I bought TP-Link's TL-WN722N as an additional network adapter to use along with my laptop's built-in Intel-based network adapter.
The idea was to provide a second network (via an access point) for computers within my vicinity to connect to, in order to establish a home-grown private cloud for an academic project, but as with anything Realtek, things didn't go as planned.
After plugging in the Realtek-based adapter, the device was instantly
recognized and lsusb was able to list it, the appropriate driver1,
r8188eu was automatically loaded, and ip showed an entry for
it. iwd on the other hand just wouldn't list it.
I found mentions that some were able to get this device to work by
wpa_supplicant instead of
iwd, but I am not ripping out my
network stack for another just to get a network adapter to hopefully
systemd-networkd have been, in my experience, the most
reliable combination for network management and wireless connectivity
– I'm certainly not throwing that away because of Realtek.
The bottom line is that Realtek produces garbage - and you really don't deserve that.