Install MediaTek / Ralink drivers on Debian

Affordable Mediatek aka Ralink Wifi USB adapters are available on Amazon and Ebay. Unfortunately they do not work out of the box on Debian. You have to connect the machine to ethernet and install package “firmware-misc-nonfree”.

This should work for the following adapters:

RT2561 (RT2501 / RT5201 chipset)
RT2561S (RT2501 Turbo / RT5201 Turbo chipset)
RT2661 (RT2600 / RT5600 chipset)
RT2760 / RT2790 / RT2860 / RT2890 / RT3090 (RT2700P[D]/RT2700E[D]/RT2800P[D]/RT2800E[D]/RT3000E[D] chipset)
RT2870 / RT3070 / RT3071 / RT3072 (RT2800U[D] chipset)
RT3071 / RT3072
RT2571W / RT2671 (RT2501USB / RT5201USB chipset)

To install, open a terminal window and type:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install firmware-misc-nonfree

That’s it! Restart the computer, and you should be able to connect to your wireless network.