Best USB Wi-Fi Adapter | How to Choose Right One – (2023)

Best USB Wi-Fi Adapter

You’re on the go and need to connect your computer to a wireless network. You can’t find an available ethernet port, so you grab your laptop and head out the door.

But wait! The signal is too weak where you are standing. What do you do? How about plugging in one of the Best USB wifi Adapters?” “The Best USB Wi-fi Adapter market has grown tremendously over the past few years with more than 200 different models being introduced since 2008.”

“These devices have become increasingly popular because they are so convenient.”

Wireless adapters are an essential part of a gamer’s arsenal, but gamers may not realize that a new wireless adapter might increase their chances of success.

What is a USB wifi Adapter?

A USB wifi adapter is a Wireless adapter that connects to the internet, overriding whatever built-in hardware you may or may not have in your gaming computer.

Having a broken internal wireless card or buying a motherboard without an integrated wifi adapter, the best USB-based wireless internet should be your go-to solution.

When it comes to gaming, a wired connection will provide better stability and throughput, especially with the best router. However, cables strewn across the floor aren’t always available for everyone.

How could you get one?

It’s essential to ensure you have the correct wireless card because, like most computers these days, it is packaged with a pre-installed one. These are often outdated and don’t follow current trends

  • The fact is, just about every new computer these days comes with a wireless card pre-installed. This is why many people don’t even consider purchasing a wireless adapter. It’s an essential step because the pre-installed wireless card that comes packed into most computers is often outdated or two behind current trends
  • 3A computer equipped with a wireless card had an average download speed of 29.25 megabytes per second. Still, that rate rose nearly twofold to 109.51 megabytes per second using the same equipment and connection.
  • According to a popular internet-testing tool, computers are often much faster at downloading files over wifi once they have been outfitted with better networking cards than what comes standard on most PCs or laptops today.
  • Before buying a wireless card, choose carefully. Appearance isn’t everything. When selecting an actual wireless card, many factors should be considered before buying one of these adapters.
  • You should cross-check this information with the specifications of your gaming laptop to ensure that you know whether or not it can be paired with any wireless adapters. This will make picking out a wifi adapter much easier and more efficient for gamers everywhere.
  • Your adapter’s specifications will tell you everything about the type of connection it supports and how to ensure this is compatible with your computer. These include:

1. Wireless protocols (i.e., Bluetooth, wifi)

2. USB generation supported by device & port on laptop/desktop

Top 8 Best USB wifi Adapters of 2023.

The best USB wifi Adapters are listed below.

1. TRENDnet AC1900 High Power Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter

TRENDnet AC1900 High Power Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter

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The TRENDnet AC1900 High-Power Dual Band features an internal antenna for better wifi coverage. The 6 Gigabit ports provide enough bandwidth to meet the data needs of almost any business. They can be used with optional 10GIG or faster fiber connections to access the network efficiently.

The RX active LED helps quickly diagnose network issues and connect wireless clients instantly.

Designed for small, medium, and large office environments, this dual-band adapter can accommodate up to 238 devices at 450 Mbps each on the 5 GHz bands or 150 Mbps each on the 2.4 GHz band.”

We highly recommend upgrading your old router if it is lower than AC1200 so your guests will enjoy high speed.


  • Standard: AC1900 IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Frequencies: 2.4GHz + 5GHz
  • Dimensions: 3.4x 2.9 x 0.8 in (85 x 75 x 20 mm)
  • Weight: 1.7 oz (48 g)
Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
Fast AC1900 speeds No bundled software
Great range Not the most portable

2. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 wifi USB Adapter

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 wifi USB Adapter (Best USB Wi-Fi Adapter)

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The Nighthawk AC1900 wifi USB Adapter from NETGEAR is a low-profile, easy-to-install means of upgrading an existing Wireless G or N router for better performance or adding wireless capability to any desktop or laptop that has a USB.

The versatile adapter provides a dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) speed of up to 1900 Mbps* and offers features like the My Favorites feature allows users to store preferred networks by name and pause Internet connection when on vacation, multiple operating modes.

(Access point mode, Ad hoc mode, and media bridge mode); industry-leading 3-year warranty with next business day replacement.

The Nighthawk AC1900 is a mighty and portable adapter, but it’s somewhat bulky compared to its peers.

There were occasions when I was worried about snapping the device off in my laptop USB port because of how big it is; this also means that there are times when you won’t be able to find an available port with enough space for the plug.


  • Standard: AC1900 IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Frequencies: 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz
  • Dimensions: 4.7 x 1.8 x 0.9 in (120 x 45 x 22 mm)
  • Weight: 2.3 oz (66 g)
Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
Excellent dual-band connectivity Not the fastest option
Included Desktop cradle somewhat bulky design

3. D-Link DWA-X1850 wifi 6 USB Adapter

D-Link DWA-X1850 Wi-Fi 6 USB Adapter

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The wifi six adapter improved signal more than other models when used with a weak-signal access point in an outdoor location but didn’t show much of an advantage elsewhere. Weaker connections were no match for this capable device: the $59 TP-Link Archer T9UH came out on top and performed better (if not entirely) than expected!

Moreover, The X1850 is a revolutionary wifi extender that can extend your internet and wireless coverage to thousands of square feet in any room. It’s so easy; you don’t even need installation skills! Plug it in without an Ethernet cord or hotspot access point.

Indeed, The X1850 is a fantastic device that will forever change how you think about wifi networks. Capable of reaching speeds up to 574Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1.2Gbps for both its dual-band frequencies, this innovative adapter can give your laptop or desktop access to gigabit like never before!


  • Brand: D-Link
  • Hardware Interface: USB, USB 3.0
  • Operating System Windows: Windows 10
  • Data Link Protocol: USB
  • Data Transfer Rate: 574 Megabits Per Second
Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
First wifi 6 USB adapter Cradle is flimsy
Small enough not to block USB ports Feels cheaply built
Improves 2.4GHz range and speeds on wifi six networks Rates aren’t better than a good wifi five adapter
Supports Windows only

4. Net-Dyn AC1200 USB wifi Adapter

Net-Dyn AC1200 USB Wi-Fi Adapter

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The NET-DYN AC1200 is a simple and cost-effective way to bring high-speed wireless internet access into any room of your home or office. This easy plug ‘n play device will work with both newer desktop computers as well as older laptops, giving you connectivity no matter where it goes!

The NET-DYN AC1200 does promise a plug-and-play installation on Windows without installing any software. As we found in our review, though, your mileage may vary on this one. Fortunately, it’s easy to use, including CD or fetch necessary programs from the manufacturer’s website! This wifi extender also includes Mac/ Linux system support with bonus software, too – not bad considering all of its features at such an affordable price point!


  • Brand: Net-Dyn
  • Hardware Interface: USB 3.0
  • Operating System: Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP/2000 – Mac OS 10.9/10.10/10.11
  • Item Dimensions: LxWxH 3.5 x 1.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Data Link Protocol: Ethernet
  • Data Transfer Rate: 1000 Megabits Per Second
  • Item Weight: 0.5 Ounces
Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
100-yard range A bit bulky
Plug-and-play functionality
Lifetime warranty

5. Glam Hobby Ourlink U631 AC600 Dual Band USB Wi-Fi Adapter

Glam Hobby Ourlink U631 AC600 Dual Band USB Wi-Fi Adapter

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This little gadget is the perfect accessory for travelers. Its compact design means you can stick it into your laptop and forget about it, but if some wires or chargers need use on-site, this mini-hub will accommodate all of them without blocking other ports with its low profile!

The U631 is an excellent choice if you live near your router, but it won’t deliver the speeds needed for gaming or streaming when on the other end of an extended house.

The compact size of the N150 means it can be hidden away when not in use or tucked behind your monitor. This discreet design and its compatibility with Windows and Mac make this an excellent choice if you need something quick but don’t want to go through all that hassle of installing wired Ethernet cables on each end!


  • Brand: OURLiNK
  • Hardware Interface: USB
  • Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6-10.15 Catalina, Windows10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista
  • Item Dimensions: LxWxH 4.5 x 4 x 0.3 inches
  • Data Link Protocol: USB
  • Data Transfer Rate: 433 Megabits Per Second
  • Item Weight: 0.02 Pounds
Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
Very affordable Some lag for heavy gamers
Ultra-compact Poor range
Windows, Linux, and Mac compatible Linux setup can be tricky

6. Linksys Dual-Band Wireless-N USB Adapter

Linksys Dual-Band Wireless-N USB Adapter

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The Dual-Band Wireless-N adapter from Linksys is another interesting one. It’s quite a bit more intriguing than previous adapters, which all had USB 3.0 and the same antennae design with three or four visible antennas on top of each other for speed transmission purposes—unlike this model with only two!

The internal antenna array makes it faster speeds without sacrificing coverage area since they are not as noticeable to viewers as those found in higher-end routers and modems today.

The USB wifi adapter is a fantastic product that supports MIMO wireless connections. It also supports Dual-Band wifi and WPS, guaranteeing the best relationship possible! The max speed of this device reaches 450 Mbps which makes it one of the fastest adapters on the market today.

In addition to having multiple input/output (MIMO) arrays within your computer or laptop, this powerful USB wifi card comes with various features like dual-band WIFI plus easy setup with windows push button security. With speeds reaching up to 450mbps, it’s fast enough to stream high-quality videos without lag between video clips.


  • Standard: AC1200 802.11ac
  • Frequencies :2.4GHz + 5GHz
  • Connection: USB
Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
3×3 internal antenna array for strong signal and range No USB 3.0 support
Dual-band support No AC support

7. Linksys WUSB6300

Linksys WUSB6300

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The Linksys AC1200 Micro-size wifi USB Adapter is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It offers up to 860Mbps speeds on 5 GHz and 300 Mbps on 2.4 GHz while supporting MU-MIMO technology so you can enjoy uninterrupted streaming, gaming, downloading, or browsing for a home office or entertainment center that requires less space than ever before!

The WUSB6300 is a great all-around choice for anyone who wants to connect their devices wirelessly. At the same time, the spec does limit its speeds to 2.4 GHz.

It still has a decent range and throughput measurements across 5 GHz tests which ultimately brings home wins in three of six criteria from one wireless adapter category to another that’s becoming increasingly competitive right now!

The Linksys WUSB6300 is a must-have travel accessory that can provide you with fast and dependable on-the-go internet. The long-range tests show it is superior to other wireless adapters, which fail in fringe testing.

Plus, at $40, this adapter will give you reliable web access.


  • Standard: AC1200 802.11ac
  • Frequencies: 2.4GHz + 5GHz
  • Dimensions: 1.6 x 0.7 x 0.5 in (41 x 18 x 12 mm)
  • Weight: 0.6 oz (17 g)
Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
Very compact Unexciting 2.4 GHz throughput
Supports MU-MIMO Can block other USB ports after where your travels take you!

8. Edimax EW-7833UAC

Edimax EW-7833UAC

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The Edimax EW-7833UAC is our latest budget adapter pick, the upgrade to its predecessor. The AC1750 speeds (N450, AC1300) are incredible for heavy internet usage and streaming HD videos without hiccups or interruptions. Installation was quick, with Windows 10 handling all the settings.

The input of this article discussing a router didn’t mention installation issues which can be very frustrating when dealing with new equipment on your PC. Hence, I added that as an additional point after saying how easy it is to install these routers.

The EW-7833UAC smoked the competition with class-leading throughput on four tests. We were particularly impressed during a 5 GHz test that showed 298.9 Mbps versus other adapters in its competitor’s products which only gave speeds up to 236 Mbps at best.

The EW-7833UAC is a wireless adapter you can use for your desktop or laptop computer, and it has been tested out when compared against some of its competitors’ models.

It was concluded from these results that this particular device had a faster speed than any others so far seen by testers, as well as being one with exceptional connectivity over both 2.4GHz and 5 GHz frequencies due to increased power output per square millimeter; we even saw more potential here.


  • Standard: AC1750 IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Frequencies: 2.4GHz + 5GHz
  • Dimensions: 3.4 x 1.1 x 0.7 in (87 x 27 x 18 mm)
  • Weight: 0.8 oz (23 g)
Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
Dominated throughput tests Not the best at a range
Deployable antenna Runs warm after prolonged use


Q. Does a wifi adapter affect internet speed?

  •  > Yes! A wifi adapter can affect your internet speed in a few ways, such as the distance between it and other devices. For example, The strength of the signal decreases with more significant gaps or spaces left open for objects to block it. A weak connection due to passwords being blocked by physical obstacles.

Using a wifi adapter for your gaming console can slow down and potentially disconnect you from playing games. However, suppose it doesn’t decrease internet speed dramatically. In that case, there shouldn’t be much of an impact on gameplay besides slight frame rate drops or glitches, but nothing too significant.

Q. How do you test wifi adapters?

  • > Throughput testing using Net Perf software on a desktop with a Gigabit Ethernet port. The data was sent via a wired connection to the router. Each wireless adapter at 2.4 GHz and 5GHz frequencies was tested three times for distances close, far, and fringe, respectively, with the highest throughput reported of every parameter.

The ASUS RT-AX88U is our top gaming router. The throughput was tested at a “close” 8ft (2.4m) distance with a direct line of sight, and also at a far 30ft(9.1m) distance when there were obstructing floor and walls plus some metal ductwork in the way as well to see how it would hold up under pressure from interference.

We added tests in a wifi “fringe” location that we started using for our best wireless extender. We did not plug in an extender to make the wireless connection more challenging and test their antennas.

Q. How long do USB wifi adapters usually last?

  • > If you buy a brand new USB wifi adapter, it should last between 1 and 5 years before needing replacement. To ensure that your device lasts as long as possible, follow these tips throughout its lifetime; positioning – Try not to place objects on top of or directly next to your router if possible; this will interfere with the signal quality.

It is crucial not to frequently disconnect and reconnect the USB wifi adapter throughout the day. When connecting or disconnecting it, you should avoid doing so when your computer is at hot temperatures, as this can lead to a shorter lifespan.


The Best USB wifi Adapter is the one that works with your needs. If you are looking for a way to get wireless internet in places where there isn’t any, this article has some great tips on the Best USB wifi Adapter.

Here’s how they work and why they’re so helpful!


You can also read: Best wifi extender – 2023

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