WiFi USB adapters: which work well with FreeBSD and which don't

fusion809

New Member


Messages: 17

#1
Hi,

This is a follow up of my last thread (https://forums.freebsd.org/threads/edimax-ew-7811utc-how-do-i-connect-to-the-wifi.67485/), I'm basically here to ask which WiFi USB adapters work well with FreeBSD. By work well I want one that works out-of-the-box with a fresh installation of FreeBSD 11.2, without any need for additional drivers. It'd also be nice if this USB works well with FreeBSD 12-CURRENT, because I don't want such an adapter to not work with the upcoming FreeBSD 12 release. Before you ask, my laptop for some reason can't have its internal WiFi module replaced, so I have to use an external WiFi USB adapter. They simply do not fit into it.

Thanks for your time,
Brenton
 

scottro

Daemon

Thanks: 418
Messages: 1,237

#3
I haven't found one that worked right out of the box, but the older Edimax-7811UN works with the urtwn driver. You have to add a couple of lines to /boot/loader.conf which I mention in your other thread. It's slower than some, but FreeBSD wireless speeds are much slower than Linux right now anyway. It seems that the majority of USB to wireless use Realtek chips, though which driver will depend upon the adapter. Anyway, the 7811UN is around $10.00 USD
https://www.amazon.com/Edimax-EW-7811Un-150Mbps-Raspberry-Supports/dp/B003MTTJOY

It can be difficult enough putting a an adapter into a search engine and finding if anyone got it working with Linux, as FreeBSD is even less used, unfortunately, it is often very difficult to find out if someone got an adapter working with FreeBSD.
 

Sensucht94

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 326
Messages: 345

#4
I'm very satisfied with EDUP EP-MS150ND (RTL8188SU, USB2.0, 150Mbps 802.11n) and rsu(4) driver. For a higher network detection radius, and speed you can get EDUP EP-MS150N(W), which is equipped with an antenna.
None of this micro dongles is going to have an as long reach and an as good performance as internal NICs; as opposite, standard-lenght USB dongles, like the TP-LINK ones mentioned in other threads, or those supported by rum(4) driver, like Airlink101 AWLL5025 return a significantly smoother experience, but are cumbersome and uncomfortable.
I consider myself very lucky for having always met laptops with supported built-in Wireless cards on *BSD; I only rely on my dongle on the PC desktop, for those times when router (via Ethernet) goes down and I can keep working through mobile hotspot,
 

Nicola Mingotti

Well-Known Member

Thanks: 118
Messages: 297

#5
I am using currently 4 ALFA AWUS036NEH and 1 ALFA AWUS036NH.

They work out of the box either as wifi client or as access point.

I tested in FreeBSD-11.1 in the last 6 months.

I use one of them all the time as my AP, the 36NH, no problems so far.

Finding a USB dongle that works as AP in FreeBSD was not an easy task.

The ALFA are easy to find e.g. in Amazon.
 

JohnnySorocil

New Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 14

#6
I am also using urtwn() mainly because it supports AP mode (hostapd) so I can have my own hotspot. It is small and it was cheap (but I cannot find the URL on eBay).

dmesg
Code:
urtwn0: <vendor 0x0bda product 0x8178, class 0/0, rev 2.00/2.00, addr 4> on usbus2
urtwn0: MAC/BB RTL8192CU, RF 6052 2T2R
urtwn0: enabling 11n

ifconfig wlan1 list caps
Code:
drivercaps=591c541<STA,FF,IBSS,HOSTAP,SHSLOT,SHPREAMBLE,MONITOR,WPA1,WPA2,WME>
cryptocaps=b<WEP,TKIP,AES_CCM>
htcaps=6000c<>
 

shepper

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 238
Messages: 709

#7
The majority of nano/mirco usb adapters use the same "housing" for the chip. I had the experience of purchasing several RealTek based, nano/pico usb adapters that were advertised as rtl8188. On arrival, they either lacked VendorID/ModelID entries in the dev usbids and were not assigned to the driver or had new varients of basic chip; ie rtl8188sus. I suspect this is less of a problem with the larger, but less conspicuous, Alfa devices.
 

yuripv

New Member

Thanks: 2
Messages: 5

#8
Using some pretty old Ralink dongle, seems to work flawlessly:
Code:
run0 on uhub4
run0: <Ralink 11n Adapter, class 0/0, rev 2.00/1.01, addr 4> on usbus2
run0: MAC/BBP RT3071 (rev 0x0213), RF RT3022 (MIMO 2T2R), address 1c:af:f7:05:09:e5
run0: firmware RT3071 ver. 0.33 loaded
 
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fusion809

fusion809

New Member


Messages: 17

#9
Thanks folks, I've decided to go with Edimax EW-7811Un. It's well-tested and it seems like there'll be quite a few of yas available to help if help is needed.
 
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fusion809

fusion809

New Member


Messages: 17

#10
Ah scottro, urtwn doesn't seem to be detected when I list it (in /usr/src/sys/amd64/conf/MYKERNEL) as a device to be built when rebuilding the kernel. I followed the man page on this, adding the lines required to build it into the kernel and it failed to build (at the stage of running "make buildkernel KERNCONF=MYKERNEL") properly I got the error:

Code:
>>> Kernel build for MYKERNEL started on Fri Sep 14 14:01:55 AEST 2018
--------------------------------------------------------------
===> MYKERNEL
mkdir -p /usr/obj/usr/src/sys

--------------------------------------------------------------
>>> stage 1: configuring the kernel
--------------------------------------------------------------
cd /usr/src/sys/amd64/conf;  PATH=/usr/obj/usr/src/tmp/legacy/usr/sbin:/usr/obj/usr/src/tmp/legacy/usr/bin:/usr/obj/usr/src/tmp/legacy/bin:/usr/obj/usr/src/tmp/usr/sbin:/usr/obj/usr/src/tmp/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin  config  -d /usr/obj/usr/src/sys/MYKERNEL  -I '/usr/src/sys/amd64/conf' '/usr/src/sys/amd64/conf/MYKERNEL'
WARNING: duplicate option `DEV_FIRMWARE' encountered.
WARNING: duplicate device `firmware' encountered.
config: Error: device "urtwn" is unknown
config: 1 errors
*** Error code 1

Stop.
make[1]: stopped in /usr/src
*** Error code 1

Stop.
make: stopped in /usr/src
running "kldload urtwn" also returns:

Code:
kldload: can't load urtwn: No such file or directory
so are you's sure it hasn't been removed from FreeBSD 11.2 or?
 
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