13 Best USB Wi-Fi Adapters in 2018

Best USB Wi-Fi adapters
A day without the Internet seems to be a global disaster and if your computer doesn’t have any Internet access then it’s definitely a daunting prospect. Fortunately, there is the way out of this terrifying situation, and it is called a USB Wi-Fi adapter. This device allows you to connect your gadgets to the web whenever and wherever you want it. We’ve compiled a list of the best USB WiFi Adapters to help you make the right choice.

13 Best USB Wireless Adapters in 2018

ASUS USB-AC68

Best 5 GHz wireless adapter for gaming

asus usb-ac68 - Best 5 GHz wireless adapter for gaming
There is a frequent misbelieve that USB Wi-Fi adapters are very slow. What an ignorant thought! Modern adapters can offer you a superb data speed transfer and ASUS USB-AC68 is the one to prove it.

There is a 3-position external antenna as well as a dual internal one. Together these antennas are able to produce a hefty dual-band AC1900 Wi-Fi that guarantees higher throughput and fine coverage both for laptops and desktops.

Note that these antennas are foldable, so it is a great plus for laptops which usually require portable stuff like that. Besides, they provide powerful reception for laptops when open. ASUS USB-AC68 has USB 3.0 jack that offers some additional placement options in order to optimize the desktop coverage.

Except for enhanced 3×4 MIMO design there is also ASUS AirRadar Beamforming. As a result, you get increased Wi-Fi speeds of up to 300% compared to the previous N900 adapters. ASUS AirRadar is aimed at stability. It makes wireless connectivity more powerful and reliable thanks to the Beamforming technology, exclusive ASUS RF fine-tuning as well as high power amplification.

You will be also allotted 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. So, don’t be afraid of bandwidth-intensive tasks together with ASUS USB-AC68, the combined data rate of which is up to 1900 Mbps. Thus, if you have a powerful gaming PC we would advise you to choose this product as one of the best 5 GHz wireless adapters for gaming.

Pros:

  • fast dual-band network connections
  • USB 3.0 cradle
  • easy setup
  • AirRadar Beamforming technology
Cons:

  • short antenna extension cable

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Edimax EW-7811Un

Best budget wireless adapter for PC

edimax ew-7811un - Best budget wireless adapter for PC
This tiny wireless adapter is the best product for those who want to save money and get a nice variety of options for a low price. Edimax USB Wi-Fi adapter can offer you 150 Mbps 802.11n Wireless data rate that guarantees the farthest range with the widest coverage. In a word, the speed of 802.11n rate is 6 times higher than of 802.11b. Still, it’s backward compatible with 802.11b/g as well.

We also like its Energy Saving Design for support of smart transmit power control as well as auto-idle state adjustment. Another thing we can’t but mention is that Edimax EW-7811Un is compatible with WMM Standard. It means that you will have better streaming of real-time data (Skype, Video, Music, etc.).

Speaking of the ports, this wireless adaptor for PC has one 2.0 USB (A type) port and its data rates up to 150 Mbps. As to the frequency band, it varies from 2.4GHz to 2.4835GHz. There is also internal chip antenna. By the way, this Edimax adapter has EZmax setup wizard and supports several languages.

Pros:

  • cheap
  • Energy Saving Design
Cons:

  • only one 2.0 USB port

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TP-Link AC1900

Great wireless adapter for desktop

tp-link ac1900
Another example of best wireless adapter for your desktop is TP-Link AC1900. Though it isn’t as cheap as pre-cited Edimax product, TP-Link AC1900 has a reasonable price and some useful options every top-notch USB Wi-Fi adapter must have.

We’ll start with the speed. TP-Link AC1900 has 600Mpbs on 2.4GHz band or 1300Mbps on 5GHz band. Such flexible connectivity lets you choose which one is more suitable for you. This wireless adapter supports 802.11ac wireless data rate and has backward compatibility too.

