Tp-link WN721N (v1.9) support

Hello, I saw a tp-link WN721N v1.9 for sale but was not sure to purchase it as im not sure if openwrt supports it and I came here to ask. From what i've seen in the other posts im fairly confident it will work but i'd rather ask first.

Check in the Table of Hardware...

After reading that, by the looks of it, it doesn't.

Isn't the WN721N an USB wireless adapter ? it won't be on that list.

Ngl, im very new to openwrt so I dont know whats supposed to be where, but yes it is a wireless USB adapter.

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Then it wouldn't be on the list, it's for routers, not wifi radios using USB.

Seems the unit is Atheros based, so it might be supported.

Gonna try it in that case.

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It's an AR9271 chip, which has excellent driver support. But it is only a bgn 1x1 radio.

…and it's not really great as AP either (I used one for years, not a good idea), as USB wireless cards generally aren't.

A seemingly unique feature of that chip/driver is when monitoring with Wireshark, it will report the actual speed / MCS that a packet was sent.

Well, it's one of the only atheros based untis I could find in my country and since international delivery is having problems due to current situations, I'd be unable to get one from another country.

To be clear, ar9271 is one of the best supported (in the sense of ath9k_htc) USB wireless cards existing, but it still doesn't work acceptably well as AP or in 24/7 operations; no USB wireless card does. Additionally the on-device RAM of ar9271 is very limited, allowing only a limited number of clients to connect to it in AP mode (4-8); this is a physical limit that can't be extended in software.

I've tried to use ar9271 (in form of a rev 1.0 or 1.1 tl-wn721n) as a second 2.4 GHz radio in AP mode on a tl-wdr4300 for a few years in the past - yes, it kind of 'works', but performance and especially reliability were 'not good™' (to keep it PG13)… Expect stalled connections, client not being able to reconnect, huge delays, it's not pretty. Any ~decade old OpenWrt supported lowest-end router/ AP can do a massively better job than any USB wireless card, these simply haven't been designed for these tasks (and accordingly their firmware isn't battle-tested for these purposes, which shows).

Do yourself a favour, skip USB wireless and get a second hand/ cheap ath9k (PCI/ AHB) based (or better) wireless router/ AP capable of running OpenWrt, even if you use them as repeater on the same radio the results will be considerably better than ar9271 or any USB wireless card. You can find the first useful devices with sufficient system specifications around 5-10 USD, if you'r patient - with new (low-end-) devices starting around 20 USD, either of these will do a much better job, better performance, better reliability, no fuzz.

I'd need the router to be fairly small as I plan on using it as a travel router (hence why i'm doing this on a Pi instead of my actual router) and I have doubts I can find one as small as a Pi that is also compatible with openwrt.

Disclaimer: don't own any myself and have never tested any devices from this vendor, but

GL.Inet gl-ar750s 'slate' would probably fit the bill, presumably there are more devices meeting the requirements - including cheaper mt7621a based ones.

Depending on where you live, $49.90 U.S. is a pretty good price for the Creta GL-AR750...

Its almost double the cost where I live.

Alright, so adapter just came in and I can confirm it works. Yeah that's about it.

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