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Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
You have two options for wireless adapters: PCI or USB-type. Read further to know more about the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
As one of the most common ports available in almost any device, USB-type adapters are extremely convenient in terms of compatibility and installation. Wireless adapters with USB dongles are plug and play, meaning there's no need to install wires, add a LAN card, or purchase a new access point.
The trade-off is that it sacrifices a bit of performance for convenience. A USB 2.0 adapter can only offer a network speed of up to 60Mb/s, while a USB 3.0 can reach up to 640Mb/s. This is an important factor to consider, especially if you'll use your device for tasks that consume a lot of bandwidth.
Contrary to USB-type wireless adapters, Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) and Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PIC-E adapters) can perform at better speeds at more or less the same price. This is because they come with multiple antennas and spatial multiplexing for increased range and data delivery.
Perhaps the only disadvantage of these types of adapters is that they require a bit of technical know-how to install. You'll need to pry open your computer and install it on your device's motherboard. This is doable with PCs, but with laptops, you might be better off with a USB-type adapter.
Another thing to consider when purchasing a wireless adapter is its wireless networking standard. All routers use the 802.11 standard, but whether it uses the 802.11b or 802.11ac will determine the transmission protocol that your router supports. To ensure compatibility, ensure your router's standard is the same as your adapter's.
To date, the 802.11ac standard, also known as WiFi 5, is the fastest and most reliable wireless network standard available. This is usually recommended for users who are looking for high-speed and stable internet connectivity. Though WiFi six is the latest standard, it is still not widely accessible yet, especially at midrange prices.
Which wireless frequency is best for you will depend on where and how you use your WiFi. Most appliances use 2.4GHz as they can transmit data farther at lower speeds. Get this if you are far from the router or need a larger coverage area and can do without high-speed internet.
On the other hand, if your activities require a high data rate, such as gaming and videoconferencing, then an adapter with a 5.0GHz band is for you. It can deliver faster speeds but only within a short range. If you're living in a small space without that many walls, a 5.0GHz adapter is the better choice.
Choosing a good wireless adapter might seem difficult in the beginning. Nonetheless, bear in mind that you need to pick an adapter that can meet high-security standards. Otherwise, your network will be at risk from hackers or malware. Unless proper measures are taken, just about anyone can easily access the wireless network.
There are three primary security standards for wireless connections: Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Wi-Fi protected access - Pre-Shared Key (WPA-PSK), and WPA2-PSK. Among the mentioned wireless security standards, the best connection is the AES in WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK standards.
Aside from looking at the stability, you should also consider getting a wireless adapter that offers better speed. As of writing, WiFi 6 has already arrived on the wireless adapter created by D-Link. This is a revolutionary connection in a compact form factor that could provide speeds up to 1,200Mbps.
Couple that with the fastest USB standard of USB 3.0, and you got yourself a powerful wireless adapter. However, bear in mind that the adapter can only receive the fastest wireless signals that the router can allow. In other words, if the router can only deliver wireless N, then you can only get wireless N speeds.
If the wireless adapter supports AOSS (a one-touch connection/installation method), it’s possible to perform a pairing between the master and slave units with one push of a button. Of course, don’t forget to make sure that the wireless network holds a secure connection.
If it doesn’t support AOSS, don’t worry; there are now plenty of wireless LAN adapters that support plug-and-play installations. In other words, all you have to do is stick the device in an appropriate USB port, and it’ll mostly do all the heavy lifting of the installation for you. You might still have to input the correct password to the network before you can access it.
Ultra-small wireless LAN adapters are useful for tight spaces. Otherwise known as Nano units, these tiny wireless adapters allow you to bring it just about anywhere you want. All you have to do is plug it into the USB port, and you’re good to go. The small size is a recommended choice for bringing in additional wireless power to laptops.
On the other hand, if you want to receive a wireless signal from a faraway source, you might want to get an adapter with a built-in antenna. The additional element allows the device to increase its range when acquiring radio signals from a source. Wireless adapters with antennas are ideal for desktop computers since they are meant to be installed on stationary devices.
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PCE-AX3000 Dual Band Adapter
Transmits Data 2x Faster at a 4X Wider Range
Mini Wireless N USB Adapter
An Adapter That Works on Both Old and New Windows OS
Wireless USB WiFi Adapter Receiver
Compact Adapter With Extended Range and Performance
AC600 Nano Wireless USB Adapter
A Reliable USB Adapter With a Compact Design
Wireless N150 WIFI Dongle
Your Basic Wireless Receiver
Wireless Network Card With Bluetooth
Enjoy Powerful Transmission and Wide Coverage in Open Environments
300Mbps Wireless USB Adapter
Optimum Performance Even From Afar
2-in-1 Bluetooth and WiFi Receiver USB Dongle
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connectivity in One Device
Wireless N PCI Express Adapter
Increase Bandwidth and Functionality With This Versatile Adapter
High Gain Wireless USB Adapter
Offers Good Range at a Budget-Friendly price
If you have the budget and want to go all out, then this dual band adapter from Asus is the way to go. It has above-average specs such as WiFi 6 support, ultrafast 3000mb/s transmission rate, and Bluetooth 5.0 compatibility. The price is steep, but you're definitely getting your money's worth with this device.