As well as ASUS USB-AC68, this 5 GHz wireless adapter is provided with Beamforming technology. The other thing to be aware of is TP-Link ultimate range – there are high gain antennas that add stability and better range to its general performance.

What we really like about this wireless adapter is its WPS button. It’s always better to have extra wireless security encryption, and when you get it just with a push of a button that’s really great. TP-Link AC1900 has also got fast 3.0 USB port.

Pros:

  • dual-band connectivity
  • high gain antennas
  • WPS button
  • 3.0 USB port
Cons:

  • No Linux support

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ALZN 1200Mbps Wifi Adapter B0753Z4YBN

Great USB Wi-Fi adapter from ALZN

alzn1200mbps wifi adapter b0753Z4ybn
This ALZN product is also provided with the new WPS Secure Technology – just press a built-in WPS button and get fast and effective Wi-Fi connection. Besides, it doesn’t matter what band you will choose – whether with 5.8GHz (867Mbps) or 2.4GHz (300Mbps) frequencies, your Wi-Fi connection will be always reliable.

ALZN Wireless USB adapter is quite convenient in use. This wireless adapter doesn’t require any CD driver and presupposes auto installation. All you need to do to make it work is just to plug and play.

It comes together with two 3dBi High Gain Wi-Fi antennas, so you can easily adjust the strength of their signal. You will also enjoy a 270-degree rotation USB port, which was definitely designed to make users’ life easier. By the by, ALZN Wireless USB adapter has built-in invisible vents for heat generation and even anti-dust that takes care of stable signal.

As well as all-new models of USB adapters, ALZN has also got 3.0 USB port but it’s still backward compatible with 2.0 USB port. This best wireless Wi-Fi adapter supports such operating systems as Windows XP/7/8/10 etc. If you have Linux or Mac then you’ll need to download additional driver. Besides, ALZN provides its customers with 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

Pros:

  • WPS secure technology
  • dual-band connectivity
  • two 3dBi High Gain Wi-Fi antennas
  • 270° rotation USB port
Cons:

  • requires additional drivers for Mac and Linux OS

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Edimax EW-7833UAC AC1750

Best wireless adapter for Linux OS

edimax ew-7833uac ac1750 - Best wireless adapter for Linux OS
Edimax is rich in wireless Wi-Fi adapters and here’s another best wireless product presented by this company – EW-7833UAC AC1750. We like this adapter because it is highly compatible with operating systems including not only Windows but also Mac and Linux OS.

Its Beamforming technology guarantees reliable connections and coverage, so you may not worry about wasted signals. This Edimax model has 11ac fast Wi-Fi speed thanks to the nest generation AC1750 Wi-Fi for HD streaming and gaming. The speed is flexible, so you can use both 450Mbps (2.4GHz) and 1300Mbps (5GHz) bands.

Another thing that helps Edimax EW-7833UAC AC1750 to provide high-grade performance is 3T3R MIMO technology. This wireless adapter is equipped with three transmitter antennas and three Receiver antennas that optimize its work. Apart from this, there is a 3.0 USB port and a 64/128-bit WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption to boost the security level.

Pros:

  • supports Linux OS
  • Beamforming technology
  • dual-band connectivity
  • high security level
Cons:

  • doesn’t work well on Mac OS

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NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900

Great Wi-Fi USB adapter for the money

netgear nighthawk ac1900
Looking for something with a decent speed? NETGAR Nighthawk is one of those best wireless Wi-Fi adapters that have already recommended themselves as fast and effective products. AC1900 Wi-Fi presupposes speeds of up to 600Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1300Mbps on 5GHz.

This USB Wi-Fi adapter supports such operating systems as Microsoft Windows (7/8/10), Mac OS (X 10.8.3). Still, if your PC has Linux then you’ll need to spend more time installing additional drivers.

There is modern 3×4 MIMO design for better bandwidth capacity. It plays a crucial part when downloading and uploading data to and from a wireless network. Explicit Beamforming and magnetic cradle are included as well.

Add to this 3.0 USB port and you get an adapter with a great performance speed. Keep in mind that combination of such options will allow you to enjoy online gaming and HD streaming. So, just get a joystick, a racing wheel and enjoy.

Pros:

  • dual-band connectivity
  • 3×4 MIMO design
  • Beamforming technology
  • great speed for gaming
Cons:

  • big size can damage adjacent ports

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Panda Wireless PAU09 N600

Wireless adapter with great compatibility

panda wireless pau09 n600
You have Linux on your desktop? Then you know how difficult it’s to find wireless adapter compatible with your OS. Still, there’s a product which doesn’t require any additional drivers to work on Linux operating system. In fact, this only feature can be a decisive factor when choosing a USB Wi-Fi adapter. However, Linux compatibility isn’t the only option Panda Wireless is proud of. There is also dual band connectivity, so you can count on 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11 ac/b/g/n networks.

To be honest, we can regard this wireless adapter to be almost the most highly compatible product on the market. Except for Linux it also supports such OS as 32-bit and 64-bit Windows, Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora and even CentOS. Still, it doesn’t work with Xbox 360, PS3, Blu-Ray or Roku, TV.

What is more, Panda Wireless has WEP 64/128bit, WPA, WPA2 (TKIP+AES) encryption and supports ad-hoc modes. We also appreciate its low power consumption, so you may not worry about your device battery life.

Pros:

  • highly compatible
  • dual-band connectivity
  • supports ad-hoc modes
  • low-power consumption
Cons:

  • connection drops

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TP-Link Archer T1U AC450

Best compacts wireless adapter

tp-link archer t1u ac450 - Best compacts wireless adapter
Thanks to its Nano design TP-Link Archer can fit perfectly well on any laptop. Besides, it is so tiny that you will even forget about it as it won’t interfere with your work at all. Note that it doesn’t block any adjacent ports as well.

Of course, we have included this USB Wi-Fi adapter into our list not only because of its compact size. TP-Link Archer is very simple in use from the very first seconds you take it into your hands. There’s minimum of configuration steps you will need to pass to start enjoying its performance.

TP-Link Archer has 802.11ac standard and is also compatible with 802.11a/n. Unlike the other models mentioned above, this wireless adapter supports only 5GHz band. Such restriction can be justified by the fact that this prevents wireless signal interference. The general speed can reach up to 433Mbps, so it allows streaming HD videos and playing games.

Another important feature is security level. TP-Link Archer supports 64/128-bit WEP, WPA/PA2 and WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK. And here’s great news for Linux owners again. This wireless adapter is compatible not only with Windows or Mac OS X but also Linux operating system.

Pros:

  • Nano design
  • 802.11ac standard
  • high speed
  • cheap
Cons:

  • connection drops
  • not a big coverage

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ANEWKODI 600mbps wi-fi adapter

Another great Wi-Fi adapter for gaming

anewkodi 600mbps wi-fi adapter
Anewkodi is a universal USB Wi-Fi adapter which has superfast AC600 wireless adapter speed with 802.11ac. This representative of best wireless adapters has dual band with up to 600Mbps on 5GHz (433Mbps) and 2.4GHz (150Mbps). As a result, its performance is fast and suitable for playing games and watching HD videos.

We also like this USB Wi-Fi adapter because of its compatibility. Anewkodi supports plenty of Wi-Fi routers. By the by, this adapter is compatible with all Windows versions (10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista (32-bit/64-bit) as well as Mac OS (10.4-10.12.1). Unfortunately, it doesn’t support Linux operating system.

On the whole, Anewkodi is comfortable in use and simple in setup. There is also external hefty High Gain Long-Range 2dBi antenna for durable connection even when the signals aren’t strong.

Pros:

  • dual-band connectivity
  • high speed
  • easy setup
  • durable connection
Cons:

  • no Linux compatibility

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NET-DYN AC1200

Reliable cheap USB wireless adapter

net-dyn ac1200
Net-Dyn tries to combine a reasonable price and quality in their products in order to be not only affordable for a wide authority of customers but also make their life easier and their virtual trips more pleasant.

This wireless adapter has dual-band, so you will be allotted both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz connectivity. By the way, its coverage has more than 90 meters. Such great distance means that you won’t be a prisoner of your Wi-Fi and there is a chance to enjoy net surfing far from your study, bedroom or any other place where you have a router. Apart from this, Net-Dyn AC1200 is compatible with all WLAN routers including WPA, WPA2 and WEP.

Setup is simple and all you need to do before you start using this USB Wi-Fi adapter is to plug it in, install the drivers and that’s all. Net-Dyn adapter is friendly to most of the operating systems, so there won’t be any problems if you have Windows or Mac operating system. Still, Linux owners will have to spend more time installing additional drivers.

Pros:

  • affordable price
  • dual-band connectivity
  • highly compatible with routers
Cons:

  • no Linux compatibility

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NETGEAR N300 Wi-Fi USB Adapter (WNA3100)

Best durable USB Wi-Fi adapter

netgear n300 wi-fi usb adapter (wna3100) - Best durable USB Wi-Fi adapter
This wireless adapter is a nice budget product with the most important options to show great performance. Netgear N300 has better range as well as speed in comparison with Wireless-G adapter. It is suitable for net surfing, emails, online games, Internet phone calls and music streaming.

The only thing we really don’t like about this USB Wi-Fi adapter is its low compatibility level. The point is that Netgear N300 supports only Windows OS. To be honest, that’s not so impressive because there are a lot of other adapters that can offer much more.

However, if you have Mac X OS don’t worry as this adapter will work on it too. What is more, you won’t need any driver CDs because OS X Internet software will guide you through the whole setup process.

Pros:

  • low price
  • reliable connection
Cons:

  • supports only Windows OS

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BrosTrend 1200Mbps WiFi Adapter

Reliable Adapter With a Good Range

brostrend 1200mbps long range usb wifi adapter
This product has become quite popular in the time since its release. Given its fast 867Mbps Wireless Speed on 5GHz WiFi Band or 300Mbps on 2.4GHz WiFi Band, this WiFi adapter is great for online 4K video watching, gaming, high-quality music playback, or social media sites. With the excellent long-range capacity and the vertically and horizontally extendable WiFi antennas, this adapter is extremely easy to use and adjust based on your needs. This product offers exceptional stability on your desktop, PC, or laptop, no matter where you are due to the larger size of the adapter with its antenna and USB cradle. This item is likely to work best with routers that can handle AC1700 or AC1900. No matter where you are in your home, your BrosTrend 1200Mbps WiFi Adapter is ready to provide exceptional, uninterrupted coverage.

Pros:

  • Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 7, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, MAC OS X 10.6~10.10
  • Long range connectivity with 2 X 5dBi WiFi Antenna
  • Comes with USB 3.0 cradle
  • Five feet cable extension
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty
Cons:

  • Some users experience random disconnects
  • Occasionally arrives with only one antenna working

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Trendnet AC1900

Best secured wireless adapter

trendnet ac1900 - Best secured wireless adapter
And the last but not the least product on our list of best wireless adapters is Trendnet AC1900. It has a high power radio with detachable high gain antennas that increase wireless coverage and make you feel freer when choosing the place for net surfing.

There is fast USB 3.0 as well as USB 2.0 share ports and our favorite one touch network connection with the WPS button. Trendnet AC1900 is pre-encrypted for your convenience and allows the creation of an isolated guest network.

What is more, Trendnet AC1900 creates two concurrent wireless networks – a 1.3 Gigabit Wireless AC network and a 600 Mbps Wireless N network in order to connect common wireless devices. There is also targeted Beamforming and an option of parental control.

Pros:

  • detachable high gain antennas
  • 3.0 USB port
  • pre-encrypted
  • Beamforming technology
  • parental control
Cons:

  • needs improvement for Mac OS
  • connection drops

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