Best USB Wi-Fi Adapters

Electronics & Computers

Have you ever wished to connect to the internet while on the go when there’s no café nearby? USB Wi-Fi adapters are small devices that allow you to connect to the internet when you are traveling. These devices are perfect for ditching bulky modems and routers without compromising your ability to stay connected.

USB Wi-Fi adapters pick up Wi-Fi transmissions even when you are not located in the middle of a hotspot. Some adapters can extend your device’s Wi-Fi capturing range. Wi-Fi adapters connect via USB ports. They are very useful for making devices internet capable even if the gadgets didn’t originally come with Wi-Fi connection capabilities. If you have an old netbook or a tablet, a USB Wi-Fi adapter will let you connect to the internet without needing a cable connection.

You can use a USB Wi-Fi adapter to control certain smart devices using a Wi-Fi connection. There are many more useful applications you can benefit from. Now without further ado, let’s look at some of the best USB Wi-Fi adapters available in the market today:

Panda Wireless PAU06

Why we like it: This small Wi-Fi adapter offers many features including encryption protocols, low power consumption, high-speed threshold, backward compatibility, portable design, and much more.

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It’s small, neat, cute, and works exactly as advertised. The Panda Wi-Fi adapter can be easily connected to your computer through a USB port. Then it will deliver internet through an 802.11n connection. The adapter boasts a data rate up to 300 Mbps. While the adapter doesn’t always reach the max speed threshold due to obvious practical reasons, it’s fast when it can be. If you encounter any speed issues, you can be pretty sure it’s not because of the adapter. Overall, this is the perfect adapter to have on the go because it’s so reliable.

This USB Wi-Fi adapter is designed for convenience as well. It has a small antenna that folds so it’s much easier to carry in a pocket or a purse. There are many other features as well. For starters, it’s backward compatible with 802.11g 2.4GHz wireless networks. Of course, there are many security features available as Wi-Fi is notorious for hacking. You will get the standard 64b/128bit WEP, WPA and WPA2 (TKIP+AES) encryption protocols with your purchase. To top it all off, this adapter is a low power consumer, so you can save battery drain on the devices you use.

Edimax EW-7811Un

Why we like it: This tiny USB Wi-Fi adapter is wonderfully compact and ensures fast speeds. One big reason to love this is the automatic power saving feature.

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Edimax EW-7811Un is one of the most popular Wi-Fi USB adapters on the market. And it’s for a very good reason. We were impressed by the black and gold exterior of the small adapter. But looks don’t tell the remarkable functionality of this little device. Besides being designed to be highly portable, this device promises connection speeds up to 150 Mbps. That’s more than enough for everyday needs while on the go. You can easily use social media, send emails, and stream YouTube videos on a connection that reaches the speed limit. Speed will, of course, depend on where you are located.

This USB Wi-Fi Adapter connects using an 802.11n wireless standard. That’s a really good thing for ensuring speed. Also, the adapter is energy efficient and won’t drain the batteries of the portable devices you connect this to. The adapter even has a feature built-in that automatically shuts it down when the adapter is idle. That’s a neat trick when you are using the laptop on battery. It doesn’t come with an antenna, but you don’t need one to connect. It’s extremely compact without one. You can connect this to a USB port and nothing will jut out.

Net-Dyn USB Wireless Adapter

Why we like it: This USB Wi-Fi adapter looks very good and also works amazingly. It offers dual-band connections with speeds up to 300 Mbps.

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Net-Dyn may not bring the most affordable USB Wi-Fi adapters out there, but it is definitely one of the most practical. It comes with a sleek blue exterior that will look very cool when connected to your laptop or tablet. It’s shaped like a memory stick, so the device is very easy to carry. Thanks to the shape, other people around you won’t notice that you are using a Wi-Fi adapter. It’s discreet and also very fast. This adapter can reach connections as speedy as 300 Mbps. So we highly recommend this adapter for those who love to stream on the go.

This USB Wi-Fi adapter impressed us with its level of compatibility. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android devices. This is a dual-band adapter, so you can connect to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz connections. The coverage this adapter offers is really impressive. You can connect from distances up to 100 yards. Despite the distance, the connection speed never falters. Not many USB Wi-Fi adapters can claim something like this. We liked the security features on offer as well. There’s nothing revolutionary, but you get everything you need to stave off a DDoS hacker attack.


TP-Link Wireless N Nano USB Adapter

Why we like it: This hard not to love this USB Wi-Fi adapter not only because of its tiny body but also because of the reliable connections.

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This USB Wi-Fi adapter from TP-Link is proof that size really doesn’t matter. The adapter only comes with the USB connector and has no body that juts out of the device you use. It’s like the tiny USB receivers you get with wireless mice. You can connect this USB Wi-Fi adapter to your laptop or tablet and totally forget about it while you browse the net. The tiny design is definitely convenient, mostly because it does not affect the performance. Just like the other USB Wi-Fi adapters on this list, this dongle offers speedy and reliable connections.

Connection speeds can reach up to 150 Mbps, which is rather standard. We highly recommend this USB Wi-Fi adapter for travelers. First, it’s compact and is no hassle to connect. And secondly, the speed limit is highly reasonable considering that you will rarely reach 300 Mbps highs when you are café hopping. So you can save a lot of money with this nano adapter and achieve practical connection speeds. It’s also highly compatible across most operating systems. Plus, the adapter comes with a CD with backup driver software in case you need it.

EDUP Wifi Adapter 300Mbps Wifi Dongle

Why we like it: This affordable USB Wi-Fi adapter is perfect for those who want a convenient signal always when traveling and working away from home.

