The new Raspberry Pi 3 finally has onboard wifi. But how is the internal module performing against external usb adapters? Are these required at all? Is it sufficient for Full HD video playback? Also, how does a case affect the Raspberries wifi signal?

These are questions I asked myself, so I decided to make a speed test with different usb dongles.


Test environment

All Wifi dongles were tested under exact same conditions. The distance to the router (TP-Link Archer C9) was about 7 metres with 2 walls inbetween.

Speed was tested with the network analyzing tool Iperf




Rank Product Transfer rate Link
1. Edimax EW-7612UAn (v2) 87,9 Mbit/s US UK
2. TP-Link WN822N (v3) 67,5 Mbit/s US UK
3. Edimax EW-7811UAC 50,7 Mbit/s US UK
4. Edimax EW-7811UN 45,1 Mbit/s US UK
5. Raspberry Pi 3 (without case) 43,7 Mbit/s
5. Raspberry Pi 3 (in plastic case ) 43,2 Mbit/s
5. Raspberry Pi 3 (in metal case) 37,4 Mbit/s

Plastic case = Offizielles Raspberry Case
Metal case = Scase Aluminiumgehäuse



I have to admit, that I let the Raspberry Pi 3 compete with pretty powerful Wifi dongles. Even though the Raspberry ranked at tle last place, it doesn’t mean the wifi performance is poor. The achieved 43,7 Mbit/s (5,4 Megabyte per second) is entirely sufficient for Full HD video streaming. As you can see, a plastic case doesn’t have any impact on wifi performance while a metal case throttles the signal a little , but still is usable.

So the Edimax 7612UAn remains on first place, which my old test using the Raspberry Pi 2 showed also. So if you need high transfer rates or you have a bad feeling about a bad signal due to high distances or obstacles on the way to the router, this dongle will serve you very well. 🙂

I guess most of you will probably be well served with the integrated wifi module, so you can invest the money in most cases somewhere else.



In case you prefer to buy your case on ebay, i created an extra list with my recommendations:


Case Recommendation
Edimax EW-7612UAn (v2) US UK
TP-Link WN822N (v3) US UK
Edimax EW-7811UAC US UK
Edimax EW-7811UN US UK