Ubuntu 14.04 USB Wifi that works

Recently moved to an apartment in a new state, found local wifi that is open but my workstation desktop (HP Z600) doesn’t have built in wifi. So after some initial research I decided to get a USB Wifi adapter. I did some looking around to figure out what vendors had the best built in support as well as which adapters had drivers that would allow for monitor mode / packet injection. Much of the conventional wisdom was to buy the Alfa AWUS036H adapter. The reviews of the adapter were solid but I was only able to get it to work intermittently with Ubuntu with the built in 8187 drivers that are pre-installed. I tried building updated drivers but met build errors and gave up on that path. Ultimately I found there is a Frys electronics nearby and just picked up a few others to try.

The next adapter I bought was the TP-Link TL-WN727N. I plugged it in, turned on the workstation but the device wasn’t working. It was appearing in a lsusb log but that was it. Since I bought three I pulled the next one out of the box to see if I’d get lucky and I did. It was the TP-LINK TL-WN823N

After plugging it in, it immediately was detected and working within seconds. I’m going to return the others and stick with this one. I don’t know if it will support aircrack-ng or not, but at least now I have working wifi.