The way we work has changed a lot in the last few years. People are increasingly untethered from their desks, and the traditional office has been replaced by coffee shops, shared workspaces, and our own living rooms. The only thing many people need to be productive is a laptop and a stable internet connection. That last part, though, is often the challenge. Poor WiFi connections can potentially limit the ability to get stuff done. WiFi dongles are the simple and surprisingly affordable solution. They provide the reliability and security of WiFi, without having to worry about being too far from the router.
WiFi dongles are basically antennas that you plug into your laptop or computer through a USB port. Dongles wouldn’t be much help if they weren’t portable, which is why most of them are lightweight and less than a foot long. These options don’t actually supply their own WiFi, they simply enhance weak connections or reduce dead zones. This can be handy in crowded cafes or even at home. Plus, some options provide encryption for added security. If you don’t want to have to worry about shoddy WiFi connections, these are some of the best WiFi dongles on Amazon.
1. TECHKEY USB WiFi Dongle
This inexpensive WiFi dongle from Techkey connects to your device using USB 3.0, which is the newest iteration of USB currently available. It has dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz speeds (the latter requires a dual-band WiFi router). It’s designed to be widely compatible, including Apple, Windows, and Linux operating systems.
Pros: USB 3.0, supports up to 5 GHz speeds.
Cons: Software download required.
2. Inamax USB WiFi Adapter
Like the Techkey option, this WiFi adapter supports USB 3.0. It can be connected to laptops, desktops, and even tablets. The dongle works with Windows and Apple, although it is not compatible with Linux. It’s also dual-band, meaning it supports speeds up to 5 GHz.
Pros: Dual-band adapter that supports speeds up to 5 GHz. Compatible with various operating systems.
Cons: Software comes on a CD, but an online download is available.
3. TP-Link USB wireless WiFi Adapter
If you prefer something more compact, this option from TP-Link is smaller than most flash drives. Like the other options, it plugs in via the USB port, but there is no antenna. Another benefit is that it’s made by TP-Link, which is the biggest provider of consumer WiFi devices in the world. It supports a variety of operating systems and it provides encryption for a secure connection.
Pros: Provides encryption, compact design, made by one of the top WiFi device manufacturers.
Cons: Driver downloads can be difficult. Uses USB 2.0, whereas the other options use the faster 3.0.