How do I know if a Dual band USB WiFi dongle will work on a Raspberry Pi running Linux? I know that Linux must have a driver that supports the wifi chipset used in the dongle. But with the number of WiFi dongles available how do you choose?

  • 1
    Have you thought about buying from a reputable supplier such as The Pi Hut, Pimoroni, Adafruit, Element 14, RS Components etc? You may need a powered usb hub though - Ralink RT5572 devices can suck power link nothing else (other than HDDs)! – user115418 May 22 '20 at 2:49

You can find a detailed list of supported RPi USB Wi-Fi Adapters.

If you have the USB/WiFi dongle available you can look at its valid interface combinations with iw list. For example on a RPi 4B you will find:

--- snip ---
valid interface combinations:
     * #{ managed } <= 1, #{ P2P-device } <= 1, #{ P2P-client, P2P-GO } <= 1,
       total <= 3, #channels <= 2
     * #{ managed } <= 1, #{ AP } <= 1, #{ P2P-client } <= 1, #{ P2P-device } <= 1,
       total <= 4, #channels <= 1
--- snip ---

Here you will find how much channels are supported by a particular interface combination. For a more detailed discussion of this issue you can look at Can RPi4 run simultaneously on dual band (WiFi 2.4GHz / 5GHz)?.


You can check on wiki.kernel.org for supported Drivers and his supported PHY modes : A/B/G/N/AC

  • 802.11 B/G work on 2.4GHz Band and 802.11 A/AC work on 5Ghz Band so it's Dual Band.

  • 802.11 N have : single-band 2.4 GHz equipment (the oldest), dual-band adapters (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) or dual-radio: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz simultaneously.

I'm confuse with 802.11n for my answer. But I think if 802.11n is in the supported PHY modes, 2.4GHz and 5GHz Bands should be supported by the driver.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.