Apple Mac OS 11: Big Sur compatibility update for ALFA AWUS036ACH & other Realtek based products
This applies to Realtek 802.11ac RTL8812AU based products including AWUS036AC, AWUS036ACH, AWUS036EAC, Realtek RTL8814AU based AWUS1900, and Realtek RTL8811AU based AWUS036ACS.
We do not have an official kernel extension update from Realtek yet, and thus ALFA Network is unable to make an official Big Sur driver for these products. BUT we did learn about a 3rd party github driver for these chipsets, and we have tried it on our Macs here, and the good news is- IT WORKS FOR US!
There are some caveats of course (please read all)-
- This driver is not released by nor has been tested by Realtek or ALFA Network.
- 3rd party software can conflict with other software or kernel extensions on your Mac
- This device has not been tested by us yet at length to discover issues related to sleep settings or other network settings.
- As with the Mac OS Catalina driver, you will need to disable SIP protection first
- We only have Intel Macs here, but comments on Github suggest it does NOT work with M1 chip based Macs, which makes sense because a lot of the driver framework is probably tied to Intel components.
THEREFORE- we strongly advise AGAINST using this driver if your Mac is your primary computer and mission critical. While we did not have any issues, our support team would not be able to recover your Mac if it failed to boot after the install of this driver, or assist with other problems that could occur on your Mac from using this. We suggest this driver only for developers who can recover from critical errors or know how to reload Mac OS. Sorry to sound so dire, but the last thing we want to do is suggest someone try a 3rd party driver and find out later it made their $2100 Mac unusable. So consider this homeopathic medicine and proceed at your own risk...
But if you are ready to download and install, you can get the install package here.
Also watch this video to see what you will be doing and also how to connect to a network after install (restart IS required after install).
We will continue to push Realtek for a kernel extension. Due to serious chipset shortages on the market, our understanding from our six degrees of separation from the powers that be at Realtek is they have a number of other more pressing and critical concerns, so the latest update from ALFA Network is the official software should be ready sometime in Q2 2021, which is April through June.
Did you test the driver out already? Give us your feedback in the comments below- be sure to post what hardware your Mac has or what version it is, so other readers can gain confidence based on the experience of others.