Updated at: 05-05-2023 - By: Leo Hall

In this article, we’ll review and compare the best USB WiFi adapters so you can buy the right one for your computer or laptop.

It’s safe to say that demand for Internet access is increasing in every region of the world. Access to mobile Internet has increased rapidly in the United States in recent years. USB Wi-Fi Adapters and similar devices are now standard equipment for any home or office.

You can avoid the hassle of setting up a local area network (LAN) that can only connect to one Wi-Fi hotspot by using this handy gadget. Instead, you can just plug this into your mobile hotspot and start using it.

In 2022, the best deal you can get is the best USB WiFi Adapter. A WiFi adaptive USB device can help you connect to any access point, whether you’re at home or in the office. Numerous gadgets are available.

What Does a USB WiFi Adapter Do?

If your computer already has wireless capabilities, a USB WiFi adapter can replace them with a faster, more stable connection to your available network signals through the computer’s USB port. Laptops and desktops alike should be able to accommodate it, as most come equipped with a USB port. The fact that it can be plugged into any computer without additional software installation is an added bonus.

How Does a Wireless Adapter Work?

Types of Adapters

An antenna receives radio waves transmitted from a wireless adapter, and those waves are then transmitted to other devices. The electronic card can be connected to a desktop PC by inserting it into a PCI slot, plugging it into a USB port on the outside of the case, or connecting it to an Ethernet port with an Ethernet cable.

The best WiFi adapters of 2023 | Popular Science

The electronic card can be inserted into a PCMCIA slot or a mini PCI slot on the side of a laptop in place of a built-in adapter. The electronic card can be inserted into a device’s memory card slot, making it compatible with tablets and notebooks that lack an adapter port. The antennas on the desktop PCI cards protrude from the back of the computer, while the antennas on the other cards are contained within the card cases.

Wireless Standards

In order to function properly, wireless adapters’ radio waves must conform to one of the IEEE’s 802.11 broadcast standards. As of January 2013, 802.11n is the most popular standard, but some older adapter models still use the older “b” or “g” standards. All of the adapters adhere to these specifications, and they all transmit data over a 2.4GHz radio frequency band. The newer standards are supported by adapters as well as the older ones. It is anticipated that 802.11ac, a draft standard that can operate in the less-congested 5GHz radio frequency band, will be approved in 2013.


IEEE 802.11b, the first of the standards, defines maximum broadcast speeds of 11 Mbps. The latest adapters use IEEE 802.11g, which can transmit at speeds of up to 54 Mbps. Although adapters based on the IEEE 802.11n standard are capable of theoretically reaching speeds of 300Mbps, in practice they are typically slower due to interference and overcrowding in the radio spectrum. Because it operates in the 5GHz frequency band, the draft 802.11ac standard will be very fast and could theoretically reach 1Gbps. To delay the inevitable, a company can now buy adapters and routers that meet the 802.11ac standard.


The signals from your computer can travel up to 200 feet when using a wireless adapter. Anyone within range of your signal with a computer or laptop equipped with a wireless adapter can access your data. For companies concerned with keeping proprietary information and other sensitive data safe, wireless network security is a top priority.

Wireless adapters use encryption to keep their signals safe from prying eyes. Wireless networks can send and receive data securely with the help of WEP, WPA, and WPA2 protocols. These protocols require an adapter that supports them, but most do. While WPA2 provides the highest level of security, WEP does have its flaws.

Benefits of a USB WiFi Adapter

Using a USB WiFi adapter has many advantages:

  • Even someone who isn’t very tech savvy should be able to set it up without any problems.
  • Since you won’t have to hire a technician to fix your computer, or even worse, buy a brand new machine just to get better WiFi, this upgrade will save you money.
  • It breathes new life into a rusty computer by allowing for faster network speeds (with an AC adapter, you can even achieve MU-MIMO speeds, the fastest available as of 2016). Your home network may have been slowed down by your older computer’s slow connection speed; upgrading it will free up bandwidth for all of your devices.
  • Beamforming, which focuses WiFi signals from a router on specific devices rather than broadcasting them to a wide area, is also supported by AC adapters.

