USB Wifi adapters are marvelous devices that give just about anyone the ability to connect to the Internet, as long as they’re in range of an accessible Wifi signal. They also happen to be pretty ingenious inventions that can save the computer user time, effort and money. Unfortunately, few people take advantage of these devices, and fewer still use them to their full effectiveness.
Part of the problem is that some people don’t really give much thought to these devices when they’re looking to add Internet connectivity to their PC or laptop. Fortunately for everyone reading this, we have given the subject some thought and have come up with ten of the best Wifi adapters currently available, along with an article on the advantages these devices hold. We hope you enjoy it.
10. HiRO H50194 WLAN Adapter
This WLAN adapter comes with a 5dBi omnidirectional external antenna that allows it to connect to WiFi sources that aren’t as strong or are located further away from the adapter. This product has 802.11N capabilities and is capable of being used with just about any Windows system including XP, Vista, and Windows 7 through 10. It will work with either 32-bit or 64-bit windows systems and always delivers a stable connection. And since it’s small in size and is extremely lightweight, this product can be carried just about anywhere. This makes it great for anyone who needs to take it on the go.
9. Alfa Long-Range Dual-Band Adapter
This device is designed to deliver blazing wireless performance for anyone who needs to access huge amounts of data. This product comes with dual removable high-gain 5dBi antennas that allow this USB adapter to exceed the benchmarks of many of the wireless network cards currently on the market. This product provides WEP 64-bit, WEP 128-bit, WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK security standards and has full Plug & Play capabilities. Although this product doesn’t plug directly into a USB port but instead uses a USB 3.0 cable to connect to the PC or laptop, it’s still a convenient option that is sure to be appreciated for its data speeds.
8. Ourlink 600Mbps Mini Adapter
This subtle looking adapter can be used to upgrade PCs or laptops to 802.11ac, a Wi-Fi technology that can deliver three times the data speeds that Wireless N protocols could deliver. This makes this adapter a great choice for gamers or users setting up their own household cloud. It’s also useful for anyone who needs to stream HD movies. This adapter provides up to 600Mbps of WiFi speed on 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. This product is also Plug & Play compatible on Window 10 machines, but with the installation disc can be used on Window 7 or 8 machines, or on Mac OS X 10.9 through 10.13 machines.
7. Blueshadow USB Wireless Adapter
This tiny adapter is small enough to be taken virtually anywhere but is powerful enough to deliver great performance. This product has dual-band capabilities and supports a variety of security encryption standards including WFA, WPA, WPA2, WPS.20, and WAPI. It also supports a variety of systems including Windows XP through Windows 10 and MAC OS X 10.4 to 10.12. It supports IEEE802.11 n/g/b standards, as well as the latest 802.11ac standard. This product works with any WiFi router, so it can be easily be used by tablets, PCs, Macs, and other devices which can connect to the Internet through a USB WiFi adapter.
6. Plugable USB 2.0 Wireless N Adapter
This Nano-sized adapter is designed to keep a low profile and stay out of the way. This allows it to connect to the Internet without getting in the way of the user or potentially becoming broken by inadvertent contact with other objects. Even though it’s small, however, doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful. Although it doesn’t support 5 GHz wireless, it does support 2.4 GHz wireless on compatible 802.11n wireless N networks and delivers up to 150 Mbps. This makes it suitable for people who may not have brand new routers. And since it’s a low-cost USB adapter, users aren’t paying for features or Internet speeds that they don’t need anyway.
5. NET-DYN AC600 Adapter
Easy to set up and even easier to use, this AC600 adapter is ready to connect to any wireless signal. This product is supported by all WLAN routers and is capable of adhering to WPA, WPA2 and WEP security protocols. This product is also supported by Windows machines from Windows XP through Windows 10 and Mac machines 10.7 & 10.8. This dual-band adapter supports 5GHz connections at speeds up to 450 Mbps and 2.4GHz connections at speeds up to 150Mbps. All of which allows this small-size dongle to be an effective tool for laptops and desktops alike. It’s a great gift for any student and also makes a great stocking stuffer.
4. EDUP AC1200 USB 3.0 Adapter
When blistering Internet speeds are absolutely needed, then this WiFi USB adapter is ready to step up and be recognized. This product is designed to plug into a USB 3.0 port to deliver speeds up to 1,200 Mbps on 5GHz or 2.4GHz bands. However, it’s also backward compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.0 ports, although use on this ports will dampen performance somewhat. This device is compatible with Windows XP, 7, 8.1 and 10 machines, and is also compatible with Mac OS 10.6 through 10.12. Now users who want to improve their speed on the information superhighway can easily do so.
