The LAN/Ethernet cables provide better speed and connectivity (bandwidth and ping rate) compared to the Wi-Fi networks. However, it also comes with its set of hassles. For one, you need to have proper cable management tools in place to connect the cable to your PC/laptop. While in the case of the wireless USB Wi-Fi adapters, plug them to your PC or laptop, and you will be sorted.
Yeah, most USB Wi-Fi adapters are plug & play devices. So they do not need a dedicated setup process. And they are easily portable thanks to their compact size. Well, most of them.
So, if you are searching for the best USB Wi-Fi adapters for your PC, here are our recommendations.
With over 20,000 reviews on Amazon, the TP-Link Mini AC600 is a highly popular Wi-Fi Adapter. This one has more than 71% positive ratings with users liking it for its great signal quality, easy installation process, and great tech support. This tiny dongle just measures 0.6 x 0.3 x 0.7 inches, meaning it's smaller than your regular pen drive.
It's a dual-band 802.11ac adapter. So yeah, you can use both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands if your routers transmit.
Again, there isn't any dedicated installation process. Simply plug this tiny device into the USB port of your PC, and you'll be able to connect.
The speed delivery is great, and it delivers an interruption-free service, as per most users. That means you can stream your favorite movies without any lags.
2. Inamax AC600 Mini Wireless Network Wi-Fi Dongle
Another compact Wi-Fi dongle that you can consider buying is the Inamax AC600 Mini dongle. Like its counterpart above, this one also has the support for dual bands. And it can pull off a maximum speed of around 433 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, while staying around 150 Mbps on a 2.4 GHz network. If you compare the size with the above dongle, this one is a tad bigger at 1.4 x 0.7 x 0.3 inches.
This Wi-Fi adapter can easily fit into the area reserved for USB ports of both laptops and PCs, even if they are close together. And you will be able to leave it plugged.
For now, this tiny device has amassed great reviews with users praising its signal quality. This is a USB 2.0 adapter.
With a USB 3.0 socket and unusual design, the Techkey USB 3.0 Wireless Network Adapter is the third product on our list. What makes this device special is that you can connect it directly to a USB 3.0 socket on your PC. Or, you can choose to plug it to an external hub.
Unlike the USB Wi-Fi adapters above, this one has dual antennas. On top of that, it's a dual-band adapter with remarkable signal strength.
Several reviewers on Amazon back this claim. User Laurelglen puts it simply as, "This increased my signal strength way more than the small wireless adapter that I was using before."
Again, it's a durable product and will last you a long time. This product is compatible with Windows 10 and the older version of Windows, and in most cases, does away with the usual installation process.
Do note that this dongle boasts of a 5dBi antenna gain. For those who are unaware, a dBi of this strength gives a wider coverage area. Again, do note that higher dBi adapters may give weaker signals.
If you are looking for a Wi-Fi dongle for temporary usage, you can consider the QGOO Wifi Adapter. It's a USB 3.0 adapter with a single antenna, and you can expect decent speed from this one. Again, it can transmit in both the bands — 2.42 GHz and 5.8 GHz.
The slightly longish body will ensure that you won't hit the antenna when you are typing if you plan to use it on your laptop.
So far, this Wi-Fi dongle has around 800 ratings with around 73% positive reviews.
If you are unsure about buying the QGOO Wi-Fi adapter, the TP-Link USB Wi-Fi Adapter makes for a good buy. With over 7, 000 reviews on Amazon, this AC600 USB Wi-Fi adapter has slowly become one of the popular laptop accessories out there. It bundles an adjustable antenna which you can tweak both in the vertical and horizontal directions for better performance.
It boasts of high network speed along with a durable design. It comes with a has a 5dBi antenna, similar to the Teckey USB dongle.
However, the Archer T2U Plus is only compatible with USB 2.0 ports. Yep, bummer. But on the bright side, it performs as has been claimed by several reviewers.
The good signal strength and the easy installation process is what makes it one of the favorites among the masses.
6. EDUP Wi-Fi Adapter
This USB adapter has earned pretty rave reviews from its user base regarding its performance and its compact size. Plus, the fast and easy installation process also helps its cause.
And yeah, when it comes to streaming games and movies, this one provides a lag-free experience.
Control the Wireless Network
With PCs, the best practice is to stick the dongle on the motherboard ports in the back. This way, you will get a reliable network. At the same time, make sure that the CPU is not kept in a location with spotty Wi-Fi network.
To check the quality of your Wi-Fi network, you can check out the WiFi AR app. This quirky little app shows you the approximate speed via AR on the phones which are compatible with Google ARCore.