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This is a single-band USB Wi-Fi adapter that will be most useful for budget users who want internet for work or business reasons. This adapter supports 2.4GHz bandwidth connections. Before you panic, keep in mind that single bandwidth connections are still highly suitable for nearly all types of web browsing. Loading times on HD videos may be a bit slow, but you will still be able to stream videos on YouTube without any major issues. In any case, the speeds and reliability this USB Wi-Fi adapter offer are largely similar to regular Wi-Fi you get at cafes, libraries, and airports.

It uses an antenna, so you get quite a good range as well. The antenna also adds a boost to make sure the signal is good. Despite being only a single band adapter, it does support speeds up to 300 Mbps. So if the connection is really good, you may be able to stream HD videos as well. The adapter comes with a CD to install the necessary driver. This is more convenient than getting a digital file because you will always have the installation file on backup just in case. Overall, we loved this USB Wi-Fi adapter.


LTERIVER WiFi Adapter WiFi Dongle

Why we like it: This cute little “dongle” offers something really rare: stable connections. It’s the perfect USB Wi-Fi adapter to stream HD movies.

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This USB Wi-Fi “dongle” can connect you to the internet as well as act as a router that extends Wi-Fi range. We can say from the start that this device ensures fast connections. It was surprising considering the very low price tag on this USB Wi-Fi adapter. It has a sleek and smooth design and comes with antennae. But you can definitely consider this dongle compact and highly portable. It doesn’t weigh much and can easily fit inside a denim jeans pocket. The build is excellent and so are the speeds. It impressed us with how stable the connections are.

Most USB Wi-Fi adapters boast lightning fast speeds, but not all can claim to offer steady and stable connections. When you are connecting from a crowded area, like a café or an urban neighborhood, there could be so many distractions that disrupt the Wi-Fi signal. This USB Wi-Fi adapter does its best to keep the signals stable so your connection is rarely if ever, interrupted. You can definitely stream HD videos using this USB Wi-Fi adapter without experiencing any lag. For these reasons, we highly recommend this dongle to online gamers and streaming addicts. Also, budget users won’t dislike this either.

TP-Link Wireless N150 High Gain USB Adapter

Why we like it: This is definitely one of the cheapest USB Wi-Fi adapters out there. It costs less than a $20 microwave dinner!

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This is by far one of the cheapest and best USB Wi-Fi adapters we have come across. It costs less than $20, so even the most frugal internet surfers can afford this adapter. We know; cheap price means cheap quality, right? Not in this case. This USB Wi-Fi adapter is amazingly well-built. The signal strength and speed definitely matched up to some of the more expensive adapters on this list. The maximum speed limit is 150 Mbps, which is adequate enough for nearly all modern internet needs. While the speed is nothing to write home about, we were impressed with the quality of the signal.

This USB Wi-Fi adapter has a 4dBi omnidirectional antenna. It ensures that the signal is well received for a steady and reliable internet connection. We really liked that fact that the antenna is detachable. When you don’t need to boost signal strength, you can just remove the antenna and the extra bulk. Some people find it difficult to type on laptops where the adapters with antennas are attached to the side. You definitely won’t have that problem with this USB Wi-Fi adapter. It also comes with 64/128-bit WEP encryption for connections without hacking worries.


Why we like it: This dual-band USB adapter can reach speeds up to 600 Mbps! If that’s not enough, you can save a lot of money buying this instead of renting an N router.

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This little USB Wi-Fi adapter is a fantastic connection booster. It’s perfect for homes with thick walls or multiple stories where Wi-Fi is not available in every room. This little gadget will instantly boost the connection. What really amazed us is the dirt cheap price. It’s a new model, so you can get a dual band adapter that actually costs less than $50. You can choose between a 5GHz or 2.4GHz band. With the former, you can reach speeds up to 433 Mbps, and the latter will give you speeds up to 150 Mbps. The bands in combinations offer a whopping 600 Mbps max speed!

This USB Wi-Fi adapter works seamlessly with wireless adapters at home. It’s actually three times faster than a typical wireless N router that your internet provider would charge a fortune for you to rent. The adapter works with both PCs and Macs without an issue. You can use this adapter with a new AC router to experience amazing speeds that you can stream ultra HD videos on. It’s also a plug-and-play device for Windows 10 operating systems. For other operating systems, a driver CD is shipped with the adapter. Oh, there’s an accompanying 18-month warranty as well.


Linksys AE1200 Wireless-N USB Adapter

Why we like it: This USB Wi-Fi adapter is affordable, portable, reliable, and well built. It ensures speedy connections and connects on the go. What more could a netizen ask for?

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This sleek and smooth Linksys USB Wi-Fi adapter can connect your devices from anywhere, anytime. It’s great for use with laptops when on the go. But we have definitely succeeded using this adapter with non-computer devices like tablets and smart gadgets. If you need a Wi-Fi signal to rely on, this adapter will get you there. It looks and feels just like a memory stick, so you can store and carry it as one as well. It lacks an external antenna, which increases portability of the device. Don’t worry, you will still get a great signal thanks to the multiple built-in MIMO antennas.

That’s right; the antenna is inside the adapter. You can get a good range and speeds up to 300 Mbps. We managed to browse the web, view online picture galleries and stream videos using this USB Wi-Fi adapter without any lagging issues. We were amazed by how convenient this adapter is in comparison to using a massive modem. Despite all the features offered, the price is surprisingly affordable as well. It costs roughly the same as an Echo Dot or a pair of Bluetooth headphones. It comes with an excellent manufacturer’s warranty as well. You can use this at home, work, or just about anywhere.

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