by Tech Zag | Last updated October 28th, 2020
Our modern age is desiring wireless technology more and more as the time goes by. And the top place in this list holds Internet supporting devices. Wi-Fi (wireless Internet) has become the major Internet provider. Our smart phones and tablets have built-in Wi-Fi chips. But not all laptops and PCs have this privilege. The best USB WiFi adapters are the solution to this problem. And to help you find the best USB Wi-Fi adapters in town, we give you our list of the top picks. But before you start your search, you should have a good understanding about a USB Wi-Fi adapter.
What is a USB WiFi Adapter?
A best USB WiFi adapters is an alternative solution to Wi-Fi chip. If your laptop or PC do not have a Wi-Fi chip, you can attach a Wi-Fi adapter and they’ll start receiving signals from your Wi-Fi router. You don’t need to use standard ethernet cables. These adapters are usually in the form of a USB so practically every computer on the planet supports them. They are not small in size so you have to compromise your laptop’s appearance.
Which Best USB WiFi Adapters To Choose?
There are a lot of companies that provide best USB WiFi adapters. So knowing which is best for your PC could be difficult. There are certain things to look for while purchasing a Wi-Fi adapter such as band width, coverage, and speed. Moreover, Wi-Fi adapters vary according to their usage. For example, there are Wi-Fi adapters for gaming and Wi-Fi adapters for browsing. Best USB Wi-Fi adapters for gaming are designed to provide HD display and smooth running with fast uploading speed. While Wi-Fi adapters for browsing are suitable for quick webpage or website uploads and smooth running of videos without pausing after every 5 seconds.
This list of the 10 best USB Wi-Fi adapters is a must read before you go searching the perfect one for your PC.
Top 10 Best USB WiFi Adapters 2020
|NET-DYN AC1200 USB 3.0||1200Mbps||Windows|
|ASUS USB AC68||1900Mbps||Windows|
|Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 WUSB6300||867Mbps||Vista/XP/7/8/10||ac|
|D-Link Systems AC1900||1300Mbps||Vista/XP/7/8/10||ac|
|OurLink 600Mbps AC600||433Mbps||Windows|
|TP-Link Archer T1U||433Mbps||Windows|
|Anewkodi 600Mbps||600 Mbps||Windows|
|Netgear Nighthawk AC1900||1300 Mbps||Windows|
This USB Wi-Fi adapter is a dual-band wireless adapter that gives an amazing experience of Internet browsing as well as gaming. It is rated 4.2 out of 5 stars with 950+ positive customer reviews.
Net-Dyn AC1200 is compatible with both Windows and Mac computers. It is an outstanding choice for adding Wi-Fi to any computer. This adapter utilizes both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidth. It’s 5GHz gives an all-HD experience with gaming and standard 2.4GHz is perfect for Internet browsing and watching online videos. The Net-Dyn is able to reach and cover an area of around 100 yards while it still offers its fastest connection speed. Reaching speeds up to 300Mbps, the addition of 802.11n connectivity guarantees a future-friendly purchase.
It takes only a few minutes to set up this device. You just have to plug the Net-Dyn into your computer, install the drivers (Windows only) and connect to the Internet. Supported by all WLAN routers, there are WPA/WPA2/WEP connectivity options, which ensures the Net-Dyn works with just about any Internet provider in your country. Additionally, Net-Dyn comes with a lifetime warranty along with routine software and driver updates.
- Dual band width of 5GHz and 2.4 GHz
- Covers an area of about 100 yards
- Supported by all WLAN routers.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Speed reaching upto 300Mbps
- Bulky adapter.
ASUS is known widely for its amazing network equipment. While the Taiwanese maker has a bunch of routers in the market, it also makes Wi-Fi adapters to go along with it. If you’re not satisfied with the built-in Wi-Fi adapter on your laptop or computer, getting this is could be a wise choice. Using this will convert your notebook/PC into an AC1900 supporting network. The design of the adapter is quite interesting, as it has dual internal antennas combined with ASUS’ AiRadar beamforming technology.
Further, it comes with a cradle like hardware meant to extend the connection for some desktops. This can be handy if the USB port on your computer is located towards the back. For laptops, however, it is recommended to plug in the device normally. The company promises that this increases Wi-Fi speeds by up to 300% compared to older generation N900 adapters, which is surely promising. This adapter will surely give you a neat experience of fast Internet browsing and smooth gaming.
- Dual band width of 5GHz and 2.4 GHz.
- 600Mbps at 2.4Ghz and 1300Mbps at 5GHz.
- Comes with 3 position external antennae and dual internal antennae
- Dual internal antennas combined with ASUS’ AiRadar beamforming technology.
- Heavy on the pocket
Panda Wireless PAU06 was released in 2014. It has a 4.2 out of 5-star rating on Amazon, thanks to both a fantastic price tag and stellar performance. Upgrading any computer to the future-friendly 802.11n standard means the max data rate can reach up to 300Mbps on the connection. Additionally, there’s backward compatibility with the 802.11g on the 2.4GHz band which ensures a stable connection regardless of your Internet service provider.