3. Inamax Dual Band WiFi Dongle
Not only does this WiFi dongle support fast Internet speeds but it’s made with an innovative design that makes it easy to carry and keeps it performing at its best. Not only is this device small, so it can be carried anywhere, but it also has small holes in it that help it to vent heat so that it doesn’t overheat. This allows it to deliver up to 433 Mbps on a 5GHz band or up to 150Mbps on a 2.4 GHz band. This makes it a good choice for anyone who loves video chatting, playing games online or streamed high definition movies off of the Internet. And it can easily be used on just about any Windows or Mac OS machine.
2. EDUP Wireless Dual-Band Adapter
Individuals who need to upgrade their personal computers to the 802.11ac standard can do so easily with this Wifi USB adapter. This product delivers speeds up to three times faster than wireless N speeds, which makes it suitable for anyone who needs high-speed Internet speeds for gaming of for streaming HD videos. It’s a dual-band adapter that can be used on almost all Windows and Mac OS machines. It also comes with a 2dBi external antenna that extends this adapters ability to pick up wireless networks which are further away from them. And since this adapter cost less than many comparable network adapters, it’s the perfect way to upgrade a PC or laptop.
1. JFONG USB 3.0 1200Mbps Adapter
There are a number of features which can be found on this high-quality USB WiFi Adapter. It plugs into USB 3.0 ports and can deliver blistering fast wireless speeds. This product is compatible with all Windows XP, 8, 8.1 and 10 PCs, and is also compatible with Mac 10.4 through 10.13 machines. This dongle has dual-band capabilities and comes with a 2dBi antenna to help pick up network signals that are located away from the adapter. This quality antenna can be adjusted a full 360-degrees, so it can be positioned in the best possible way for the best signal strength.
Advantages of USB Wifi Adapters
Although the Internet had existed for many years, wireless Internet wasn’t created until the FCC created it as part of a ruling during the mid-1980s. One of the first companies to take advantage of this technology was AT&T who used it for various systems. However, the term WiFi didn’t gain popularity until the end of the 1990s. It would be a few more years before the technology was perfected so that it could be effectively used for everyday life.
During this time, some people didn’t even think that wireless technology would become feasible for household use at all. For example, Leo Laporte suggested on TechTV that homeowners wire their home with ethernet cables for their computer devices. Little did he know that just a few years later, wireless Internet popularity would explode and begin to pervade every part of ordinary life.
While the popularity of the wireless Internet has expanded exponentially, the popularity of USB WiFi adapters hasn’t followed the same trajectory. And part of the reason these devices aren’t as popular as they should be is that some people don’t realize that they are a convenient way to add Internet connectivity to their devices. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why adding a USB WiFi adapter to a computer is a good option for almost everyone.
They Are Easily Used For Multiple Devices
Since these devices plug directly into an external USB port, they are extremely easy to use for multiple devices. If you have multiple devices that you don’t need to use all at the same time, then why buy multiple USB Internet adapters when you can simply pull it from the device you’re not using and plug it into the device you are using. Most PC and MAC machines have USB ports or at least support the technology, so it’s relatively easy to use them. And since these devices are usually easily recognized by most computer’s OS, then using them on multiple devices shouldn’t be a problem.
They Are Extremely Portable
Anyone who used the mammoth 2400-baud modems of the past knows that these devices weren’t very portable. That’s because these “bricks” took up quite a bit of space and were rather bulky. Fortunately, USB adapters are much smaller and are really portable. Not only can they easily be disconnected from the computer, but they can easily be thrown into a backpack, a handbag or even placed into a pocket. Therefore, they can be taken anywhere.
They Cut Down on Cable Clutter
With other Internet connection options, you have to run the computer’s network adapter to a router. Now, if the router is any distance away from the computer, this can result in running a pretty long cord between the two devices. Of course, even if the router is right next to the computer, then you still have to run a cable of some length. However, if you use an adapter, then you don’t have to worry about running a cable or carrying a cable along with your laptop. Since there are WiFi hotspots everywhere nowadays, you can simply plug your adapter into your laptop, and you’re ready to access the Internet anywhere, even at your local McDonalds or Starbucks.
They Eliminate The Need to Open Your Computer’s Case
If you want to add Internet capabilities to a PC that doesn’t have it, then you basically have two options. You can either crack open your computer’s case and either add a network card or a modem (do people still use those today?), or you can simply plug in a USB adapter. Anyone can see that the first two options can be somewhat problematic to many people who may not be familiar with installing hardware into their computer. But even people who are familiar with upgrading their computer, may not want to take the time or trouble adding an internal card when all they have to do is plug an adapter into a free USB port. The same is true if a computer’s internal network card either becomes outdated or stops working altogether. Why replace it when a USB adapter will do just as well as an internal card?
They Eliminate Having to Replace a Computer
PCs and laptops eventually become out of date. However, some people may still want to use these devices for office work or for other purposes. So why throw these devices into a landfill and buy a new one when you can simply upgrade the Internet capabilities of your current machine? These devices allow computers to continue to serve a purpose. And by the way, you should never throw a computer into a landfill, always make sure to properly recycle all of your electronics.