Considerations Before Buying a USB WiFi Adapter

There are a few things to consider even for a minor upgrade when shopping for a USB WiFi adapter:

  • Streaming media from Netflix or playing an online game requires a high data transfer rate, so make sure to get an adapter with 500 Mbps or more.
  • Find out the router’s security protocol. You can either check the router’s admin page or a device that is already connected to the access point to see what it is. Choose a USB adapter that employs the same protocol, be it WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), WPA, or WPA2.
  • Find out if the device can receive signals on one band or two. Dual-band adapters can connect to both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks, while single-band adapters can only connect to the 2.4 GHz network. The latter provides a more steady link and is superior at blocking out noise.
  • Verify that the adapter can be used with your PC’s operating system. The adapter’s packaging should specify which platforms it’s designed to work with.

How to Set Up a USB WiFi Adapter

To get started, locate a free USB port on your computer and plug in your adapter. If the computer does not detect the device and offer to install the appropriate driver, you can do so manually by inserting the device’s installation CD. After setup is complete, relocate the adapter to a spot where it will have clear line-of-sight to the router and will not be blocked by anything in the way.

Then, all you have to do to start surfing and streaming is hook up to the nearest WiFi hotspot. The new network adapter will increase your computer’s speed, and you’ll be pleased that you didn’t have to shell out a lot of money for a new machine.

List Of Top USB WiFi Adapter

Here is a rundown of the top USB Wifi adapters currently on the market:

  1. USB WiFi Adapter for PC by TP-Link
  2. USB WiFi Adapter 1200 Mbps by Techkey
  3. UGREEN USB 2.0 Network Adapter
  4. Wi-Fi Network Adapter, TP-Link AC600
  5. AmazonBasics Gigabit Ethernet to USB Adapter
  6. Adapter for USB Type-C to Ethernet, Uni
  7. Wireless Network Adapters with EDUP’s USB Wi-Fi Technology
  8. Wi-Fi USB Adapter with AC1200 Performance from NetGear
  9. Mini USB wireless adapter (Linksys AE6000)
  10. USB Wi-Fi Adapter for Edimax AC1200
  11. High-Power Dual-Band Wireless USB Adapter by TRENDnet

The TP-Link USB N150 can immediately begin working after being plugged in. Driver installation is followed by instantaneous host connection detection. This shortens the time it takes to get the device up and running. In terms of throughput, its 150 Mbps configuration is sufficient for voice over IP applications.

The TP-Link USB N150 features the highly secure WPA2 encryption protocol as part of its standard features. In addition, the compact size makes it simple to transport the equipment.


  • It boasts a speedy Internet connection of up to 1500 Mbps.
  • With a 24 GHz WiFi channel, this gadget provides excellent coverage.
  • Compatibility with Mac OS X and Linux is also available.
  • It’s compact design makes it simple to plug in and start using.
  • The device weighs next to nothing.

Details for the Techies:

Details About Our Products
Connector for Hardware USB 2.0
Method of Operation OS X, OS X, and Linux
Dimensions Dimensions: 1.92 x 1.48 x 0.73 cm / 0.73 x 0.58 x 0.27
Protocol for Data Linking USB, IEEE 802.11b, and IEEE 802.11n are all examples of wireless networking standards.
Speed of Data Transfer 150 Mbit/s: Maximum Throughput
Warranty 1 Year

Cost: You can purchase it from Amazon for $7.99.

#2) USB WiFi Adapter

The Techkey 1200Mbps USB WiFi Adapter is one of many such high-quality business tools. It’s the best USB Wi-Fi adapter for gaming because it eliminates lag. With a transfer rate of 1Gbps, your ping and latency should remain consistently low.

Best USB Wi-Fi Adapters 2023 - Tech Advisor

The Techkey’s hardware features include excellent dual-band connectivity. Depending on the needed transfer rate and transmission distance, you can quickly switch between bands. In addition, the Techkey antenna can be turned in any direction.