What makes this wireless adapter a cut above the rest is that it can deliver more than twice as fast internet speed even with crowded networks. Plus, it can reach up to 4 times the coverage, besting the range of most wireless adapters. This means it can work flawlessly for a wide range of devices placed around your home.
In case you still have older versions of Microsoft’s OS installed, then you might want to start giving it the gift of wireless connectivity. Enter the TL-WN823N from TP-Link; this wireless adapter works on new and old Windows operating systems. It can work on Windows 10, 8, and 7, just to name a few.
Therefore, this product is the ideal choice if you want to make your old computer have wireless technology. Perhaps the best thing about this unit is its compatibility. It holds a USB 2.0 standard, and it only offers average wireless transfer speeds.
Maximizing your range is one of the primary goals of getting a wireless adapter, so a peripheral with an antenna is a great idea. The EDUP-1635 is an excellent wireless adapter that can deliver up to 600Mbps speeds, which utilizes your router's dual-band Wi-Fi for seamless connectivity while playing web games, video streaming, or just surfing the net.
For better and faster performance, its 5GHz frequency is available for your 5G-enabled devices. Catch the signal anywhere it may come from with the 360-degree rotation and 90-degree angle configuration of the antenna.
With a size that's similar to a wireless mouse receiver, the Archer T2U Nano AC600 is a joy to use. You canーliterallyーplug and forget this device upon purchase. For its diminutive size, you'll be enjoying high-speed Wi-Fi in dual wireless bandsー2.4 and 5 GHz. It also amplifies the signal it receives for faster performance and lag-free connectivity.
No matter where you are, the T2U Nano design won't be intrusive and an eyesore on your laptop. With its user-friendly interface and simple instructions, you can install the gadget on any computer in a breeze. Whether you're on a Windows or a Mac, you can never go wrong. Plus, it is made by one of the world's pioneers in consumer Wi-Fi technology.
One look at the DWA-123 Wireless Adapter from D-Link, and you’ll immediately notice that it doesn’t have a lot going on regarding its design. Well, you’re not looking for a wireless adapter because of its looks. However, in the case of this unit, its simplicity stems from its features as well.
Overall, this wireless LAN adapter works fine. It works as intended and will give users decent wireless transfer rates. It’s a bit sad, however, that it doesn’t offer much regarding features. On the plus side, it’s not that expensive. If you’re a fan of D-Link products and would want a Wi-Fi USB adapter from the brand, then this should be on your next shopping list.
The next product on our list is a wireless network card that can deliver high-speed internet over a wide coverage area. With two external antennas, expect smooth and stable data reception. Additionally, since it is capable of both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz frequencies, you can stay connected no matter where you are in your home.
Aside from that, this network card also supports Bluetooth 4.0, which is not common with wireless adapters at this price range. Overall, this is a powerful device to have if you're looking for an internet adapter that has broad coverage and above-average transmission rates.
Another highlight is the brand's one-touch connect system. If you have a compatible router, a simple press of the button and you're device will instantly connect to the network. It works stupendously well, even if it's far from the router, so users can enjoy a speedy and secure Wi-Fi connection.
TP-Link is a renowned brand for manufacturing high-quality wireless networking devices. Aside from the usual USB-type adapter, this PCI express adapter is the perfect addition to your PC. Though it uses 2.4GHz frequency, it can provide up to 150Mb/s of connectivity for an incredibly fast upload and download rate.
The high bandwidth can be attributed to its omnidirectional and detachable antenna that can be adjusted to accommodate different environments. The only disadvantage with this wireless adapter is that it is a bit of a hassle to install compared to USB types. Once you've installed it, though, you're good to go!
The budget-friendly sector in the wireless adapter industry can be unforgiving. Thankfully, the guys over at TP-Link didn’t skimp out on providing a great user experience with their TL-WN722N Wireless USB Adapter. This device won’t put a dent in your wallet, and it even comes with a high-gain antenna.
The antenna lets you receive wireless signals at a better rate than using an adapter without the element. Its wireless transfer rates are pretty decent, but it can only accommodate the 2.4GHz band. Nonetheless, it’s still a reliable choice for anyone looking to let their computer receive wireless signals from a faraway router.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by the mybest team.
Connect your wireless adapter by simply plugging it into your laptop or PC's USB port. Some adapters require you to install the adapter directly into the motherboard, in which case you'll have to refer to the product's manual or visit the brand's website for detailed instructions on how to install it.
Wireless adapters allow you to connect your computer to the Internet without the need to plug in any cables connected to your router. Though most devices nowadays can detect wireless networks instantly, wireless adapters enable faster and more stable connections even with multiple actions done simultaneously.
To install a wireless adapter on your computer, you need to install certain drivers first unless the adapter is literally plug-and-play. If you're using Windows, it should automatically detect the wireless network and ask your permission to install it. For MAC users, you just need to go to settings and set up your Wi-Fi network before confirming your connection status.
Want to discover more products to improve your home or work wireless technology? Check out the latest items that could help you enhance your working environment. Here are some of the articles to read about.
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1: Asus | PCE-AX3000 Dual Band Adapter
No. 2: TP-Link | Mini Wireless N USB Adapter | TL-WN823N
No. 3: EDUP | Wireless USB WiFi Adapter Receiver | EP-AC1635
No. 4: TP-Link | AC600 Nano Wireless USB Adapter | T2U Nano
No. 5: D-Link | Wireless N150 WIFI Dongle | DWA-123
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When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
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