Best USB WiFi Adapters that Make Gaming Easy

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Are you a gaming freak who can be glued to the screen and toggle with the console for hours, to the extent of even forgetting to grab a meal? Well, there’s a high probability that most of you avid gamers have already bought or already checked out USB Wi-Fi adapters online. These devices, available on various online portals today, easily overcome the challenges of routers and modems.

Not just gaming enthusiasts, many movie buffs today are looking for incredible wi-fi speeds to stream the latest flicks from their favorite portals. The best bet is to rely on some of the latest WiFi adapters in town. Many of these products, manufactured by both reputed and not-so-famous brands have surpassed the abilities of yesteryear modems and routers.

We closely examined some of the best USB WiFi adapters today and have included a few cutting-edge inventions of recent times. Rather than invest in just any USB Wi-Fi adapter in haste, we suggest you go through this list to figure a product that best fits the bill.

Our Top 3 Picks

Product Image
Editor’s Choice
NET-DYN USB Wireless WiFi Adapter,AC1200 Dual Band, 5GHz and 2.4GHZ (867Mbps/300Mbps), Super Strength So You Can Say Bye to Buffering, for PC or Mac, for Desktop or Laptop
OURLINK 600Mbps mini 802.11ac Dual Band 2.4GHz/5GHz Wireless Network Adapter USB WI-FI Dongle Adapter with 5dBi Antenna Support WIN VISTA,WIN 7,WIN 8.1, WIN 10,MAC OS X 10.9-10.13
Most Powerful
BrosTrend 1200Mbps Long Range USB WiFi Adapter for PC, Desktop, Laptop of Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP, MAC, 2.4G/ 5GHz, w/ 2 X 5dBi Antennas, USB 3.0 Cradle
Size
3.5 x 1.2 x 0.5 inches
5.4 x 4.4 x 0.8 inches
5.4 x 4.4 x 0.8 inches
Weight
0.48 Ounces
2.4 Ounces
2.4 Ounces
Editor’s Choice
Product Image
NET-DYN USB Wireless WiFi Adapter,AC1200 Dual Band, 5GHz and 2.4GHZ (867Mbps/300Mbps), Super Strength So You Can Say Bye to Buffering, for PC or Mac, for Desktop or Laptop
Size
3.5 x 1.2 x 0.5 inches
Weight
0.48 Ounces
Product Image
OURLINK 600Mbps mini 802.11ac Dual Band 2.4GHz/5GHz Wireless Network Adapter USB WI-FI Dongle Adapter with 5dBi Antenna Support WIN VISTA,WIN 7,WIN 8.1, WIN 10,MAC OS X 10.9-10.13
Size
5.4 x 4.4 x 0.8 inches
Weight
2.4 Ounces
Most Powerful
Product Image
BrosTrend 1200Mbps Long Range USB WiFi Adapter for PC, Desktop, Laptop of Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP, MAC, 2.4G/ 5GHz, w/ 2 X 5dBi Antennas, USB 3.0 Cradle
Size
5.4 x 4.4 x 0.8 inches
Weight
2.4 Ounces

Best USB Wi-Fi Adapter Buyer’s Guide

ProductDimensionsSizePrice
Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter4.7 x 1.8 x 0.9 inches2.4 OuncesClick Here for Price

Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 Wireless USB 3.0 Adapter

6.1 x 5.3 x 2.4 inches4 OuncesClick Here for Price

OURLINK Wireless Network Adapter

5.4 x 4.4 x 0.8 inches2.4 OuncesClick Here for Price

BrosTrend 1200Mbps Long Range USB Wi-Fi adapter

9.8 x 4 x 0.7 inches2.4 OuncesClick Here for Price

ASUS USB AC-68 Dual-Band AC1900 USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Adapter

1.2 x 0.7 x 4.5 inches1.6 OuncesClick Here for Price

TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual Band Wireless N900 PCI Express Adapter

2.6 x 2.6 x 0.1 inches0.16 OuncesClick Here for Price

NETGEAR N300 Wireless USB Mini Network Adapter

0.6 x 1.3 x 0.3 inches5 OuncesClick Here for Price

NET-DYN AC1200 USB Wireless Wi-Fi Adapter

3.5 x 1.2 x 0.5 inches0.48 OuncesClick Here for Price

Panda Wireless PAU06 300Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter

6.2 x 3.9 x 0.5 inches0.32 OuncesClick Here for Price

TP-Link TL-WN821N N300 USB Wireless WiFi network Adapter

8.2 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches5.3 OuncesClick Here for Price

 1. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USBClick Here for Price

If a few reputed brands known for their finesse in manufacturing USB adapters are to be recalled, Netgear would definitely be one of them. The brand’s latest invention, the AC1900 Wi-Fi USB adapter has got gadget freaks raving. Netgear had introduced several cutting-edge gaming routers in the past few years. And now, the manufacturers have transported the capabilities of these predecessor products to a relatively much sleeker USB adapter.