It is based low power technology, hence, the Panda works to keep itself in the background so it does not take up too much of your laptop’s battery. Beyond battery, a WPS button works to connect the computer and PAU06 quickly without a headache for the user. The Panda is compatible with Windows 10, as well as Mac OS and various Linux systems. State-of-the-art security standards are also in place to provide the user with peace of mind through 128bit WEP, WPA and WPA encryption standards.
- Quick and easy setup.
- Utilizes low power technology which doesn’t drain your laptop’s battery.
- Stable Internet connection.
- Has state-of-the-art security standards
- Pocket friendly
- Small coverage.
Released in 2013, the Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 WUSB6300 Wi-Fi adapter is considered the one of the best gaming adapters. It outstandingly passes test of time with stellar performance and lightning fast gaming speeds. Featuring speeds up to 867Mbps on the 802.11ac 5GHz network or up to 300Mbps on the 802.11n 2.4GHz band, the Linksys is more than ready for multiplayer gaming at any hour of the day. With support for any 802.11ac routers, access points and extenders, the Linksys also supports up to 128-bit encryption through WEP, WPA and WPA2 standards. In short, Linksys provides remarkable security standards.
The Linksys works with all Windows platforms, including Windows 7, Window 8 and Windows 10 for maximum use cases both in the home and office. Beyond gaming, the 1200Mbps max speed is perfect for Netflix or Hulu HD video streaming, which makes it an ideal choice for the whole family. While it might be one of the older options available, the WUSB6300 still out-performs more current options and is an excellent choice for gamers that’s priced just right.
- Features speed up to 867Mbps on the 802.11ac 5GHz network or up to 300Mbps on the 802.11n 2.4GHz band.
- Supports up to 128-bit encryption through WEP, WPA and WPA2 standards
- Pocket friendly
- Fast and stable performance
- Doesn’t support Mac OS.
The four-antenna design of the TRENDnet TEW-809UB adapter might look a little “too much” for some buyers, but it’s definitely more than meets the eye. The powerful antennas offer high-end features such as beamforming technology that excel at handling multiple Internet users connected at the same time without interfering with network performance. The antennas are independently adjustable, so you can fidget with each one to effectively increase range in your house or workplace.
It is capable of providing speeds of up to 1300Mbps on the 802.11ac standard or up to 600Mbps on the 802.11n standard. The inclusion of the latter allows for the TEW-809UB to remain future-proofed for years to come. While it might be mistaken for a router in appearance, its range rivals that of some routers (you can bank on more than 100 yards of distance before signal degradation).
- Provides speeds of up to 1300Mbps on the 802.11ac standard or up to 600Mbps on the 802.11n standard.
- Utilizes beamforming technology
- Provides coverage upto 100 yards.
- 4 adjustable antennas to improve and increase range of your house or workplace.
- Bulky adapter.
- Often mistaken as a router.
D-Link Systems AC1900 has been rated as the best for its unique design. Released in late 2014, the D-Link Systems AC1900 Ultra Wi-Fi USB 3.0 adapter bares a striking resemblance to the Death Star in Star Wars. The orb-shaped adapter connects to your computer via a proprietary three-foot USB cable. At 3.2 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches in size, the D-Link might be better-associated size-wise with a baseball or tennis ball to give a good idea of just how “large” it will be on your desk. Awesome design aside, the D-Link provides up to 1300Mbps performance on a 5GHz network and up to 600Mbps on a 2.4GHz network. The flexible technology allows the D-Link to be backward compatible with 802.11/n/g/a networks.
The D-Link has advanced D-Link’s SmartBeam (aka beamforming) technology that improves coverage by directing network signal straight between a router and the DWA-192 adapter. Additionally, the inclusion of USB 3.0 transfer mode allows the user to transfer data more than 10x faster than USB 2.0 performance. All in all, while it’s a little on the pricey side, it’s definitely worth it.
- Unique design.
- Possess beamforming technology.
- Allows the user to transfer data more than 10x faster than USB 2.0 performance.
- Provides up to 1300Mbps performance on a 5GHz network and up to 600Mbps on a 2.4GHz network.
OURLINK 600Mbps AC600 is one of the best browsing adzapters in the market. It provides dual band wireless network at 150Mbps in 2.4GHz or an even faster 433 Mbps over 5GHz. You can easily switch between 2.4GHz (for standard browsing) and 5GHz (for HD video streaming) bands to maximize your Internet experience. The additional 802.11ac Wi-Fi accesses the Internet with lightning speed and with a stronger connection than previous generations.
It’s very easy to install the setup. Simply install the driver from the included CD. After the driver is installed, you can use the built-in wireless utility in your operating system to connect to a wireless network.
Whenever there is only wired Internet connection, you can activate the SoftAP function after installing the included CD software, and create a Wi-Fi hotspot for other mobile devices.
