenna cables is always a PITA, have to put a magnifying glass over it to see what I’m doing! Damn 61 year old eyes!

So - anyway - my main x86_64 (Intel or AMD) laptops (I have 3 I power up and use) all have Intel chipset PCIe… The Realtek piece of crap I took out of the Thinkpad is spare / unused (might even toss it in the bin)… Try and avoid Realtek, they’re mostly garbage, some might work out of the box in Linux, many won’t (unless you’re game to grab the source - I did that once, but I rebuild my PC’s n laptops [re-install Linux] so often, that wasn’t really viable)…

I have one I ordered specially (USB dongle) because it’s Kali compatible (i.e. works out of the box in Linux and supports “monitor” mode - note Raspberry Pi WiFi does monitor mode out of the box) - I think it might even be Realtek chipset… But mostly I’d rather not have to juggle around dongles, all my laptops (4 on my desk right now - 2 x Linux 2 x MacOS) have builtin WiFi…

I just had a look at this page (checking Kali wifi recommendations) : Best USB WiFi Adapter For Kali Linux 2023 [Updated January]
I don’t know if you need or want monitor mode, but those on that list all work with Linux…

I hardly ever use WiFi on my desktop machine, but when I do - I rely on a PCIe card that also doubles as BlueTooth (I DO NEED BLUETOOTH!). In fact, all around, I vastly prefer ethernet to WiFi…


I tend to favour Netgear adaptors, just plug and go never had any issues in any Linux version

Thanks Paul. My router is Netgear and I love it; not sure why I didn’t think of them.

I ran cat5 cable from the router/modem through the basement to my computer cave over 20 years ago. Still works wonderfully well. In fact, I connected it to another router and established a subnet for the wireless devices at this end of the house. But my working computer will always be hardwired.

Out of curiosity, does anyone know why Rosika has such connection problems? I didn’t know Germany had any remote areas any more.

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Rather than running a cable which can be difficult through some walls I use

Power line adaptors, but they only work if your two places are on the same mains connection. Separate power supplies stop the connection.

Btw I don’t work for Netgear and don’t get a kickback from them, it’s just easy to show links, other providers make good gear and not biased in my selection.


I have a bunch of these I’ve collected over the years… I have one in my home office, that connects me to its buddy the kitchen at 500 mbit full-duplex, where the router lives… There’s one room in the house where it doesn’t work very well, but aside from that works all over the house…

The first pair were supplied by our cable TV (actually Satellite subscription) provider - ended up buy some 500 megabit ones for elsewhere in the house…

I find they work quite well most of the time, when there are issues, I just pull it out from the wall (best not to use powerboards or double-adaptors!) and plug them back in, plug and play mostly… Can’t go wrong… Of course it all depends on your wiring in your house, this house is about 15 years old, so reasonably modern cabling…

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How do they go in lightning strikes… Can a power surge get to your computer through the ethernet link?
Even lightning striking the ground can get into your power circuits via the earth wire.

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I’ve had two pair of Netgear power line adapters. First ones were supposed to be 100 Mbps and next were supposed to be 200 Mbps. Neither performed as well as I thought they would. They did work, but didn’t seem like they performed up to their rating.

powerboards or double-adaptors are a definite NO GO, but I don’t fully understand why from an electrical stand point guess it is down to interference although many electrical sockets in a house are simple daisy chained.
On speed issues again think lot depends on age of house and quality of wiring.
Where I lived before we had many homes over 100 years old with massive stone walls some a metre thick so these adaptors were the only answer, better slow and working than nothing.

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Absolutely no idea - never noticed a lightning strike on my house… We have underground power here too - but there are still street light poles on the road…

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We live in a lightning prone area. Have mov’s on the switchboard, and use surge protectors for everything, even the garage doors. Problem is you cant put a mov on the earth line, and only good quality surge protector boards protect the earth line.
It is possible for lightning to strike the ground, and produce a surge on the earth line. There was a case in csiro where every computer on a site was zapped that way.

What you need to check is there is no physical connection between your power circuits and where you plug in the ethernet cable… It needs to be a light beam or something a surge cannot propogate thru.

Underground power. There is none anywhere is nsw.

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I tested mine using iperf3 - did exactly what they said they could on the box… the 100 MB show about 90 mbps, the 200 do around 199, and the 500 full duplex (might as well be gigabit)…

Awakening this to mention - installing drivers as dkms packages…

In Ubuntu / Kali - I’m spoiled - just received a new WiFi dongle (it’s MASSIVE with 4 antenna) and it didn’t work out of the box in Kali arm64 VM in UTM (qemu VM on MacOS) - so I tried it on my RPi4 running Kali - and it worked - then I remembered, I’d install the realtek drivers as simple as :

sudo apt install realtek-rtl88xxau-dkms

That actually builds the modules from source… Was a few weeks ago I did that on the Pi4 - took fair while (like 30-60 minutes) - just did it a 2 core M1 arm64 Kali Linux VM (i.e. via UTM on MacOS) and it took maybe a minute? Quick enough to not give a rat’s arse about…

Quietly impressed… Much as I hate realtek NIC / WiFi devices - this particular one scored very high in a few blogs I read about WiFi dongles for Kali… I’m not about to go jacking my neighbour’s wifi - I just want to learn… and all the windows script kiddies would be left scratching their head how to get this to work in Kali - their first hurdle, how to pass through a USB device to a VirtualBox VM - this is invariably the point where they get irretrievably stuck and throw in the towel :smiley: