▷ The 12 Best USB Wi-Fi Adapters (2022) » 【2022】

While virtually all laptops ship with built-in Wi-Fi these days, they don’t always come with the best wireless hardware. If you’re a desktop PC user, you’ll probably get an Ethernet network adapter included with your computer, but not Wi-Fi.

Either way, you’ll want to pick the best USB Wi-Fi adapter for your needs and budget, which means you’re in luck as we’ve listed twelve of the best Wi-Fi adapters, each in their own way.

What to look for in a USB Wi-Fi adapter

Buying a USB Wi-Fi adapter for your wireless network can be more complicated than you might expect. There are not only many different Wi-Fi standards to deal with, but also different USB standards.

Then you also need to decide if you want a large dongle with an antenna that can support high speeds over long distances or a compact dongle that can easily fit in your laptop bag.

It’s a good idea to get a dongle that is dual-band Wi-Fi so you can connect to access points that use 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz Wi-Fi bands. If you’re only going to be using your USB adapter with your home router and only care that they’re compatible, then it’s not a big deal.

Los 12 mejores adaptadores Wi Fi USB 2022

As for Wi-Fi standards, don’t worry too much about buying a Wi-Fi 6 adapter right now unless you know you’re looking for a Wi-Fi 6 router and will have the kind of broadband that will test your fast connection speed. to Internet.

You may also want to keep an eye out for “beamforming technology,” which is a method of giving Wi-Fi signals more directionality. A beamforming device can target your router’s relative position more directly and maximize transmit power. It can be crucial if you are looking to push the limits of Wi-Fi penetration and range!

A note for macOS Big Sur and Linux users

All modern Apple Macs have a built-in Wi-Fi module, but you may not be happy with it for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, during our research for this article, it became apparent that since macOS Big Sur, support for third-party USB Wi-Fi adapters in the operating system has become spotty at best. Most of these dongles don’t have official driver software for macOS, so you’ll be forced to rely on third-party drivers, if any.

If you’re buying a USB Wi-Fi adapter specifically for your Big Sur or newer Mac, do some research before you buy it to confirm that it will work with modern macOS systems. If you make a mistake, remember that retailers like Amazon are usually happy to refund or exchange tech products.

As for Linux, things are a bit better there, as most desktop Linux distributions support several common Wi-Fi chipsets. This means that you may not even have to install any drivers for the adapter to work. Still, if you’re a Linux user, double check that an adapter is compatible with your version of Linux. Even if you’re dual booting Windows 10, you still need to have proper drives when booting into Linux.

Best USB Wi-Fi Adapters

1. Best Online Gaming Adapter: Asus USB-AC68 Dual Band USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Adapter

Features:

  • AC1900 fast speeds
  • Foldable for portability
  • 3×4 MIMO for low latency gaming

Gamers have very different requirements than other Wi-Fi users. It’s not so much the maximum speed of the connection that matters, but how little latency there is between you and the server. A lag spike can mean the difference between taking a virtual bullet and dishing it out.

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The Asus USB-AC68 is designed to ensure there are no unnecessary delays when sending or receiving multiplayer game data. Assuming you also have a good gaming router, the 3×4 MIMO design can send and receive data simultaneously without interference.

This is also a Wi-Fi adapter that uses beamforming technology to ensure that the signal between the adapter and the router remains rock solid. While this adapter is best for desktop gaming systems, it’s also portable. It has foldable antennas, so if you want to slip it into your laptop bag, you can do that without much of a problem. If you’re not an online or LAN gamer, the AC68 doesn’t have much appeal at its price, but if you’re serious about multiplayer, this is the one.

Features:

  • Very fast
  • Cool magnetic crib idea

Netgear Nighthawk routers are highly respected both in the gaming community and among those who appreciate high-end home networking equipment that can handle modern high-bandwidth, fiber-based LAN applications such as large file transfers and home transmission.

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The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 USB Adapter offers ridiculous Wi-Fi transfer speeds in a compact form factor. An excellent magnetic desktop base is included which you can use to optimally position the adapter on any magnetic metal surface. There’s also a clever folding antenna built in, so you can easily take it with you to use your laptop.

This is a dual band adapter so you don’t have to worry about not being able to connect to older 2.4Ghz routers. Significantly, Netgear is compatible with macOS. Based on the forum articles we reviewed, it seems to work on Big Sur and newer, though some users had to jump through a few hoops to get everything set up.

Features:

  • Includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in one device
  • Compact
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Sometimes you only have so many USB ports available, especially on older computers. If you have an older desktop system that doesn’t have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, this Edimax 2-in-1 adapter will add both technologies to your design in one go. Unfortunately, this is still a Wi-Fi 4 device, so it only supports speeds of 150Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band. However, for an older computer you want to connect to the wireless world, that’s more than enough.

4. Best Premium Adapter: Trendnet TEW-809UB

Features:

  • awesome design
  • removable antenna
  • Great performance

The TEW-809UB looks a bit like a bug stuck in its back, but this Wi-Fi adapter offers fast AC1900 speeds at a great price and doubles as a long-range adapter when you need it. Those antennas are removable, so if you want to carry your adapter with you in a laptop bag, you can take them off and avoid worrying about something breaking.

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Let’s say you use a single USB Wi-Fi adapter at home and on the go. In that case, the TEW-809UB offers excellent performance, cutting-edge wireless technology, and compatibility with any router, thanks to dual-band support. It’s a bit pricey, but reading about customers’ real-world performance experience, it seems like it’s worth every dollar.

Features:

  • Very accessible
  • Simple design with an adjustable antenna
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)

Sometimes all you need is to add Wi-Fi to a computer with broken, missing, or outdated Wi-Fi. You certainly don’t want to be surprised by such a simple feature. USB Wi-Fi adapters can cost upwards of $100 if you want the latest cutting-edge hardware, but TP-Link has the other end of the market covered with the AC600 with a full 600Mbps capacity.

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You can buy five of these adapters for $100 and still have change for a burger and fries. So it’s a great way to add Wi-Fi to all the computers in your house. This is a Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) adapter with a high-gain dual-band antenna. It supports 200Mbps in the 2.4Ghz band and 433Mbps in the 5Ghz band. This adapter should work with any modern router or access point, and the speeds on offer should be enough for any single user.

Unfortunately, this is an omnidirectional adapter without beamforming technology, so the range may be shorter than expected. Still, you should use Wi-Fi extenders to ensure your home has full Wi-Fi coverage anyway!

Features:

  • Small
  • Good price
  • Proper speed limited by USB 2

This nano adapter from Netgear is designed to fit into a USB port and then leave it alone. There’s little danger of this snagging on something and breaking, so it’s perfect for laptops where you may need to move the computer around and don’t want to constantly unplug your Wi-Fi adapter when you put the laptop on your handbag.

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This is a dual-band adapter, so you won’t have a problem connecting to any router you come across. Netgear claims speeds of 300 Mbps and 867 Mbps for each band, but temper your expectations since this is a USB 2.0 device. USB 2.0 itself is limited to 480 Mbps throughput. Realistically, you’ll max out at a few hundred megabits, but for most mobile users, this is more than enough. In any case, there is only so much you can get out of the tiny antennas in a nano adapter. The main appeal of the A6150 is that it is compact, reliable and affordable. Not super fast speeds.

We’ve culled from the various user reviews to bypass the software on the included CD-ROM (who has a CD drive these days?) and grab the latest driver from the Netgear website.

The A6150 is a great way to upgrade Wi-Fi on older laptops as a plug-and-forget solution.

7. Best portable antenna system: Edimax EW-7833UAC

Features:

  • fast performance
  • Excellent reception in a compact dongle

When it comes to compact, portable Wi-Fi adapters, you generally have to choose between a relatively weak internal antenna array or a clunky external antenna system. Edimax has come up with a third option for integrating a collapsible antenna into an adapter body the size of a flash drive.

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It may look small, but this is an AC1750 802.11ac adapter. So you can push the megabits if the router supports it. It hides three transmitting and three receiving antennas and can be adjusted 180 degrees so you get the best signal.

If you don’t mind having a rather long adapter sticking out of your laptop, this is a simple adapter to fold up and slide into your laptop bag pocket.

