Panda PAU09 N600 USB WiFi Works Fine With Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Peripherals on 24 April 2017. Page 1 of 2. 16 Comments

If you are in the market for a dual-band USB WiFi adapter, the Panda PAU09 N600 WiFi adapter works well on modern Linux distributions and will cost you just about $20 USD.

Recently when looking at WiFi adapters on Amazon I came across the Panda N600 dual-band adapter. In the market for a new USB WiFi adapter, I decided to order it with clearly mentioning a variety of Linux distributions on the title: "Panda Wireless PAU09 N600 Dual Band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wireless N USB Adapter W/ Dual 5dBi Antennas - Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Mint, Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora, CentOS, Kali Linux and Raspbian." The Panda Wireless page goes on to mention many versions of Linux Mint, Ubuntu from 13.10 and newer, Fedora 20 and newer, openSUSE 13 and openSUSE Leap 42, CentOS 6.5 and newer, Lubuntu 14.04 and newer, Zorin 8.1/8.1, Kali Linux, and Raspbian.

A few years back I also posted about another Panda WiFi adapter that worked fine with Linux, the PAU06. So I decided to go ahead and buy the PAU09.

The Panda PAU09 has been working out fine in my testing thus far with both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz WiFi networks, various forms of security, and hasn't given me any Linux issues with my tests under Ubuntu 16.04+ and Fedora 25. Inside is a Ralink WiFi chipset supported by the rt2800usb driver.

So while I wasn't expecting particularly much out of a $20 USD WiFi adapter, this unit has been working out well. Its external 5dBi antennas are quite large and provides much better reception than the older PAU06. In fact, the range has been comparable to the internal Intel WiFi cards on some ultrabooks tested with the three different WiFi networks here at Phoronix.

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