The Best USB Wi-Fi adapters For 2022

USB dongles are the bare way to add Wi-Fi to a personal computer or to upgrade an older laptop whose Wi-Fi is failing. They ‘re by and large low-cost, though of course price is proportional to the amphetamine and range you ‘ll get from any given dongle .
Though Wi-Fi 6 has been around for a good few years, there ‘s a amazingly limited choice of USB dongles. The huge majority digest the previous Wi-Fi 5 standard – besides called 802.11ac .
The confuse share is that Wi-Fi 5 dongles can be at least as fast – if not quicker – than Wi-Fi 6 models. sol do n’t expect an automatic pistol speed boost barely because you bought D-Link ‘s Wi-Fi 6 dongle. And, of course, remember that to use Wi-Fi 6 at all, your router needs to support this standard deoxyadenosine monophosphate well .
Some PCs do n’t have Wi-Fi at all, and that ‘s awkward if you do n’t want to use powerline network adapters or run a network cable from your router through your home to your personal computer in a unlike room. A USB Wi-Fi dongle is the answer, though you could go for a internal PCI-Express card if you wanted to. Whatever, make certain your personal computer is within Wi-Fi range of your router before buying a dongle or expansion wag.

To help you choose a dongle, we ’ ve rounded up some of the best adapters to buy, covering all budgets. And if your erstwhile ISP-supplied router is getting long in the tooth and you want to upgrade that american samoa well, hera are our recommendations for the best routers and mesh Wi-Fi systems, with Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 options for each .

Best Wi-Fi USB adapters


TP-Link Archer T9UH: Best Overall Wi-Fi Dongle

TP-Link Archer T9UH

  • Pros
    • Excellent speeds
    • Dock included
  • Cons
    • Not the best 2.4GHz performance

For most people, the T9UH is the best Wi-Fi upgrade ( or add-on if your personal computer does n’t have Wi-Fi at all ). It might not support the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard but that does n’t truly count against it because, in the disorderly populace of Wi-Fi, it actually offers faster speeds than D-Link ‘s Wi-Fi 6 arranger .
true, those are theoretical speeds, but the point is, Wi-Fi 5 dongles can offer just as fast real-world speeds as Wi-Fi 6 in many homes. not everyone has a Wi-Fi 6 router so far, nor adequate Wi-Fi 6 devices to truly benefit from some of the cagey technical school that the standard offers .
On a practical note, the Archer T9UH features a fold-out design which opens to around 150mm long. Unlike the multi-appendage approach of the Asus USB-AC68, this has a hinged edge to the body that can about fold in half .
The plan is for the dual-band antenna ( 2.4GHz @ 600Mb/s and 5GHz @ 1300Mb/s ) with 802.11ac AC1900 support .
As is standard now with higher-end adapters, TP-Link supports beamforming which delivers more consistent performance, ideal for streaming HD and 4K media content, and USB 3.0 is required because of the higher throughput, so you ‘ll get the best speeds if you connect it to a USB 3 interface, not USB 2 .
The T9UH besides comes with a dock that allows it to be connected far away from your personal computer or laptop. The dock ‘s 3m cable television means you can position the adapter in the ideal target, which is handy if existing Wi-Fi connectivity is spotty in your location .
Speeds are excellent on 5GHz when connected to a suitable Wi-Fi 5 router, but there ‘s not much point in outgo this much if your laptop already has Wi-Fi 5 ( 802.11ac ) Wi-Fi, or you ‘re going to use it so far away from your router that it entirely ever runs on the 2.4GHz band, where performance is much less impressive .

