If your videos are constantly buffering and your webpages keep loading only halfway, you might wonder who’s to blame. But if your modem is all lit up and your router is performing fine, it may be an issue with your computer. Older laptops can sometimes struggle to keep up. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to replace the whole thing. You can actually upgrade your WiFi without needing to do anything techy on your computer; all you need is a USB Wi-Fi adapter.
- USB WiFi adapters improve your laptop or desktop’s internet connection
- Their plug and play design makes them easy to use
- They’re available in compact sizes so you can work on the go
A USB Wi-Fi adapter plugs into your computer just like a flash drive, and it helps improve your device’s connection to your home internet. Since an adapter just plugs into your computer, you can easily pop it out and use it on a different device if you need to. These can be a boon for PC gamers, where even reliable built-in WiFi can struggle to keep up with the high demands of online gaming. We’ve rounded up some of the best USB WiFi adapters to buy right now. Take a look at our list below!
1. TP-Link AC600 USB WiFi Adapter for PC
TP-Link’s simple and affordable option is a great way to improve your laptop or desktop’s connection. It’s designed to be compatible with PCs and works with most Windows operating systems. It also runs a dual-band connection, so you can switch back and forth as needed. The antenna can also be angled as needed to improve your connection.
2. Linksys USB 3.0 Adapter
Linksys’ dual-band adapter is a good option if you’re looking for something that’s easier to take on the go. It’s a little bigger than a regular flash drive, making it easier to take on the go than some other options. It supports dual-band connections for a more reliable connection.
3. TP-Link Nano AC600 USB Wifi Adapter
If you’re looking for something very compact, this option from TP-Link has a body that’s smaller than the actual connection, making it very discreet when it’s plugged into your laptop. It’s a great option if you have a work-on-the-go lifestyle. Like some of the other options, it supports dual-band connections.
4. Nineplus Wireless USB WiFi Adapter
If you don’t mind a bulky adapter sticking out of your laptop or desktop, this option from Nineplus can be a great way to improve your connection while working, browsing or gaming at home. It supports dual-band connections, and the dual adjustable antennas make it a great option if you’re seated far from your router.
5. NETGEAR USB Mini Adapter
This option from Netgear is a great way to improve your laptop’s connection if you’re on the go. Like others on this list, it supports a dual-band connection, with speeds up to 150 to 433 Mbps. It’s highly compact, making it great for anyone who takes their laptop on the go.
6. BrosTrend Long Range USB WiFi Adapter for PC
The BrosTrend WiFi adapter is a great option for desktops. The USB antenna connects to a dock, which has a cable that plugs into your computer. The dock can stand on your desk, for example, keeping access to any closely spaced USB ports on your computer tower. Or, detach it from the dock and take it on the go with your laptop.
7. Netgear Nighthawk Wi-Fi USB Adapter
This sleekly designed option from Netgear plugs into a dock with its own USB cable, saving space on the USB ports on your computer. However, you can also plug the adapter directly into your laptop. The unit has a hinged antenna that you can adjust as needed to improve internet reception.