Does anyone have a recommendation for USB wireless 802.11ac devices?
I recently picked up a TP-Link Archer T4U (AC 1200... V1) since it seemed to have some ok reviews and was available at Microcenter. I have to say I'm not impressed. What's going on is that I had to "dumb" down my net to 20Mhz bandwidths on both the 2G and 5G bands because this unit was experiencing too much startup latency on communications and then it would randomly disconnect (experienced by web pages not completely loading, taking a long time to complete loading or timing out existing connections). At HT20 the latency is gone and the random' discos are less frequent. Its usable but there is better- like the no name 2G unit that I am using that came with my Fitlet.
I've noticed that we seem to be back in a new round of wireless driver issues with Linux. I've got some old dongles that don't work anymore (i.e. not detected when plugged in) and even a new'ish one that works with my Raspberry Pi B+ but not on up to date Kubuntu or Arch distros. This TP-Link unit does have an older Linux driver from the TP link site but (on Arch) someone already had a package in the AUR for it. I haven't tried it on Kubuntu but I think I saw a package wrapped for Ubuntu too. I tend to stay away from drivers that do not come with distros for exactly the reason of this post but I take a chance every now and again :D
For those wondering, the TP-Link is using a Realtek driver (RTL871X). The 2G wireless-N device uses the rt2800usb driver and its been rock solid. That's an RaLink RT2800 device. Are Ralink devices the better way to go these days?
At this point, I'm looking for something well supported and available in kernel. I'll certainly take a reliable and stable 5G N device (also a bit of a unicorn) over an AC if that is the best thing available for now.
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Keith C. Perry, MS E.E.