The mini-sized adapter is designed to travel with your laptop. Its lightweight and simple design almost goes unnoticed when inserted into USB drives. Plug and play for win10, works with High Sierra 10.13 as well.
- It provides dual band wireless network at 150Mbps in 2.4GHz or a faster 433 Mbps over 5GHz.
- Easy to carry.
- Doesn’t support MacOS.
TP-Link has made quite a name for itself in the wireless world now-a-days. As expected, this offering from TP-Link can offer speeds of up to 433 Mbps. It makes use of 802.11 a/c, meaning it’s incredibly fast from the get go. You can stream HD videos at remarkable speeds without needing to wait for buffering.
TP-Link Archer T1U is easy to plug in. Using it is incredibly easy and shouldn’t take too much time. The design is also somewhat peculiar, as the company has gone with a tiny exterior. This means it can be easily lost if you’re not careful. It only transmits signals on the 5 GHz bands, which is necessary to avoid interference from other networks. The TP-Link Archer is pocket-friendly, making it an incredibly attractive offering.
- Offers speeds of up to 433 Mbps
- Lightweight and easy to carry.
- Doesn’t have dual band width. Only transmits signals on the 5 GHz bands.
- Easy to lose due to it’s tiny exterior.
The ANEWKODI AC600 is a powerful adapter providing stellar performance and speed. It utilizes dual band width and gives you 433Mbps connection at 5GHz radio or 150Mbps connection at 2.4GHz radio with your Wi-Fi router. Its High Gain Long-Range 2dBi Antenna brings you a tiny way to get speedy next generation Wi-Fi connections.
With AC600 wireless AC adapter, you can shift between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands to avoid interference and have optimal Wi-Fi Internet connection for your PC, laptop or Mac. You can use the more clear 5GHz Wi-Fi band for on-line streaming of HD video, gaming, music, photo; and use 2.4GHz band for web surfing, online chatting.
It has adjustable & detachable omni-directional antenna which provides high performance and increased coverage for your wireless network.
It can provide up to 600Mbps Wi-Fi speeds on 5GHz (433Mbps) or 2.4GHz (150Mbps) bands that reduce freezing and lags when streaming and gaming.
It’s very easy to install too. Just run the setup CD that comes with the adapter. Once you’ve run the software, you can simply insert the adapter to get connected.
This best USB WiFi adapters works with any Wi-Fi routers. You can upgrade your PC, laptop or Mac to work with the latest AC Wi-Fi router for faster speed and extended range.
ANEWKODI USB Wireless Network Adapter supports Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista (32-bit/64-bit) and Mac OS 10.4~10.12.1. It also comes with 12 months warranty so you can rest easy with your purchase.
- Utilizes dual band width and gives you 433Mbps connection at 5GHz radio or 150Mbps connection at 2.4GHz
- Its adjustable & detachable omni-directional antenna provides high performance and increased coverage for your wireless network.
- Works with any Wi-Fi router.
- Supports both Windows and MacOS.
- Comes with 12-months warranty.
- Bulky adapter.
The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 best USB WiFi adapters offers you a dual-band 802.11n connection, which means amazing performance and speed. It gives you speeds up to 600Mbps on a 2.4GHz band and 1300 Mbps on a 5GHz band. It’s compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10, as well as Mac OS X 10.8.3 or later.
All of these features are exactly what you’d look for and expect in a Wi-Fi adapter, but the extra feature that sets it apart for this slot on the list is the ability to both plug it directly into your laptop like a thumb drive and the ability to use an included extension wire and stand to set it upright like an antenna to improve signal.
This is great because you can toss the versatile device alone into your laptop bag for on-the-go Wi-Fi compatibility, and leave the stand doc at home to increase your signal when you’re at your desk.
This practically versatile adapter comes with one of the best features in affordable price.
- It’s dual band width gives you speeds up to 600Mbps on a 2.4GHz band and 1300 Mbps on a 5GHz band.
- Can be plugged in like a thumb-drive or converted into an antennae by using an extension wire.
- It’s compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10, as well as Mac OS X 10.8.3 or later.
- Complex setup
It’s not mandatory for a laptop or PC to have a built-in Best USB WiFi Adapters. All latest models now have a Wi-Fi chip in them. But users with old models can make their PCs and laptops up-to-date by attaching a USB Wi-Fi adapter. Wi-Fi adapters provide the same or even better internet speed than those of the latest notebooks or Macbooks. Wi-Fi adapters are available in many different types, sizes, and designs.
You can easily purchase one that’s suitable to your needs if you have a correct understanding of what you’re looking for. A good Wi-Fi adapter provides a good amount of coverage, fast streaming, and smooth gaming experience. Small Wi-Fi adapters are portable and easy to carry but bigger ones have a lot more features like beamforming and enhanced security protocols.
Our recommendation would be Net-Dyn AC1200 USB Wireless Wi-Fi Adapter. It provided a 100 yards coverage, has dual band width of 2.4GHz and 5 GHZ, and is affordable. It’s slightly bulky but the size can be easily disregarded considering it’s amazing performance and speed.