Most desktop computers do not come with built-in Wi-Fi adapters. To access the internet, you'll have to go the traditional way and hook a LAN cable, which is again a messy situation. That is especially true for PCs that aren't situated near the router. In such cases, USB Wi-Fi adapters come to your rescue.
You can plug these tiny devices onto the USB port of your laptop or PC and enjoy seamless internet on your Windows 10 PC. Yes, it's that simple — no more hiding LAN wires inside cable sleeves or tapping them to the floor.
Over the last couple of years, Wi-Fi adapters have evolved tremendously. Now, they are small and compact. Also, most of them support dual-band 802.11ac meaning they can work over both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Sounds great, right?
Let's see some of the best USB Wi-Fi adapters that work as on Windows 10 PCs.
The TP-Link Mini AC600 Wi-Fi Adapter is one of the hugely popular and affordable options out there. It measures roughly 0.6 x 0.3 x 0.7 inches and is smaller than a Pendrive. All you need to do is plug this tiny device on a compatible USB port on your PC, and you'll be able to connect. It uses dual-band 802.11ac, and you'll be able to use both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz capabilities.
The latter gives you the ability to stream your favorite TV shows and movies with any lags and delivers an interruption-free service when you browse. Plus, the small size ensures that it doesn't get in the way. You can forget all about it once you plug it in.
Installation is easy, and the speed it delivers is great. Of course, that depends on your proximity to the routers and on the router's speed as well. But rest assured that should your router support the 5 GHz band, the Mini AC600 adapter will get you a decent speed.
It has more than four thousand reviews on Amazon, and so far, it has amassed over 4.1-stars out of 5 on Amazon. Should you decide to buy it, you will love it for its size and portability.
The Cudy Nano Size USB Wi-Fi Adapter has all the features you’d look for in a Wi-Fi USB adapter — it's small, discreet, and supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz network. Plus, it's a plug-and-play device, meaning you can plug it in and start using it from right there. Iit's compatible with Windows 10 PCs and a few of the earlier versions too.
This Wi-Fi adapter promises decent speed. While the 2.5 GHz network delivers up to 200 Mbps, the 5 GHz network can reach up to 433 Mbps (maximum speed).
The product reviews have been great regarding this product, especially considering the price. Users have reported a significant boost in Wi-Fi speeds compared to their default Wi-Fi products. Also, the installation is quite easy. When you plug this adapter, it installs by itself and requires no driver installation in most Windows 10 PCs. It works with USB 2.0.
Another plug and play Wi-Fi dongle is the Inamax AC600 Mini dongle. This one has the same characteristics as the above dongle and can deliver maximum speed up to 433 Mbps on 5 GHz and 150 Mbps on 2.4 GHz network. Design-wise, it's a tad bigger than the adapters above. Hence you need to be a little careful when choosing the USB slot for it.
This is a 4.4-star rated product with users loving its performance when it comes to network speed. But above that, users love the build quality that is associated with this mini adapter. This one is built to withstand the test of time, and can handle everyday wear and tear without issues.
This is a USB 2.0 adapter and doesn't work on Linux machines.
Another Wi-Fi adapter that promises good speed is the EDUP AC600 Wi-Fi Adapter. It is much bigger than the ones above and comes with a small antenna for better reception and transmission signal strength. And being a modern-day Wi-Fi adapter, it comes with all the features such as support for dual-band network.
The signal strength of this adapter has been commended by many. Many users have gone ahead and announced that it has less downtime and minimal connection loss. And even if that occurs, it doesn't take much time for it to spring back into action.
Since it's an 802.11ac adapter, you are likely to get high-speed Wi-Fi, provided you have the necessary bandwidth.
However, installation is not as easy as plug and play. On Windows 10 PCs, you might have to download some additional drivers for the adapter to work. Many users have recommended that the Realtek drivers work best for this. The good news is that once the installation is complete, this device works like a charm.
5. TP-Link Archer T2U Plus USB Wifi Adapter for PC
Another highly recommended product is the TP-Link Archer T2U Plus. This one comes with an adjustable antenna and boasts of high network speed and durable design. The signal reception strength is great and you can easily tweak the antenna in vertical and horizontal directions for better performance.
It has a 5dBi antenna gain, thanks to the 802.11ac wireless protocol, similar to most of the Wi-Fi adapters in this list. For those unaware, a dBi of this strength gives you a wider coverage area. But do note that should you go for higher dBi adapters, you are likely to end up with weaker signals.
The Archer T2U Plus is compatible with USB 2.0, and well, it performs well. Users seem to like its for its good signal strength, easy installation process, and the fact that it's a durable product.
Netgear is a well-known name in the filed of Wi-Fi peripherals. They are known both for their great build quality and the quality of service, and the Nighthawk AC1900 is no different. This remarkably powerful and portable adapter with great reception speed. And it has excellent dual-band connectivity.
Regarding speed and performance, it delivers decent speed. It's fast and is lag-free at the same time, thus making it ideal for gaming or streaming HD movies.
Though it's a USB adapter, it significantly bigger than its counterparts. If you have many USB ports side by side, it will block out all the other ports. This is a point you might have to consider before buying.
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Let the Force Be Strong
Most desktop PCs which come with Wi-Fi cards can't handle the frequent interference of the modern-day world. You will frequently see connection loss or delay in browsing web pages. Plus, they are seldom compatible with the newer devices at home such as Comcast.
Wireless Wi-Fi adapters change this scenario. And the best thing is that they do not need an extra source of power. Just plug them to a compatible USB port.
So, which one will you buy?
Next up: Did you know you can prioritize the Wi-Fi network on your Windows 10 PC? Check out the article below to find out how.