The feature that gives the AC1900 an edge over many similar products available on online platforms today is its impressive configuration. The Nighthawk offers exceptional speeds of 600 Mbps and 1300 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands respectively, thus, living up to its name.

The adapter is compatible with both Mac and 7, 8, and 10 versions of the Windows operating system, which is one of the reasons why it is highly preferred by gadget freaks today. So, if a device you own is powered by a Mac OS X 10.8.3 or its subsequent firmware versions, you don’t have to fret. This adapter can be bridged with the device seamlessly. In addition, it also connects seamlessly with almost any wi-fi router brand today, making it a favorite. The USB 3.0 feature included in the device is responsible for faster access.

As far as the design is concerned, the Nighthawk AC1900 includes a magnetic cradle that facilitates flexible placement. That’s not all, you can plug the adapter into a laptop port like a thumb drive and even set it upright to ensure better signal reception. The flexibility to extend or close it as per your needs makes this adapter quite portable, and you can easily stuff it into your bag during a commute.

The description so far has revealed several intricate details about the product’s technical capabilities, but what are the tangible benefits a user could experience, you may wonder. Well, significant improvement in HD video streaming, enhancement in network speeds, and elimination of delays during online gaming are a few.

        Pros        Cons
 Delivers internet speeds of 1300 Mbps and 600 Mbps on 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands respectively
Compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems
Frequent complaints of the installation software Netgear Genie failing to enable the USB 3.0 feature

2. Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 Wireless USB 3.0 Adapter

Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 WirelessClick Here for Price

Reputed electronic goods manufacturer Linksys first introduced this device back in 2013. Over the past few years, the AC1200 has really stood tall against the test of time and created a benchmark of outstanding performance and lightning-fast processing speed that’s ideal for gaming.

This cutting-edge product offers impressive speeds of 867 Mbps and 300 Mbps on 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz network bands and is best suited for multiplayer gaming. Apart from being a gamer’s delight, there are many other facts associated with this device that would make you like it. The most important factor is being supportive of 802.11ac routers, access points, and extenders. In addition, the Dual-Band AC1200 also adheres with WEP, WPA and WPA2 standards, to accomplish 128-bit encryption.

The product is compatible with several versions of the Windows operating system, such as Windows 7, 8, 10, XP, and Vista. The additional perk of purchasing the Linksys AC1200 is that the manufacturers offer an easy to use CD setup wizard that is an effective guide in achieving this compatibility.

Of course, this product is ideal for gaming, but the 1200 Mbps network speed this Linksys device renders makes it ideal for streaming the latest flicks from platforms such as Netflix and Hulu. So, in a way, the Dual-Band AC1200 is holistic, since most members of the family can reap the dividends of its speed, not just the millennial game freak.

        Pros        Cons
Apart from an exceptional internet speed of 867 Mbps, the Linksys dual-band adapter offers high network security
Ideal for users who are seeking an adapter to stream the latest flicks from Netflix and Hulu
Network connectivity is inconsistent at times

3. OURLINK Wireless Network Adapter

OURLINK Wireless NetworkClick Here for Price

Its unparalleled ability to upgrade PCs to 802.11ac and being a product that delivers a speed 3 times faster than most wireless N solutions today makes the OURLINK device a game-changer. This latest invention of the brand has pushed the envelope in terms of progress in Wi-Fi technology, making it a boon for gamers and movie buffs looking to stream HD video.

At first glance, its sleek design may make you think it doesn’t look anything like an adapter. The uniquely chiseled product works with routers of all kinds and is compatible with several operating systems such as Windows 8.1, 10, Mac OS X 10.9 – 10.14 Mojave. This fact speaks volumes about how less rigid the OURLINK Wireless Network Adapter is, as compared to several other similar products that overwhelm you on online e-commerce portals.

