Friday, March 6, 2020

Realtek 8811CU WiFi Adapter [Updated]

I was having some trouble with my auxiliary work computer connected to the home wifi.

A couple days of troubleshooting and I had some conclusions, and more suspicions.

The primary issue is all of my USB Wifi adapters run on 2.4G.

For some strange reason when the network gets congested, the 2.4G wireless get bogged down hard. To complicate things, Windows 10 Pro takes this personally. So much so that my secondary work computer crashed its network manager, then seemed to forget what driver it needed for the wifi adapter.

I switched adapers and even computers and was able to duplicate these findings.

Android devices, would eventually crash, then immediately connect to the 5G network.

I performed the same tests with Linux (Xubuntu 18.04) and got it to disconnect and reconnect once under heavy network load.

(To perform these tests simulating "load" and network traffic, I had 5-6 devices running an Ookla SpeedTest at the same time on the 2.4G network)

Tests on the 5G side of the network worked fine. With several devices running, speeds slowed, but were still usable and no crashes or disconnects.

One conclusion that is reasonable is that my router may have an issue with it's 2.4G network.

As previously stated all my USB Wifi adapters are 2.4G.

I could order a new router, but this is a good one, and just a little over 12 months old. A newer, faster one would be $175+ and the budget cries when I think about it.

The new work contract I was looking at involved using Windows and making voice calls, so I HAD TO use my secondary computer to isolate myself from the rest of the house.

Time for new USB Wifi adapters... but cheap, affordable.

For $8.99 I was able to get a Realtek 8811CU 2.4G/5G USB Wifi adapter shipped to the house.

Boom! Plugged in, drivers, it worked beautifully.

I restarted the PC into Xubuntu (Linux) and there were no drivers, at all. The accompanying driver disk was useless. No drivers or help on the website, none in 'buntu Software Center or Synaptic Package Manager.

Google rendered this

There is a preface in the beginning to make sure you have "Make", "GCC", "Linux-Header", and "Git" installed first. These were easily accomplished by typing "sudo apt-get install..." into a terminal window for each

except Linux-Header.

It was not available, nor was it needed, apparantly, because the instructions worked fine without it for me in Xubuntu 18.04.

Did you see that?

The instructions worked.

That never happens, ever.

It's these adventures that cause me lost hours, lost wages, endless searches and forum questions, they all end in heartbreak and a great disdane for an operating system and its so-called "support community".

But not this time.

This worked.

It actually worked.

I am so happy!

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Yep, it works great...

...until you run updates.

Then it stops working.

To remedy this, I had to grab an old 2.4G adapter, plug it in, then log into my Wifi network.

Leave the Realtek 8811CU WiFi adapter plugged in too.

Now, go to the Home folder. Find the folder named "build" and delete it.

Now repeat the steps in the weblink above, just like the first time.

Open a terminal window

mkdir -p ~/build
cd ~/build
git clone
cd ~/build/rtl8821CU
sudo make install
Shut off the computer, remove the old 2.4G adapter, start the computer and all is well...

...until the next kernel update; then you'll be doing this again.

Sad, but true.

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