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I have several Pi 3's and an assortment of USB dongles for Wi-Fi.

The very-low-profile ones all seem to work fine.

But I am moving towards using external antennas for all of them.

The problem I am having is that even when they look identical in the listings (at the usual sources) I am finding that some work and some don't.

It is causing me to try to stick with the more-expensive usual source because of their gracious return policy. Without them I'd end up just keeping the ones that don't work to avoid the hassle, although I probably have spent more overall due to their higher prices.

My question is:

How can I tell if a particular USB Wi-Fi module is supported?

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You can check out a non-exhaustive list on the Pi's Wiki Page here.

As stated above this list does not include every single Wi-Fi adapter that will work with the Pi. But, all of the adapters on the list should work with the Pi.

other notable features of the list is showing whether a particular adapter works with certain operating systems and if the adapter has an AP or ad hoc mode for example.

Even better at the bottom of the page it lists all of the adapaters which have been reported to not work with the Pi. So if you are struggling to get an adapter working, you can see if it features on that list.

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