If you are a Windows 10 user, then an advantage you have is that not even a few seconds are required to install this device.  All you need to do is just plug it in one of the ports of your computer and you are ready to play. The makers have included a setup CD and executing the software is the only simple step involved.

The adapter can deliver exceptional speeds of 600 Mbps on 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz respectively. The fact that the OURLINK device is dual-band, shields it against interference and ensures seamless connectivity with a range of Wi-Fi devices.

Easily the most noteworthy aspect of its design, this product’s antenna is easily its greatest strength. Powered by an 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, the Omni-directional dual-band antenna can be easily detached and offers increased coverage and stability.

        Pros        Cons
Adheres to the 802.11ac standard that’s at least three times faster than most wireless solutions today
The 433 Mbps speed the device offers over a band of 5GHz
Rare instances of signal drops for around 15 seconds

4. BrosTrend 1200Mbps Long Range USB Wi-Fi adapter

BrosTrend 1200MbpsClick Here for Price

Measuring around 9.8 x 4 x 0.7 inches, the BrosTrend Long Range USB Wi-Fi adapter has garnered several positive reviews from customers world over. When we delved deep into its configuration and inspected the capabilities of this product, we figured exactly why it was being hailed.

This invention of the brand has pipped several popular adapters, thanks to its incredible Wi-Fi speed. The data transmission numbers this unique product accomplishes are 867 Mbps and 300 Mbps for 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz WiFi bands.

The highlight of this product is its two 5dBi High Gain WiFi Antennas that ensure wider coverage and better signal reception. Such devices with dual antennas work wonders especially in suburbs and areas where foliage turns out to be a hurdle. Deployment and installation of this product isn’t too much of a task either since it is quite light and can be easily plugged to your workstations and laptops.

A key differentiating factor as compared to scores of Wi-Fi adapters you have probably found online is the gold-plated USB 3.0 feature. Yes, that’s right, this path-breaking enhancement is at least 10 times faster than USB 2.0 and ensures higher stability as well as seamless internet connectivity.

Apart from a range of benefits seldom found among devices of its kind, BrosTrend is also offering a 24-month warranty. In addition, as a customer, you can avail the refund and replacement options if the product delivered fails to meet your expectations.

The BrosTrend 1200Mbps Long Range USB Wi-Fi adapter has been hailed world over for its universal compatibility. It works perfectly well with a range of wi-fi routers and is supported by several operating system versions such as Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, Vista, XP, as well as MAC OS X.

Many, USB WiFi adapters are great in ensuring seamless Full-HD streaming of movies and your favorite videos, but not many deliver speed with the same consistency during the broadcast of 4K videos. This is the where the BrosTrend 1200Mbps Long Range USB Wi-Fi adapter triumphs. Its almost zero-lag ability to stream videos of such high resolution remains unparalleled. This fact also implies that the product is a perfect option if video calls are a part of your daily routine.

        Pros        Cons
A 24-month warranty
USB 3.0 feature steers this device ahead of many similar products manufactured by competitors
The product isn’t Linux-compatible, which is its biggest flaw

5. ASUS USB AC-68 Dual-Band AC1900 USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Adapter

ASUS USB AC-68 Dual-Band AC1900Click Here for Price

The brand needs no introduction and its reputation in itself is a testimony of the quality we could expect from its products. After scaling the peak of popularity among gadget freaks for its sophisticated laptops and a wide range of computer accessories, ASUS is now making waves for this adapter.

If you own a laptop that’s roughly even 5 years old and lags behind many new cutting-edge electronic products in terms of configuration, then this device can be worth an investment. The greatest ability of the adapter is instant upgrades of workstations and laptops to Dual-Band AC1900 Wi-Fi for extended coverage and higher throughput.

The product’s design is also an important aspect that steers it ahead of many adapters manufactured by competitor brands. Its two antennas, that bear an uncanny resemblance to the blades of a chopper, are foldable, and greatly enhance signal reception when plugged with laptops and workstation computers. Since the antennas can be folded, it makes the adapter quite portable, especially if you want to stuff it into your backpack for long journeys.

You might wonder why the makers have resorted to such a design and deviated from the traditional antenna norm. Well, the helicopter rotor-styled antennas serve a very important purpose, apart from merely appearing stylish to the eye. These blades can be easily rotated to an ideal angle to ensure greater reception. How many adapters you know can be tuned so effortlessly? This fact very well explains why the AC1900 is totally worth your money.

