Recently I did some upgrades on my home network:
1. Upgraded my Internet connection from 100Mbps to 400Mbps
2. Upgraded my router to Netgear R6700 Nighthawk AC1750 Smart Dual Band WiFi Router so I can take advantage of the upgraded Internet connection
However, I noticed the network card in my laptop is too old and does not support 5G wireless connection, so it means I need a new network card. We all know it is not that hard to replace a network card in laptop nowadays thanks to the better design of current laptops, but I was too lazy to do it. So I decided to buy a USB network adapter with 5G connection capability for my laptop and I found a really nice one on Amazon: Zoweetek 600Mbps Dual Band WiFi Dongle
It’s very compact and the connection speed according to the product description is just right for me, and the price is reasonable. The installation in Windows is no brainer, just double-click the installation file on the installation CD (included in the package) and follow the instructions to install the driver and the management tool.
Once installed, this little device runs well in Windows 10 and my laptop’s connection speed increased greatly. While I am satisfied with the device in Windows, I would like to als use it in Linux Ubuntu before my laptop is a dual-boot: Windows 10 + Ubuntu 17.10, and the production description says it supports Linux, and it is a major reason that I chose this product in the first place.
Well, it turned out it is much harder than I expected when installing Linux driver for this dongle.
First of all, the driver on the installation CD (or downloaded from the company’s website) does not work in my Ubuntu because it only supports the Linux kernel up to 3.16, while Ubuntu 17.10 runs on kernel 4.13
Secondly, there is a Linux driver installation video on the company’s website, but it does not work for me either. And the reason is the same as above.
So I started to Google around to see how other people got it work in Ubuntu. Here is what I found out and how I got it work in Ubuntu 17.10.
1). Confirm your USB wireless adapter is using Realtek chipset
Open a terminal in Ubuntu, then type in this command
If you see “Realtek Semiconductor Corp.” in the list, then move to the next step
2). The Linux driver for this particular dongle is “rtl8812au”, and that’s why the installation video on the company’s website is called “Install the Realtek rtl8812au Wifi Driver in Linux”. If you Google it, you will find a couple of tutorials showing you how to install the Linux driver via git. And I have tried all of them, but they didn’t work for me. Finally I found out that Ubuntu already included rtl8812au driver in its repository, so if you are using Ubuntu 17.10 and having trouble installing rtl8812au driver from git, just type in the following commands in a terminal:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install dkms
sudo apt install rtl8812au-dkms
After the installation, reboot your computer, then you will see Ubuntu Network Manager can recognize the USB WiFi adapter and you can use it to connect to your network. I just found another reason to love Ubuntu over other Linux distributions 🙂