8. Best for OS Compatibility: NinePlus USB Wi-Fi Adapter

Features:

When adding a Wi-Fi adapter to a modern Windows system, it’s usually a matter of plugging it in and then everything works. If you are not a Windows user or are using some variant of Linux, it can be difficult to find adapters that work.

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Nineplus has a great reputation for being compatible with various operating systems. Including the ones that are not so conventional and the ones that are now old. So if you want to add Wi-Fi to a system that isn’t running the latest version of Windows, Nineplus is a great option.

Features:

Common wisdom holds that something can be fast or cheap, but not both. The T4U Plus seems to take that wisdom, roll it up, and throw it straight in the trash.

For around $25, the T4U Plus offers AC1300 performance (around 1300 Mbps total) and excellent stability.

The T4U Plus uses a dual antenna system to provide a stronger and more stable connection to your Wi-Fi network. It also features MU-MIMO technology to make the most of your bandwidth, sending and receiving data simultaneously.

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Unlike other adapters in this price range, the T4U Plus is a USB 3.0 device, which means it’s capable of the advertised speeds of 400 Mbps and 876 Mbps for each band. Products like the NETGEAR AC1200 USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Mini Adapter offer speeds of 1200 Mbps, but USB 2.0 itself is limited to 480 Mbps!

Unless you have a specific use case for high-performance Wi-Fi, most people should be happy with T4U Plus as a Wi-Fi solution for a desktop system.

10. Best Long Range Wi-Fi: D-Link DWA-192

Features:

  • awesome design
  • wall penetrating power

If nothing else, the D-Link DWA-192 stands out with its interesting spherical shape. Memes about “pondering your orb” come to mind, but we think this Wi-Fi adapter looks so cool you won’t want to hide it.

The spherical shape hides a formidable array of antenna and transmission hardware, specifically designed to extend your Wi-Fi range and reduce the need for repeaters or a mesh Wi-Fi system.

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This is an AC1900 adapter that uses a USB 3.0 interface, so there’s a lot of potential speed on offer here, assuming your router can keep up. The DWA-192 uses advanced beamforming technology to target your router and ensure no transmit power is wasted.

D-Link claims that the DWA-192 offers three times the range of typical Wi-Fi adapters and can help overcome signal loss due to walls and other objects between you and the router. Since this adapter costs less than $50, it’s also cheaper than many Wi-Fi extenders, without sacrificing speed.

The only real problem with the DWA-192 is that it’s not very compact. This is definitely for home use only, but other than that, this wonder ball should amp up your browsing like nothing else.

11. Best portable Wi-Fi 6 dongle: D-Link DWA-X1850

Features:

  • All the benefits of Wi-Fi 6
  • compact design
  • High speed

WiFi 6 is the latest and greatest Wi-Fi standard. It not only offers higher speeds than previous Wi-Fi standards, but also many improvements in reliability, latency, and security. Unfortunately, your current laptop or desktop most likely doesn’t have Wi-Fi 6, so even if you buy a Wi-Fi 6 router or find one in the wild, you won’t be able to take full advantage of it.

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While buying a new computer in the future is one way to solve the problem, in the meantime, you can use this great compact adapter from D-Link to upgrade any USB 3 compatible computer.

While you can’t get the full 3,000 Mbps speeds of a Wi-Fi 6 PCIe card, 574 and 1,200 Mbps on each band is nothing to sneeze at. It’s certainly faster than any USB Wi-Fi adapter.

12. Best Compact Long Reach Adapter: BrosTrend 1200

While we love the D-Link DWA-192 with its alien orb design and long range capability, it’s too bulky to take anywhere. If you need to take a long-range Wi-Fi adapter to a workplace or some other open space where you can’t be too close to the router or access point, we think the BrosTrend 1200 is a better solution.

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The adapter comes with a 5 dBi high gain antenna that allows you to tilt the antenna towards the router and get a connection from long distances. This dual-band wireless USB 3 adapter supports speeds of 300 and 867 Mbps on each band.

Plug in that wireless power

There’s nothing like a fast and reliable wireless connection. By choosing the right wireless adapter, you take all the frustration of poor connections out of your life and leave freedom and convenience behind. A Wi-Fi connection is an essential part of life these days, and one of the adapters above should keep you connected to the global web.