First, a few notes :-
- I don't know about ar9170usb, but ar9170 has been replaced by carl9170 driver long ago (since 10.04 I guess). Not that it is relevant to your problem, just a note
- NEVER use 'rmmod' unless you are absolutely sure what you are doing and what all it will affect. Instead, use modprobe -r command. Short description of 'why' is that rmmod doesn't care for dependencies or load/unload sequence and may even crash system due to this. On the other hand, modprobe -r is just a smart way of handling rmmod. It also unloads the dependencies in correct sequence, and returns error message if there is any problem in removing a module or any of its dependencies.
While kurt may be able to elaborate on this, the short answer to your questions is that Realtek/Atheros are chip manufacturers and the name indicates which manufacturer's chip has been used on the wireless (or any card for that matter) module. It changes the whole thing about a problem and its solution, including applicable driver, available options that can be applied and methods to solve pertinent problems, if any.
Originally Posted by UncleAsriel
That said, please try a small parameter to your driver first, and let us know if it makes any difference -
Try to connect after running the above commands and post back the result. This is a temporary change that will be lost at reboot. If it seems to help, we can make it permanent.
sudo modprobe -rfv rtl8192cu
sudo modprobe -v rtl8192cu swenc=Y
EDIT: Beaten by kurt