D-Link DWA-X1850: Best Wi-Fi 6 Dongle

D-Link DWA-X1850

  • Pros
    • Doesn’t obscure adjacent USB ports
    • Latest Wi-Fi standard
  • Cons
    • Not the fastest kind of Wi-Fi 6
    • Windows only

For exchangeable money to TP-Link ‘s T9UH, D-Link ‘s Wi-Fi 6 dongle offers slightly slower AX1800 speeds ( as opposed to AC1900 ) but the benefits of Wi-Fi 6 such as MU-MIMO and OFDMA. This is n’t the place to explain that jargon – you can read more about it in our Wi-Fi 6 guide – and the fact is, while they ‘re great to have, they do n’t very offer a lot in the way of real-world benefits – so far .
obviously, you have to have a Wi-Fi 6 router or mesh network for the DWA-X1850 to actually use Wi-Fi 6, otherwise it will fall back to Wi-Fi 5 or whatever standard your router used. And you ‘ll need to plug is into a USB 3 port on your laptop or personal computer to get the fastest speeds .
none of this means D-Link ‘s dongle is bad. It ‘s thoroughly value at this price, offers great speeds that will be army for the liberation of rwanda in excess of most homes ‘ broadband joining and is a good future-proof choice for when your home has lots of other Wi-Fi 6 devices in function .
For those in the know, AX1800 is quite a few steps down from the fastest Wi-Fi 6 speeds, but proper immediately you ca n’t buy a faster Wi-Fi 6 USB dongle : the DWA-X1850 is one of only a copulate in being ( the early being Asus’ USB-AX56, which is besides AX1800 and well more expensive ).

Do note that this works with Windows only – not macOS .

Asus USB-AC68: Best Wi-Fi 5 Dongle

Asus USB-AC68

Alongside the wealth of features that Asus has packed into the streamlined skeleton of the USB-AC68 adapter, there ’ sulfur besides the bonus of feeling like a secret agent on some covert mission thanks to the unfold design .
Plug the device into your personal computer then cautiously open up the twin red-antenna arms, or sit the arranger in the included desktop cradle, and it seems like you ’ re about to send highly classified information spinal column to Control .
adolescent fantasies apart, this Wi-Fi dongle that can bring your humble old laptop astir to the AC1900 Wi-Fi 5 standard. It has dual-band confirm for 2.4GHz @ 600Mb/s and 5GHz @ 1300Mb/s, 3×4 MIMO, and Asus ’ own AiRadar beamforming engineering to ensure a strong and stable connection to the network .
The USB 3.0 interface means you ‘ll not be slowed down by local data transfer rates – so make surely your laptop or personal computer has a unblock USB 3 larboard .
It ’ s a small bigger than some of its rivals, chiefly when the antennas are deployed, but at 100 x 30 x 20mm the AC68 is still little enough to put in your pocket .

Foktech Wi-Fi Dongle: Best Value

Foktech Wifi Dongle

  • Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Compact
  • Cons
    • Not the fastest

You might think we ’ ve included this one barely because of its hilarious name, but that ’ s only partially true. If you ’ rhenium looking for a humble, unobtrusive means to add basic Wi-Fi to your laptop, then the Foktech dongle is an excellent candidate .
It supports 802.11ac AC600, offering speeds of 150Mb/s @ 2.4GHz and 433Mb/s @ 5GHz. Because of this, it uses USB 2.0 as there ‘s no need to go any quicker .
This means it is n’t the fastest Wi-Fi dongle but as an cheap way to get on-line wirelessly, do some shopping, social media, and streaming video recording ( or making Zoom calls ) up to HD quality it will be fine .
The low price is of naturally the independent draw, as is the compress design that makes the dongle something you can leave plugged into your laptop without worrying about breaking it .
uracil readers ca n’t buy it under the Foktech brand, but can opt for the USBNovel dongle which shares the lapp design and features .

Netgear A6100-100PES: Best Value Big-Brand Dongle

Netgear A6100-100PES

  • Pros
    • Affordable
    • Compact
  • Cons
    • Relatively slow speeds

Another small-form adapters, Netgear is a well-established name in Wi-Fi routers and network. This diminutive construction houses antennas for 2.4GHz ( 150Mb/s ) and 5GHz ( 433Mb/s ) – that ‘s the Wi-Fi 5 AC600 specification .
Data transfer, then, is quite a bit slower than the fastest dongles out there and that ‘s why Netgear has gone for USB 2.0 rather than USB 3.0, but the inclusion of Beamforming+ gives the A6100 the ability to keep solid connections in challenging environments .
It ‘s low-cost, excessively, but not easily available in the US, deplorably .

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