The powerful 3 x 4 MIMO design of the AC1900 USB 3.0 Wi-Fi adapter also supports AiRadar beamforming, which is a rare ability to be found among most adapters even today.

The integration of beamforming technology and the ASUS AiRadar capability of this product helps in achieving exceptionally good wireless connectivity. So, you can bank on this product even if you are in far-flung regions, miles away from the hustle and bustle of the cities for reasonable reception. The AiRadar beamforming capability ensures high power amplification as well as ASUS RF fine-tuning.

And of course, the USB 3.0 feature, which has now turned out to be a primary expectation of most customers, is the most noteworthy benefit of buying the AC1900. The USB- AC68 can be easily paired with laptops and workstations to enhance their performance. All you need to do is plug the device.

As compared to a generation of legacy N900 adapters, the AC1900 adapter increases Wi-Fi speeds by around 300 %. Not surprising though, this ASUS product is compatible with several operating system versions of Windows and Mac, which include Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, as well as Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, and 10.11.

        Pros        Cons
Extended coverage and high throughput
Integration of beamforming technology and the AiRadar capability makes this adapter capable of achieving great network connectivity
Not compatible with Windows 10. Complaints of the product failing to comply with the OS despite drivers being installed

6. TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual Band Wireless N900 PCI Express Adapter

TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual BandClick Here for Price

For several years now, TP-LINK has been the go-to name for Wi-Fi routers and hard drives, but the brand has surpassed the expectations of its loyal customers by introducing the Dual Band Wireless N900 PCI Express Adapter. The brand’s foray into Wi-Fi adapters had earlier created the buzz that it is going to be highly preferred in this sphere too, and this product has just proved this wide perception.

Although the vital components of the product don’t seem to be encapsulated like many popular adapters, this TP-LINK Express Adapter is quite durable and resistant to external damage.

As its name suggests, the Dual-band capability makes this adapter unique and differentiates it from several competitor products. This vital feature helps users stream HD videos seamlessly, and the express adapter also helps overcome unnecessary interference, which most devices of its kind fail to resolve.

All this while we’ve been discussing the technical capabilities of adapters but not many reveal much about the after-sales support aspect. This is a really important factor that determines a potential customer’s interest to buy the product. There have been many instances of products, even some manufactured by reputed brands, becoming dysfunctional or failing to live up to promises after purchase. The worst experience is to not find a representative from the brand you opted for to address your concerns.

The TP-LINK in-house support team is one of the best in the market today since most professionals from the firm customers can reach out to them easily any time of the day. These individuals also have a very good understanding of adapters. They are aware of the range of issues that usually crop up when adapters are continually used and can devise solutions that are accurate to the problem in hand.

The product includes three antennas that offer enough Wi-Fi signal reception to ensure your online gaming and video streaming is possible at lightning speeds.

        Pros        Cons
Brand reputation
Reasonable price
High signal reception makes it ideal for gaming and streaming high-resolution videos
Dual-band capability isn’t reliable and often leads to connectivity issues

7. NETGEAR N300 Wireless USB Mini Network Adapter

NETGEAR N300 Wireless USBClick Here for Price

NETGEAR is an awe-inspiring name, especially for those tech-savvy who are exclusively into wireless devices and are quick to find the latest gadgets in town.

The foremost factor that differentiates NETGEAR N300 from several other adapters is that it adheres to the IEEE 802.11 standard. Well, this fact is not a catchy feature that would instantly prompt anybody to head to the nearest store or that e-commerce portal to buy the product, but it’s an important quality for an adapter to possess.

In fact, this adapter belongs to the Wireless N family of adapters and is one of the first few of its kind, which implies it is a device way ahead of its time. 300 Mbps 802.11 has been widely considered to be the new wireless data transfer rate across the world. The aforementioned fact also implies that the router is quite futuristic and unlike many devices that turn obsolete over a time period, you don’t have to fret over whether the device is going to be relevant eventually.

The product offers a speed of 300 Mbps, which is much higher than most devices of its kind offer. So procuring this device means you can stream movies and videos at a much faster speed, as compared to the snail-paced internet we’ve dealt with over the years.

The Push ‘N’ Connect feature offered by the device, easily its highlight helps offer a secured wireless internet connection at the push of a button. NETGEAR also offers a Genie CD and a graphical installation guide along with this product which should help you set up the device in a DIY fashion without seeking the assistance of any technical expertise.

