USB Wifi antenna support


I have a few questions for my project. I want to create a wireless router, where the WAN side is also wireless via the USB port.

  1. Does anybody have any experience connecting a USB Wifi antenna with the RT3070 or RTL8188EUS chip set? Will I require additional drivers?
  2. It is not clear to me whether the GL-AR150 or the GL-MT300N is more suited for this project. They seem very similar to me.
On a separate note: If any Dutch person on this forum (Jan-Willem? Jeroen? Frietpan?) would like to connect, I would appreciate an email at because I could use some help on UI customization for this project. Unfortunately, this forum does not support private messages, so this is why I'm using a disposable email address here.

Thanks very much!

RT3070 should work with the stock firmware, no need to install additional drivers. For RTL8188 I think should be the same.

AR150 or MT300N has different chips and different number of IOs. If you only need to use additional radio, I don’t see too much difference.

I have a Realtec 8188E chip USB antenna, after plugging it in, what needs to happen for it to be used as radio1? In WISP (repeater) mode I’d like to bind the client wlan to that radio and leave the master wlan on radio0.

I do not know what drivers are loaded by default, but you need a driver and as USB is loaded I should think that’s it. The driver name should start kmod-rtl818xxxx… There are a few but none say 8188E, so you might have to try them all and may find none work.

If it works it should pretty much show up under Luci=> Networking=> wifi as Radio1. A partly supported device may show, but have problems connecting.

Unfortunately I have not found a good resource for Device\Driver that is supported in OpenWrt.

This is a good site to have for reference:

Hi, will the RT3070 work with AR300M-Lite?

should be OK. 3070 is mostly widely used chipset

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I have a USB RT3070 adapter working with my AR300M16-ext so very similar to your AR300M-lite but I am using a snapshot version of OpenWrt firmware, as I could not get both radios configured with the GL-iNet 3.105 code. There have been some posts that the GL-iNet firmware is not always friendly to USB WIFI devices. The USB adapter I am using is a Panda Long-Range Wireless N Adapter with dual Antennas (PAU08). On Amazon it costs about $10.00. Specs at:

The Panda USB adapter is much better then the internal radio with its two little antennas on my AR300M16-ext. In my neighborhood using the internal AR300M16-ext radio, I see about 8 APs, with the Panda USB adapter I see over 20. Looking at two APs in my house, the Panda USB adapter gives about a 20db improvement over the internal radio in the AR300M16-ext. I am using a powered USB hub between the AR300M and the Panda USB adapter, as I also am backing up my work to an external USB flash drive, so I need 2 USB ports. Once everything is working, I will test without the powered hub and flash drive.

The OpenWrt firmware I am testing with came from:

There is a bin file for the ar300m-lite in this directory.

I miss the GL-iNet interface, but for this use case, I will learn LUCI. I have not put this into production yet, but for testing the Panda USB adapter is connected and streaming data through an open Xfinity WIFI AP that I cannot see at all with the built in AR300M16-ext radio. I am using the AR300M16-ext internal radio for my local AP.


Thank you very much for your feedback.
I’m thinking about a bigger kind of outdoor antenna based on the RT3070 to mount on the outside of my van. Ideally this would be a single antenna capable of serving dual frequency ranges.
But the RT3070 seems relatively cheap and when I know it’s likely going to work – awesome!

So just install the OpenWrt and it recognizes the new radio on it’s USB? I will be regularly logging into new networks. Is that convenient via browser under OpenWrt → USB device?

The snapshot OpenWrt version is very stripped down, so you have to manually load the USB drivers and the LUCI interface. After installing the bin file, your router will reboot, and change its IP address to: Login to your router using the Ethernet port, with ssh (no password) to: root@

Once logged, load the network drivers and the LUCI interface. The commands I ran were:

opkg update
opkg install kmod-rt2800-lib kmod-rt2800-usb kmod-rt2x00-lib kmod-rt2x00-usb
opkg install luci

At this point you should be able to access the LUCI at, and setup your device.

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I’m afraid this is too advanced for me. :joy::roll_eyes:
I can’t run the update. My Win 7 laptop switches internet to network cable once I connect the router. Seems prioritising WiFi has no effect.
Then OpenWrt will not find packages of course.

I have spent days playing with this and I’m still not ready to put it into production. Working with OpenWrt is hard. I have read a bunch of their documents, web posts by many different people, and have watched a bunch of Youtube videos to get my configuration mostly working. OpenWrt is not simple, which is why I posted the request that the good people at GL iNet add USB WIFI support to the product.

Combability is the most difficult thing to do.

USB dongle vendors do not disclouse the chipset they use. They also make many models using different product ID even use the same chipset.

For dual band models new chipset may not yet be supported.

A lot of work to do and it is very costly to do then just building in wifi.

Can I download the updates to harddrive before connecting the network cable and then let the router install from there? How🙏?