Cheap OpenWrt-friendly USB 802.11ac adapter?


I'd like to buy a cheap USB 802.11ac adapter with external antenna(s), preferably 2x2, that will work hassle-free in AP mode on my OrangePi R1 running OpenWRT. I have RTL8811 & RTL8812 USB adapters but after reading this forum, apparently they are not supported by OpenWRT. I am not ready to spend over $15; for reference, RTL8812 USB that otherwise meets my criteria cost me less than $10.

p.s. I fully understand that USB2.0 on OPi R1 is somewhat a bottleneck, but given real-world wireless speeds I believe it is perfectly suitable for 2x2 802.11ac, these adapters won't realistically achieve more than 400mbps even connected to USB3.0.

Unlikely to find anything that reliably supports 802.11ac in AP mode at that price point. See

"Best bet" would be a used 802.11ac-capable router in "dumb AP" mode. Availability of used units will depend on your location, but even an old Archer C7v2 will likely run over US$15. I don't know of any new, 802.11ac-capable routers under US$15.


@jeff thank you for your answer. Will there be any feasible options if I up the budget to $25? Separate device much larger than R1 is not an option. I am willing to compromise and accept 1x1 device as well, as long as it has acceptable external antenna.

OK, it seems I will use other distro for the time being. Hopefully one day RTL8812 driver will be ported to OpenWRT; also would be nice to have internal 802.11n wi-fi working on R1.

Just be aware that while other distros might provide easier access to a driver for RTL8812, its actual quality and expected issues with AP mode in particular and reliability in general are very likely to remain.


look out for MT7612U based adapters, mt76 drivers should be fine with these

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What adapter do you recommend with that chipset?

i did not use any, just saw them available, thus won't give any further recommendations

@slh I am fully aware, thank you.

@psyborg I looked into them, they typically go for $20-something. However I don't understand if they are have proper driver support to work as AP or not.

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