The NETGEAR N300 Wireless USB Mini Network Adapter measures roughly around 0.6 x 1.3 x 0.3 inches and weighs merely 0.16 ounces, which makes it one of the lightest devices of its kind. The product’s mini design is quite innovative and makes it more mobile.

        Pros        Cons
Data transfer rate of 300 Mbps
Innovative design, quite sleek and light
Installation guide and cd are offered by the makers
Push N Connect feature
Not much has been revealed about the product’s warranty

 8. NET-DYN AC1200 USB Wireless Wi-Fi Adapter

NET-DYN AC1200 USB WirelessClick Here for Price

Many customers have hailed this device for its exceptional speed and helping them overcome the internet connectivity challenges they had faced over the years, thanks to legacy modems and routers.

The Net-Dyn is an adapter compatible with computers that are powered by both Windows and Mac operating systems. The product can deliver incredible reception across 100 yards by harnessing the benefits of both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

Setting up the device isn’t too much of a task since all you need to do is plug the device into your computer and install the drivers. Boom! You’re good to go. The Net-Dyn AC1200 USB Wireless Wi-Fi adapter is also compatible with most WLAN routers available today, and adheres to WPA, WPA2, and WEP connectivity protocols as well. So, if you are a resident of the U.S, we can assure you this device works complies with almost every internet provider in the country, and can probably recommend it to others as well.

The inspirational factor that spurred the inception of the NETGEAR N300 Wireless USB Mini Network Adapter is communication among family members. Since NET-DYN is a business owned by a family whose various members live across various parts of the world, communication was a key aspect to ensure everybody’s on the same page, be it for business or personal discussions.

Thus, the organization understood how good internet speed is vital to help people connect seamlessly. This idea was the driving force behind each phase of the research and development of the NETGEAR N300 Wireless USB Mini Network Adapter.

A common problem associated with WiFi routers and adapters is inconsistency in signal strength across the vicinity of a building, especially your home. This NETGEAR product has been designed to ensure there are no WiFi dead zones across your home. So, be it your garage, bedroom or just any part of your home, you get the same signal strength, unlike how it was a few years ago.

While most adapter manufacturers offer warranties that span two or three years, Net-Dyn offers a lifetime warranty on this Wi-Fi adapter, which is a rarity. This could probably be considered one of the reasons why you need to opt for this unique product. Not just adapters, how many electronic gadgets of any kind have you come across that offer a lifetime warranty? This description very well explains the reason behind the product’s popularity worldwide and why this could probably be a great option for you.

        Pros        Cons
Ensures there are no WiFi dead zones across your home, unlike many other adapters
Adheres to WPA, WPA2 and WEP protocols
Lifetime warranty
Adheres to 802.11n standard, which isn’t desirable

9. Panda Wireless PAU06 300Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter

Panda Wireless PAU06 300MbpsClick Here for Price

This product is exclusively tailored for those of you looking for an adapter at a throwaway price. Although this device is easy on the pocket, there has been little compromise on its technical capabilities.

Apart from being economical, the Panda Wireless PAU06 300Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter harnesses the benefits of the low power technology to ensure a lot of energy isn’t consumed. So, even if you plug this device to your laptop, the battery’s not going to drain out within a few hours.

Adopting this product means an accomplishment of a data transfer rate of 300 Mbps. However, it is important to note that your computers have to be upgraded to the 802.11n standard, which is futuristic. The additional advantage of buying this product is its compatibility with the relatively backward 802.11g standard and the 2.4 GHz band. These aforementioned facts imply that irrespective of the internet service provider you have chosen, this product is going to work seamlessly and comply with each one of them.

As far as operating systems are concerned, the Panda Wireless PAU06 300Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Fedora, Mint, CentOS, and Linux. So, any assumptions of the device exclusively catering to the users of just one particular operating system can be laid to rest. Although many adapters of leading brands today possess this capability, there are hardly that comply as many versions as this Panda product. The device is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows OS variants such as Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.

In the wake of rising concerns of security breach world over, the manufacturers have left no stone unturned to ensure the adapter is less vulnerable to external threats. The Panda Wireless Adapter complies with 128-bit WEP, and WPA, which are encryption standards religiously followed all over the globe. By adhering to such benchmarks, the product has proved that its makers have done their best possible to ensure it is state-of-the-art. In addition, Panda has ensured that this product complies with Cisco CCS V1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 standards too.

