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Linux WiFi Adapter Test

In the last couple of years I’ve used five different WiFi USB adapters with Linux. Most of them suck. I do not care whether they suck because of the driver or the hardware. A simple thing like a WiFi Adapter should just work. I’ve done some speed measurements, which I show you in this post.


From left to right: RT5370, RTL8191S, AR9287, RTL8192, RT2870

Here is my test setup: I am using a Fritzbox 7490 with two computers connected (A and B): A via gigabit ethernet and B via the tested WiFi adapters. There is a distance of approximate 7 meters and three walls between computer B an the Fritzbox. I’ve up- and downloaded a 50MB file three times with each adapter and calculated the average speed.


  • The Ralink RT5370 is the latest WiFi Adapter I’ve bought and I am quite happy with it: It has the best performance and is very affordable. Also the drivers are very mature – I haven’t had any problems with them so far.
  • My Realtek RTL8191S is from CSL. The drivers are okay but the performance is bad.
  • The AR9287 is a Atheros chip and though performance is not that bad, I had many problems with the drivers: During the test the adapter lost it’s connection four times. I had to hard reset it to make it working again.
  • The smallest adapter in the test is a RTL8192 from Realtek. It has only the size of a thumbnail and I guess that power consumption is good. However performance is not that good. It is interesting that it is much better in downloading stuff than uploading.
  • The Ralink RT2870 used to be my default WiFi adapter for a long time. It’s performance is average and the drivers are very stable. 

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