Back in 2019 I bought some of these things on eBay. I don’t know why, but my small cheap USB wifi adapters seem to walk off. Normally I hard wire network connections simply because it is more secure, but sometimes you are forced to use wireless.
In my office back on the farm I don’t care too much. I care more about it when I’m in corporate housing. Ultimately that is an apartment complex and anyone could be sniffing the wireless for your credit/identity information. With a hard wired connection at least they have to go all the way out onto the Internet to find it or to get into my computer.
Why am I praising a wifi adapter? Is it the greatest thing since sliced bread? No. Will it bring world peace or end global hunger? No. This little thing, without the end cap on, in the watch pocket of my blue jeans, went through both the washer and the dryer and still worked.
My line of sight Internet was down and I was playing games with my prepaid Verizon Jetpack to get Internet service. I needed to do things on various machines so I had a couple of adapters in my pocket. The more generic one of these adapters are the greater the chances they will work with Linux. Too many Chinese hacks making shit that only works on Windows.
Aparrently I forgot about this one in my watch pocket once I finished those tasks. Off through the laundry it went. A few days later when I put the jeans on again I felt something in the pocket and had a “what is this?” moment.
My first impulse was to just throw it away. Honestly, I almost didn’t even test it. I paid less than $10 for that thing and it didn’t have its end cap on so I was willing to bet it was junk. I don’t know why but I opened a terminal window and typed lsusb to get a list of USB devices on the machine. Hit return a few times and plugged this in. I gave the machine a minute or two while I was looking at email or something then I typed lsusb in the terminal window again.
I was shocked to see it listed. Even more shocked to see it still worked.
Some times cheap stuff can really amaze you.