If you think the list of benefits has just ended here, you are in for another surprise. Panda offers a 1-year warranty on this device that addresses any unforeseen complaints that may arise. If you think most Wi-Fi adapters today are expensive, the Panda PAU06 is easily your ideal option because it strikes an effective balance between price and technical capabilities.

        Pros        Cons
One of the most economic WiFi adapters available today
Compatible with several operating system versions
Adheres to several network security standards such as WPA and WEP
Gets overheated easily
Network connectivity is inconsistent

10. TP-Link TL-WN821N N300 USB Wireless WiFi network Adapter

TP-Link TL-WN821N N300 USBClick Here for Price

We couldn’t help but include this TP-Link device too in the list since this is another invention of the brand that has got gadget freaks raving. The uniqueness of this product starts with its design. The white case that encapsulates the components of this adapter is a head-turner in itself, and as we delve deep into its technical capabilities, the device surprises us even further.

In fact, all of you who own aesthetically-high mac devices, the white-colored TP-Link TL-WN821N N300 USB Wireless WiFi network Adapter would compliment the products you own.

Those of you in pursuit of a Wi-Fi adapter best suited for gaming and streaming, this could probably be your best find. In fact, the speed of 300 Mbps it offers makes it an excellent device for downloading large files in a short duration, and the product easily steers ahead of many popular routers of today. Apart from downloading, streaming, and gaming, this device could be your best bet in indulging in online communication, thanks to its incredible speed. Especially while interacting with individuals across the globe over VoIP platforms such as Skype.

The product adheres to the 802.11N standard, which is the primary reason largely responsible for its exceptional performance. The product looks quite sleek and just like any other USB drive, but encapsulated within are dual antennas that greatly enhance signal reception and data transmission.

A noteworthy accolade an earlier variant of this device garnered in the past was the “Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Wireless Adapters in 2017″, and since then there has been no looking back in terms of buyers and positive reviews.

TP-LINK offers a two-year warranty on this wireless adapter and its team is available round-the-clock for any kind of technical assistance. To curb any kind of dissatisfaction among its customers owing to poor product quality, the manufacturer is willing to refund the product’s amount unconditionally and even replace it.

        Pros        Cons
2-year warranty
Free 24/7 technical support
Impressive design
Not compliant with Linux -powered devices

 BUYERS GUIDE

Factors to Consider While Buying USB WiFi Adapters

The many online platforms today overwhelm consumers with several USB WiFi adapters that have received significant acclaim, often pushing one into a state of dilemma. However, these are some of the factors that must be taken into account before arriving at the big decision.

1. Speed

Undoubtedly the most important aspect to determine if a USB WiFi adapter is worth the money is its speed. Some of the adapters today are able to achieve speeds as high as 1200 Mbps, making several reputed routers and modems seem obsolete.

Ranging from 150 Mbps to exceeding data transfer rates as high as 1000, there are scores of USB WiFi adapters that are redefining standards of network speed. The choice of an adapter based on its speed is entirely dependent on your routine internet needs. If you are a gaming enthusiast or an avid movie buff wanting to stream movies or 4K resolution videos on a daily basis, then it’s better to opt for an adapter that delivers the highest speed possible.

However, if surfing alone is your vital activity on the internet, a device with a relatively low speed, of say around 300 Mbps should also suffice.

2. Frequency

Many adapters today offer incredible network speeds across 2.5 and 5 GHz bands. During your research of adapters, check if the device you feel is closest to ideal, complies with these two bands. If the device doesn’t, you have one strong reason as to why it should be skipped.

3. Dimensions

Online specification documents about adapters usually reveal their dimensions, which is quite important to know, since it reveals how compact the product is. A sleeker product is easy to install and would perfectly fit into any part of the home. It shouldn’t obviously be the sole reason to influence you into buying a particular product though.

4. Antennae

While several adapters have a single antenna appended to them, there are quite a few equipped with dual antennae that serve the purpose of wider coverage and better signal reception. It is better to choose products with two antennas for the same reason.

Adapters with two antennas could serve as the perfect resolve to those lag concerns usually associated with gaming. In addition, they are also perfect for eliminating delays in communication over videoconferencing tools such as Skype and Webex.

5. Range

Apart from the number of antennas, another parameter that plays a crucial role in determining the capability of an adapter is the range. Many USB WiFi adapters offer a range of at least 100 yards, and this distance has become a minimum expectation of several gadget freaks seeking these products.

