UPDATE: Raspian has changed the WiFi interface, and the content of this article may not work on your Pi. Please see the final comment for instructions that work in the latest version. This post will be updated after I have a chance to test the new method thoroughly.
Just about everyone who has rode the Raspberry Pi wave in the last two years is excited about the possibilities presented by the new Raspberry Pi 2. With six times the processing power, it has the potential to turn a fun computer for experiments and hacks into a respectable piece of hardware that could almost replace a desktop computer.
But what if your desk is far from an Ethernet connection? What if you want to use the Pi in an isolated place to control security cameras or home automation? You’ll probably need a WIFI connection, but the Raspberry Pi doesn’t come with this capability built in.
The Plugable USB-WIFINT is useful in this situation. All you have to do is plug it in, set your network ID and password, and you are ready to roll. The same procedure should work with any WIFI adapter that uses the same Realtek RTL8188CUS chip set. It also works with any Raspberry Pi model updated to the latest version of Raspian. To get started, you’ll need your SSID (wireless network name) and the password for the network.
Connecting from the Graphical Interface
1. If you already have an internet connection, make sure your Pi is up-to-date by issuing the following commands:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Accept any updates and wait for them to be installed. If you don’t have an internet connection, you can do this after the adapter is installed.
2. Plug in your Plugable USB-WIFINT adapter. The red light on it should blink for a few moments.
3. On the desktop, click Menu > Preferences > WiFi Configuration.
A window titled wpa_gui will appear on the screen. You should see wlan0 in the Adapter field.
4. Click the Scan button to scan for wireless networks in your vicinity.
5. Double-click on your network in the scan results. A configuration screen for your network should open. Enter your network key into the PSK field.
6. Click Add, then click Connect on the main window. You should now be connected to WIFI.
If you have any questions at all, please comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re happy to help!