  • The Internet speed is a whopping 1200 Mbps.
  • A 5 dBi dual-band, high-gain antenna is available.
  • The USB 3.0 port on this gadget makes it significantly quicker than its predecessor, USB 2.0.
  • The Wi-Fi antenna improves the device’s connectivity and range.
  • The device makes it simple to hop between frequencies.

Detailed Description:

Details About Our Products
Interfacing with Hardware USB 3.0
Method of Operation Operating Systems: Windows, Mac
Dimensions Size: 7.68 x 4.92 x 0.59 in.
Protocol for Data Linking Transmission Standard: IEEE 802.11a/n/ac
Speed of Data Transfer 1200 Mbps
Warranty 1 Year

The cost is $16.99 on Amazon.com.

#3) UGREEN Ethernet Adapter USB 2.0

If you want to play more games, the UGREEN Ethernet Adapter is a fantastic tool to have. The included RJ45 adapter will greatly improve the performance of your device. Additionally, this gadget offers full compatibility with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Setting up this device required only a few seconds of your time. In addition, you won’t waste time installing drivers because it isn’t necessary. The portability and small size of the UGREEN Ethernet Adapter were two of the main selling points for us.


  • The Internet connection is very quick and always on.
  • Obtaining an uncomplicated ethernet setup is possible.
  • This device’s speed is fully 10/100 Mbps.
  • LED indicators for Link and Activity are included.
  • Windows ARM is available.

Details for the Techies:

Details on the Product
Connector for Hardware USB 2.0
Method of Operation OS X, Linux, Windows, and Mac
Dimensions dimensions of 2.4071.002 inches
Protocol for Data Linking IEEE 802.3, 802.3u
Speed of Data Transfer 100 Mbps
Warranty 1 Year

Cost: You can purchase it from Amazon for $13.99.

The TP-Link AC600 is manufactured by a reputable company. The usefulness of this tool is generally acknowledged. The antenna’s high chain is 5dBi, so it should be able to cover a large area. The TP-Link AC600 WiFi Adapter is a dual-band device, meaning it operates on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

With these settings, HD streaming from the device is simplified. In addition, the TP-Link AC600 WiFi Adapter offers speeds of up to 200 Mbps, making it a respectable choice for online gaming.


  • The connection is completely reliable and free of lag.
  • The excellent range makes it ideal for all your purposes.
  • It has dual-band frequencies of 2.4 and 5 GHz.
  • With a 5dBi antenna, you can expect a very sensitive range.
  • The antenna can be swiveled around in no particular way to accommodate different orientations.

Detailed Description:

Details on the Product
Connector for Hardware USB 2.0
Method of Operation Mac OS X and Windows
Dimensions Size: 2.28 x 0.71 x 6.83
Protocol for Data Linking The IEEE 802.11 Standard
Speed of Data Transfer 200 Mbps
Warranty 2 Year

Cost: You can purchase it from Amazon for $13.99.

#5) Amazon Basis USB Ethernet Port LAN Adapter

Fast Internet access is now within reach, thanks to the Amazon Basis USB Ethernet Port LAN Adapter. The 10/100 Mbps connection may be supported. This device’s usefulness for everyday tasks is enhanced by its compatibility with USB 2.0.

This device’s maximum speed of 48 Mbps will help you achieve remarkable results. The device’s enhanced functionality makes it a godsend for networking, functioning like a magic packet.


  • Improved performance thanks to support for full-duplex operation.
  • It’s simple to link up with a USB 2.0 host device.
  • With an RJ-45 network, you’ll have a more stable connection.
  • The data link in this device conforms to IEEE standard 802.3.
  • The included network switch is a high-performance model.

Details for the Techies:

Details on the Product
Interfacing with Hardware USB 2.0
Method of Operation Windows
Dimensions Measures at 6.54 x 0.83 x 0.53 inches.
Protocol for Data Linking IEEE 802.3
Speed of Data Transfer 480 Mbps
Warranty 1 Year

The cost is $11.99 on Amazon.com.

#6) Uni USB C to Ethernet Adapter

Those who need a dedicated device and want to use the Uni USB C to Ethernet Adapter will find it to be a perfect fit. The adapter is very lightweight and works perfectly with Chrome OS. The product weighs about 1.444 ounces and has a compact size that makes it easy to carry in a pocket.