A shortcoming of routers and USB WiFi adapters alike is that even though most of them offer a reasonably good range, signal reception has found to be inconsistent in certain areas. For instance, in the case of a house, while WiFi would work in areas such as living room, they often conk in certain regions such as the garage. Hence, it is important to research adapters to know if the signal behavior is consistent throughout a living space and lives up to the claim in terms of distance.

6. USB Standard

Apart from the data transfer rate, this is also another important aspect to check for while looking to procure a WiFi adapter. You must be aware of the USB 2.0 standard, which has been around for a while now. However, that standard has become a thing of the past now, and 3.0 is the new in-thing in USB technology that’s been garnering a lot of demand worldwide. So, not just dual antennas or high signal reception, such a USB standard also makes a difference. The 3.0 is a strong reason why many adapters have been able to achieve exceptional speeds in recent times.

7. Operating Systems Supported

Ultimately, the adapter you buy needs to be paired with your device, be it a laptop or a workstation. Investing in an expensive adapter is of going to be of little use if the product is Windows-compliant, whereas your laptop is supportive of Mac or Linux.

In our compilation, to the best possible extent, we have included adapters that are compatible with many versions of Windows, Mac, Fedora, as well as Linux. Hence, while glancing through the configuration or details about the technical specifications, this is an important checkbox to be ticked and speaks volumes about the rigidity of the device.

8. Security Protocols

Network security breaches have been on the rise since the past few years. Hence, manufacturers of WiFi adapters have been trying their best to adhere to new encryption standards to ensure no stone is unturned in shielding networks and consumer devices against external threats.

Many adapters manufactured by reputed brands comply with WEP, WPA, and Cisco network security benchmarks, so buying any such device assures that you aren’t vulnerable to risks such as hacking.

The degree of sophistication an adapter possesses is also determined by the transmission protocol it supports. For instance, many wireless routers adhere to 802.11 ac, which is responsible for the lightning-fast network connectivity ability. Any claim by a product of delivering the highest data transfer rate by adhering to a protocol such as 802.11b should easily be considered fake since this standard is relatively obsolete and is responsible for the shortest, slowest connection.

9. Price

After network speed and reception, price is probably the next most important aspect buyers consider before buying a USB WiFi adapter or any electronic good for that matter. Investing in a product manufactured by a reputed brand is worth the money, even if it is slightly pricey because quality and reliability are seldom compromised.

It is also vital to check if the product includes a warranty or a money-back guarantee for the price being quoted. Well, such an assurance that you would be compensated if a faulty product reaches your doorstep could make investments on a product less risky.

FAQs

1. What is the fastest USB WiFi adapter?

Many USB WiFi adapter manufacturing brands today are offering products that deliver exceptional internet speeds and coverage. Almost every brand is striving to produce WiFi adapters that pip the capabilities of many others, especially in terms of speed. The NET-DYN AC1200 Dual Band USB Wireless WiFi Adapter is one of the best devices around currently if you are seeking lightning fast internet to stream the latest flicks and also play the latest games without any kind of lag. By adhering to a 5G band 802.11ac standard, the product is able to deliver an incredible speed of 865Mbits/second.

Apart from lightning speed, this unique router has overcome a traditional problem, which is inconsistency in signal strength, as we had mentioned earlier. Unlike many other Wi-Fi adapters, the NET-DYN AC1200 Dual Band USB Wireless Adapter is resistant to interference from foreign devices, especially the cordless and Bluetooth-compliant ones.

2. Which WiFi adapter is best for gaming?

Almost every adapter that offers a speed of at least 300 Mbps is best suited for gaming and doesn’t cause inconveniences such as excessive lags. If you indulge in research of leading Wi-Fi adapters today, it is ideal to consider a product that is aimed at making gaming and streaming easier.

Well, to make this task easier for you we recommend the TP-Link TL-WN821N N300 USB Wireless WiFi network Adapter for several reasons. The primary reason being the brand’s reputation in engineering devices that have set great examples of network speeds, which many other manufacturers followed eventually.

The product also offers an incredible speed of 300 Mbps, which makes it a gamer’s delight. Leave alone gaming, such an impressive number also makes it ideal for downloading and streaming too.

