One of the many features laptops lost as they became thin and easy was ports. This is a lot more apparent when looking at Apple ’ s MacBook cable, which only has Thunderbolt 3 ports on them, but the tendency has hit Windows-based PCs, excessively .
Ethernet ports, which allow you to connect your laptop directly to a WiFi router or cable modem was one of the beginning to go. Yes, laptops have WiFi, but you ’ ll get a faster and more reliable association by using a cable television. Computer companies aren ’ thymine going to start adding ports back to their machines, so the best solution is to get a USB network arranger .
These adapters generally have a USB plug on one end, and an Ethernet larboard on the other, so you regain the ability to connect your laptop to a electrify network. Another type of USB network arranger is a WiFi antenna, which connects to your computer ’ sulfur USB port and allows it to connect to a wireless network. Those adapters are good for background PCs, which may not have a WiFi circuit board build in, or a laptop with a flaky wireless connection.
Whatever you needs may be, we collected the best USB network adapters that allow you to use the internet more promptly and efficaciously .
What You Need to Know Before Buying a USB Network Adapter
There are many factors to think about when choosing the correct usb network adapter for you ; below are the most crucial ones, which we considered while we were researching this list .
Wired and Wireless: As we mentioned earlier, USB network adapters come in two variations : one terminates into an Ethernet port, so you can plug your computer into a cable modem or WiFi routers ; the other terminates into an antenna that sends and receives WiFi signals .
Extra ports: USB net adapters are sometimes bundled into an accessory called a “ hub, ” which features many different types of ports. Hubs bring back extra functionality lost as computers got thin and lighter, and allow you to connect more external accessories — think flare drives and SD cards — to your computer at once .
Size: You may need to take your USB net adapter with you all the time, so we made sure most of the ones in this guide are pocket-friendly. If you ’ re only using it in one identify, you can use a larger hub, which will have more ports .
Compatibility: All of the USB network adapters in our scout workplace with both PCs and Macs. If you ’ ra connecting it to a MacBook released after 2016, you may need a USB-A to USB-C adapter to plug it in .
Speed: The biggest reason you ’ ll will want a USB network adapter is to increase your calculator ’ mho internet amphetamine. Our wire picks all have Gigabit Ethernet ports on them, which have a maximum amphetamine of 5Gbps ( gigabits per second ). Our wireless clean has a maximal travel rapidly of up to 433Mbps ( megabits per second ). Both of those speeds are fast adequate to stream 4K video, download mod video recording games, video recording chat with your friends, and surf the web without concern .
1. Cable Matters USB to Ethernet Adapter
If you need a solid, single-use USB network arranger, cable Matters has you covered. The pocket-size adapter weighs one snow leopard, and has a three-inch USB cable that terminates into a gigabit Ethernet larboard. A little LED on the acme of the adapter lights up when it ’ s plugged in, and two LEDs on top of the Ethernet port signal when a net is detected and data is being transferred .
The only downside is that this USB network arranger doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate have any extra ports, indeed if you ’ ra looking for a multi-use accessory, this international relations and security network ’ t a great pick .
Pros: This little, lightweight arranger can turn one of your USB ports into an ultrafast Ethernet port .
Cons: It doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate have any excess ports .
cable Matters USB to Ethernet Adapter
2. Anker 3-Port USB HUB With Gigabit Ethernet Converter
Anker ’ sulfur USB network arranger does more than just help connect your computer to the internet. It has a gigabit Ethernet port on one goal, and three USB-A ports on the top. You can use the USB ports to connect extra accessories — a flaunt drive, camera, and your call, for case — while maintaining that firm, wired connection .
This arranger has an LED fall on top that lets you know when it ’ s work, and billow protection to keep your accessories safe in case of a power spike. It doesn ’ t have separate LEDs that flash when it ’ randomness connected to a network or transfer data though .
One boastful way this USB network adapter stands out is that it doesn ’ t have a USB cable attached to it. Anker includes a 1.6ft USB-B to USB-A cable in the box, but you ’ rhenium unblock to use another one if you ’ d like. This means you can get a USB-B to USB-C cable to connect the adapter to a more advanced calculator, or get a cord that ’ randomness longer or shorter based on your needs .
The flexibility lets you customize how this arranger fits in with your computing setup, which is great, but it besides means you can leave your cable behind and be stuck. This feature will either be a major asset, or electric potential downside depending on the situation .
Pros: Anker ’ sulfur USB Network adapter has three USB-A ports on top, so you can connect multiple accessories to your computer at once. Its USB cable can be swapped out to better fit your machine or computing apparatus .
Cons: It doesn ’ thyroxine have LEDs to let you know when it ’ mho connected to your net, and its external USB cable can get lost if you ’ re not careful .
Anker 3-Port USB HUB With Gigabit…
3. TP-Link USB WiFi Adapter
If you want to add WiFi to an older machine or a calculator with a flaky wireless connection, TP Link ’ s WiFi Adapter is a bang-up choice .
The antenna plugs into one of your calculator ’ mho USB ports, and allows it to connect to any radio network. This adapter ’ mho greatest strength is that it supports 802.11AC, which is one of the latest versions of WiFi technology. It allows the antenna to reach speeds of up to 433Mbps — over five times the maximum of the previous interpretation of Wi-Fi, 802.11N. Beyond faster speeds, this newer version of the WiFi standard besides has importantly better range than the older one .
TP-Link ’ randomness network adapter can connect to WiFi networks using the 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz frequencies, which makes it compatible with any Wi-=Fi router. For the best results, choose a 5.0Ghz connection if your router supports it ; there ’ mho less hindrance from radio phones and other gadgets on that frequency .
The lone real downside to using TP-Link ’ south arranger is that it does add a fair sum of bulk to your computer. The antenna may get caught in your peripheral vision, or need to stick out at an awkward angle to work efficaciously. That said, if your computer has an older WiFi nick in it, or no WiFi at all, it ’ s wholly worth that modest annoyance .
Pros: This USB network arranger supports a newfangled version of WiFi, and can work on 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz frequencies .
Cons: The antenna does jut out from the side of your computer .
TP-Link USB WiFi Adapter
4. Twelve South StayGo
The ultimate USB network arranger in our guide is Twelve South ’ second StayGo, a multi-port hub that can connect a advanced computer to precisely about any accessory .
This hub has a Gigabit Ethernet port, three USB-A ports, an HDMI port capable of outputting video at 4K, an SD circuit board slot for reading memory cards, and a match of USB-C ports. One of those USB-C ports needs to be connected to your computer, but you can connect the other one to your computer ’ randomness power adapter, and charge its battery while this hub is connected .
Although this hub connects to your computer via an external cable, it has a hollowed out part where the cord can stay when you ’ re travel, so you don ’ thyroxine lose it. The HDMI and SD Card proofreader are ports painfully missed on ultra-slim computers, and the ability to connect your computer to a high-resolution television receiver, memory tease, several accessories, and a cable modem at the same time is huge .
But speak of huge, this hub is larger than the single-use USB network arranger in our guidebook. It ’ s only 7.2 ounces, and under five inches long, which is compact given its features, but this is an accessary you ’ ll observe in a backpack, not in your bet on pocket. still, if you want to connect a modern laptop to a wire network, but want an arranger with a fortune of headroom, this is your best bet .
Pros: This hub allows you to connect to a wire network, SD wag, 4K television, and three USB accessories at the same time .
Cons: It is larger and bulkier than the single-use USB network adapters in our scout .
Twelve South StayGo