The adapter’s top speed, relative to other devices, is 1 Gbps. When I connected this device to my test network with a CT6 ethernet cable, the speed was constant and there was never any noticeable lag.


  • You can rely on getting speeds of nearly 1 Gbps, which are consistently available.
  • It’s always easy to carry and use because of how small it is.
  • A premium USB-C cable is included with this product.
  • Good RJ45 compatibility is provided by the Network Adapter.
  • This gadget has a nonslip design for the body.

Details for the Techies:

Details About Our Products
Connector for Hardware USB-C
Method of Operation Chrome OS
Dimensions Dimensions: 5.92 x 2.36 x 0.67 in.
Protocol for Data Linking IEEE 802.3
How Fast Can Data Be Transferred? 100 Mbps
Warranty 1 Year

You can purchase it from Amazon for $22.99.

#7) EDUP USB WiFi Adapter Wireless Network Adapters

When it comes to playing games, the EDUP USB WiFi Adapter is an outstanding piece of hardware. It’s simple to set up and use, letting you connect multiple devices to the Internet at once. The dongle’s upgraded wifi card boosts the total speed of the device to an impressive 600 Mbps.

Having access to such reliable high-speed Internet is a huge benefit over most other devices. In addition, the EDUP USB WiFi Adapter Wireless Network Adapters feature an AP mode that makes it simple to set up a hotspot and provide access to multiple devices at once.


  • This gadget’s dual-band channels make data transfer quick and simple.
  • It works fine with Mac OS X as well as Windows.
  • The AP feature enables quick WiFi connection choices.
  • The best speeds can be achieved on the 5 GHz channel, which is equivalent to about 433 Mbps.
  • It uses the usual encryption and security protocols.

Details for the Techies:

Details About Our Products
Connector for Hardware USB 2.0
Machine Logic Mac OS X and Windows
Dimensions Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.7 x 0.5
DL Protocl: Data Link IEEE 802.11
the speed at which data is transferred 600 Mbps
Warranty 1 Year

The cost is $13.50 and can be purchased from Amazon.

#8) NetGear AC1200 Wi-Fi USB Adapter

If you need a device that can be set up quickly and recognized easily, the NetGear AC1200 is an excellent choice. The included Netgear genie software makes it easy to set up the adapter.

Instant pairing is possible with a single push of a button. The device’s Beamforming technology allows it to take full advantage of its dual-band channels. The device’s combined speed of 1200 Mbps makes it ideal for connecting a wide variety of electronic gadgets.


  • Both efficiency and mobility are included.
  • You can upgrade your system’s efficiency by purchasing a superior antenna.
  • Beam forming technology is included in this product.
  • It can be placed anywhere on your desk thanks to the included dock.
  • The NETGEAR genie makes the installation process incredibly quick and easy.

Details for the Techies:

Details on the Product
Interfacing with Hardware USB 3.0
Method of Operation Windows
Dimensions Dimensions: 6.38 x 5.31 x 1.61 in.
Protocol for Data Linking IEEE 802.11
Speed of Data Transfer 1200 Mbps
Warranty 1 Year

Amazon sells it for $34.43 USD.

#9) Linksys AE6000 Wireless Mini USB Adapter

The vast enhancements made by the Linksys AE6000 Wireless Mini USB Adapter are well-known. It features dual-band Wi-Fi, which can be switched between the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands with little effort.

While a combined beamforming technology might not be available to you, we found it to be extremely useful in our testing. It has a top speed of 150 Mbps and a sophisticated security feature. This gadget also appears to be very lightweight, making it convenient to carry around.


  • It has a straightforward mechanism for setting it up, too.
  • This gadget has top-notch encryption to keep your data safe.
  • Dual-band mode is available for enhanced performance.
  • The gadget is tiny and convenient to carry around.
  • In the 2.4 GHz band, Linksys’ top speed is 150 Mbps.

