The reason I must try to use the Pi as a Wi-Fi adapter rather than the one I currently use for Windows 10 (Netgear A6200) is not even close to compatible with GNU/Linux or *BSD. Ubuntu will recognize my access to the internet when I went though two days of installing different drivers for the A6200, and after logging in I would need to issue the following commands to see networks:

$ sudo depmod -a
$ sudo modprobe ndiswrapper
$ sudo service network-manager restart

How I tried fixing it

  • I setup the Raspberry Pi to be a router because my current router only supports WPA-WPA2(PSK) and Ubuntu will not connect to that.
    • Ubuntu will connect to the Raspberry Pi Wifi which is secured with WPA only.
    • The Pi is 100% able to connect to the secured (main) network with WPA-WPA2(PSK).
    • Due to needing to connect to the Pi, on Ubuntu when I do finally get it to connect I am only getting ~10-39Mbps whereas when connected to the main network on the Pi I can get 100Mbps.
  • Using the A6210 Driver found on Github
  • Praying

My Question

Can I use the raspberry pi 3 model B as a USB wifi adapter that plugs directly into my computer (and have it work "out-of-the-box")? If so, how do I tell Ubuntu and FreeBSD to use the adapter that is located on the Pi?

Disclaimer: I apologize if there are any spelling or grammar mistakes, and will correct them if/when I see them.

  • To be honest. WiFi USB adaptors are damn cheap. You can get one for less than $5. So why wasting time and using much more expensive equipment that won't give you the speed nor the convenience as a real dumb wifi adaptor.
    – kwasmich
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 9:12
  • @kwasmich I was planning on going to purchase a TP LINK adapter when I start getting paid again, just started a new job and have to wait a couple weeks for pay and was just looking for something to use in the meantime. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 9:15

1 Answer 1


No, for several reasons. The most notable is that only Pi Models without a USB Hub (Notably Pi model A, A+ and Zero and Zero W) can be backpowered through the usb Port. Also to my best knowledge only Pi Zero's USB port can be used as an OTG port to use it as a USB gadget. As there is a ethernet gadget available which emulates a NIC over the USB port to access the Pi. So with a Pi Zero W you might be successfull if you configure it as a bridge between WiFi and ethernet.

  • I have seen some guides on using the Zero W as a wifi dongle. Would an ethernet to ethernet connection work from the Pi to the PC? Sorry if this is a silly question, I am new to networking and hardware in general. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 9:12
  • Yes, in general this would work on a Pi 3. But it is rather clumsy, not that easy to setup and you won't get the full speed anyway. I'd suggest to spend $5 on a usb wifi dongle.
    – kwasmich
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 9:14

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