3. How does a USB WiFi adapter work?

Most USB WiFi adapters available today are plug-and-play devices that are quite easy to install. It needs an initial setup though which hardly consumes any time. All you need to do is plug the device into one of the USB ports of your workstation or laptop and download the necessary drivers.

Of course, you need to ensure that all the necessary devices are connected to a network for USB WiFi adapters to work seamlessly. Before procuring such a product, a simple research to understand if it is compatible with the operating system installed on your workstation or laptop is an important activity.

4. Which is the best WiFi adapter for PC?

Most USB WiFi adapters available currently work seamlessly with both workstations and laptops, achieving speeds as high as 300 Mbps. However, if we are to pick a device, in particular, that would do wonders to your personal computer, then probably it would be OURLINK’s Wireless Network Adapter.

Compatible with the various versions of different operating systems, namely Windows, Mac and Mojave, the adapter manufactured by the brand can reach an incredible speed of 600 Mbps. These facts alone speak volumes about the brand’s capability and what one could expect from OURLINK’s latest invention.

5. Do I need a USB WiFi adapter?

The idea of procuring a USB WiFi adapter entirely depends on your needs and expectations in terms of internet speed.

The many wireless routers available today can be quite useful if your internet need is quite basic, involving just surfing and sending emails. However, if you are a gaming enthusiast or an avid movie buff looking to stream the latest flicks from your favorite portals, USB WiFi adapters could be better options to opt for.

Most of these devices today are able to accomplish data transfer rates as high as 600 Mbps, which is a perfect speed for gaming without any kind of lag as well as streaming videos. USB WiFi adapters could be the best devices to download heavy files in a short time period, as compared to the yesteryear internet connectivity options that required several hours.

6. Are USB WiFi adapters good for gaming?

Yes, USB WiFi adapters are some of the best tools to enable good network connectivity and ensure there’s no lag in gaming. Frames freezing often in the middle of interesting competitions due to poor network connectivity has been a big turn-off for gamers world over.

Most USB WiFi adapters today have been able to accomplish data transfer rates as high as 300 Mbps – a speed that was hard to imagine a few years ago. These devices have easily surpassed the abilities of even many popular routers today in terms of configuration, which is exactly why this is best suited for gaming.

TP-LINK, Netgear, and NET-DYN are a few brands known for their finesse in manufacturing USB WiFi adapters that deliver lightning speed and are kind of tailored to the needs of gamers. We suggest you indulge in a study to understand the capabilities of the devices they have manufactured recently and figure out for yourselves if they meet your expectations.

However, an important point to note is to check if your USB WiFi adapter is operating system-agnostic and is compatible with various versions of Windows, Mac, Linux, and Fedora.

7. Is PCI WiFi adapter better than USB?

USB WiFi adapters are relatively much faster than PCI. The most notable advantage of the PCI kind is that they are compact cards that can be integrated or rather embedded within the motherboard and don’t stick out, unlike USB WiFi adapters. Many users detest USB devices due to the inconvenience caused due to plugging them into the ports of their laptops and workstations, to the extent that they opt for the PCI instead. However, PCI cards turning obsolete across a time period, forcing consumers to think of upgrades quite often.

USB adapters have been the best upgrade options for those consumers who want to overcome the limitations of the PCI. Besides, wireless USB devices have been scaling new standards of internet speed consistently, which is why they are highly preferred over PCI worldwide currently to achieve unparalleled network connectivity.

8. How fast are USB WiFi adapters?

As compared to the traditional routers and modems, USB WiFi adapters can not just make your browsing faster, but help you download files and stream movies at lightning speed. While a few of these devices are able to deliver speeds of 150 Mbps, some adapters can even reach 300, which is really incredible. Such high data transfer rates, which have kind of become a norm among USB WiFi adapters, have made them highly preferred among the tech-savvy.

Conclusion:

We hope these detailed reviews of some of the most popular Wi-Fi adapters today have proved to be really useful for all of you. These devices have pushed the envelope in terms of Wi-Fi speed and have surpassed the abilities of several routers and modems of the past.

Although we’ve tried including a range of adapters with different capabilities in the list, NET-DYN AC1200 Dual Band USB Wireless WiFi Adapter has easily been our best find so far. Its ability to offer consistent internet speed at various points of a dwelling, across 100 yards, is really commendable. Well, the NET-DYN device is our recommendation, but in the end, it’s your opinion that matters the most.

We suggest you indulge in comprehensive research too to find a device that best suits your needs.

Last update on 2019-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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