Details for the Techies:

Details About Our Products
Connector for Hardware USB 2.0
Method of Operation Windows
Dimensions Size: 2.46 x 8.43 x 5.31 cm
Protocol for Data Linking IEEE 802.11n
Speed of Data Transfer 150 Mbps
Warranty 1 Year

Amazon sells it for $32.92 USD.

#10) Edimax AC1200 Wi-Fi USB Adapter

If you need a dedicated device for sending signals, the Edimax AC1200 Wi-Fi USB Adapter is a good option to consider. The device’s beamforming technology makes it a no-brainer to use it for all portable computing devices.

One of the best features of the Edimax AC1200 Wi-Fi USB Adapter is the 1200 Mbps of combined speed it provides. Its nano size makes it convenient to keep in a purse or wallet. The product’s range is enhanced by the inclusion of two internal antennas.


  • The device has a built-in 802.11ac wifi module, which is the industry standard.
  • This item provides a dual-band experience.
  • To ensure the best possible performance, it utilizes both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels.
  • It offers a total of 1200 Mbps in speed.
  • It’s compatible with Macs, PCs, and Linux distributions without much trouble.

Details for the Techies:

Details About Our Products
Connector for Hardware USB 2.0
Method of Operation OS X, OS X Yosemite, and Linux
Dimensions Size: 0.75 x 0.25 x 0.25
Protocol for Data Linking IEEE 802.11n
Speed of Data Transfer 1200 Mbps
Warranty 1 Year

The cost is $20.13 and can be purchased on Amazon.

#11) TRENDnet AC1900 High Power Dual Band Wireless USB adapter

The TRENDnet AC1900 High Power Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter’s price tag indicates it is the industry leader. The product has four separate antennas instead of just one, so it can cover a large area.

What really sold us on this adapter, though, was its ability to maintain a steady 1300 Mbps throughput. When we tested the TRENDnet AC1900 High Power Dual Band Wireless USB adapter, we noticed that its speed was consistent and there was no noticeable latency.

TRENDnet TEW-809UB AC1900 High Power Dual Band Wireless Wifi USB Adapter |  eBay


  • The use of this apparatus improves efficiency in real time.
  • You can find a strong radio with removable antennas.
  • Internet connectivity via WiFi N at 600 Mbps is included.
  • The status of the device is communicated instantly via the LED indicator.
  • The product’s real-time performance is satisfactory.

Detailed Description:

Details on the Product
Connector for Hardware USB 3.0
Method of Operation Mac OS X and Windows
Dimensions Inches: 7, 3, and 9
Protocol for Data Linking IEEE 802.11n
Speed of Data Transfer 1300 Mbps
Warranty 3 Years

Cost: You can purchase it from Amazon for $79.99.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q #1) How long do USB Wi-Fi adapters lasts?

Depending on how many times you connect and disconnect the device during its lifetime, the best USB Wifi adapter Reddit users recommend may fail. Most people believe that an adapter with a cycle rating of up to 1500 is sufficient. In layman’s terms, that translates to two years of success.

Q #2) How do I fix my USB WiFi adapter?

The first thing you should do if your device is malfunctioning is revert back to the factory drivers. If you are having connection issues, temporarily disabling your firewall and running the network troubleshooter may help you get back online.

Q #3) How do I enable a USB Wi-Fi adapter?

The adapter must be physically inserted into the computer in order for it to function. To access Device Manager, right-click your computer. To locate the USB adapter, go to the ‘Network Adaptors’ menu. To activate this feature, simply right-click on it.


It’s never an easy task to choose the best USB WiFi Adapter. In no way is this due to the abundance of available examples. The hardest part is choosing a technologically advanced tool that lives up to your every expectation. You’ll need to be specific about things like connection speeds, range, USB configuration, compatibility, and price when searching for this.

You shouldn’t worry if you’re finding this challenging. Here is a rundown of the eleven best USB WiFi Adapters on the market today.

As far as gaming USB wifi adapters go, we discovered that the TP-Link N150 WiFi Adapter was the best option. It offers variable coverage and data speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Alternatively, the Techkey 1200mbps wifi adapter and the UGREEN Ethernet Adapter are both great options for a USB Wi-Fi adapter.