This is a long article, use this quick navigation bar so you can jump to the desired section:
Best Dual Band Wireless Adapter
Best Wireless Adapter for Gaming
Best Wireless Adapter for Windows 10
Best TP-Link Wifi Adapter
Best Linksys Wireless Adapter
Best ASUS Wireless Adapter
Best Small Wifi Adapter
Best Range Wireless Adapter
Best Wireless Adapter for Desktop
Best Wireless Adapter for Laptop
Have you ever been deep in an excellent MMORPG session and your internet starts to lag, and it just completely messes with your concentration? Or maybe you work from home and have had the experience of having your internet drop out in the middle of an important sales call, all because your 14-year-old was streaming Netflix upstairs.
Maybe you’ve been wanting to fix your slow internet connection for a while and have tried everything from moving the computer to moving the router, yet you’re still getting daily glitches. If a computer is far away from the router in your house, you’ll likely get a weak signal and slow internet. This problem may be compounded if you have slower computers, multiple users, faulty wireless cards, etc.
In these days when everyone is digitally connected, having an unreliable home connection is no laughing matter. Whether you’re using it for work, play or all of the above, having unstable internet is just not acceptable in this day and age. It can be downright annoying to have your internet cut out if more than one person in the house is using it. Having a fast, secure internet connection in your house is not just a nice thing, it’s important for everyone’s peace of mind. If there’s more than one person using the internet in your house, you’ll likely be looking for a faster connection.
Thankfully there’s a simple solution in the form of small wireless adaptors that plug into your laptop or desktop computer. There are a whole host of adaptors on the market that are generally very easy to use and unobtrusive. These little gadgets can work wonders on your local connectivity, especially if you live in a rural area or are living in a large house. All of the ones on our list are affordable, fast and allow for faster internet throughout your household, no matter how much bandwidth is being used. After an easy install, you’ll find a smoother, easier connection in every room.
Need to buy a wireless router? Then be sure to check my article covering the best wireless routers.
Each adaptor does have different features. If you’re wondering which wireless adaptor is best for your needs, take a look at your standard operating systems as well as what activities you’d typically use it for. Some are more compatible with laptops, and some are better to use with PC operating systems. In addition, you should note that these adaptors are all designed for use with computers without built-in Wi-Fi connections.
Best Dual Band Wireless Adapter
OURLINK 600Mbps mini 802.11ac Dual Band 2.4G/5G Wireless Network Adapter USB Wi-Fi Dongle Adapter with 5dBi Antenna
There are quite a few decent antenna adaptors out there, but at this size and price range, the Glam Hobby Dongle Adapter with Antenna Support is both fast and sturdy, and it will definitely eliminate annoying interruptions when gaming, streaming or chatting. Now you can play, work, talk and watch quickly and smoothly without worrying about falling behind. This adapter will give you the confidence you need to keep up with what you’re meant to be doing, even if you’re in the garage, basement or front yard.
This is a great choice for those looking for super fast HD streaming for all areas in the home, as it can connect to a broad range of wireless devices and is one of the more powerful antenna adaptors in its range. The cool part about the omnidirectional antenna is that it truly will reach into all corners and angles of your house. You can expect it to reach good speeds.
This is a great solution if you’re finding as an upgrade and would also work for laptops that have a failing Wi-Fi card. Even if you’re not very confident with technical skills, this is an easy install, with a plug and play setup that normally takes a matter of minutes. It connects automatically so no driver needed, though it does come with a mini disk should you find you need one.
Glam Hobby Dongle Adapter with Antenna Support features reliable beamforming technology which basically points a radio signal in the direction of the client via a scanning action, thereby optimizing all signals throughout a given area. This way there’s no more getting a glitchy signal no matter where you are in your home. The antenna is omnidirectional, so it will cover a broad range in (and maybe beyond) the house. You’ll never see a weak internet connection again, none of those annoying interruptions during gaming, you won’t fall behind in your work or streaming either.
The antenna itself is lightweight and solid quality, though you’ll want to put it aside so that you don’t bump it. This unit provides a super stable connection and enables surprisingly strong reception, allowing maximum speed on all internet activities. It’s really one of the best in its class and for the price, it’s totally worth it.
Best Wireless Adapter for Gaming
If you’re looking for something to help improve your gaming speed and to reach into the deepest corners of a larger house, the ASUS USB-AC68 is a solid choice. The Asus USB-AC68 is really one of the top Wi-Fi adaptors for games for a number of reasons. The external antennas offer maximum reception potential for all computers and are super portable. The speed on this adapter is second to none, utilizing the full power of MIMO technologies in combination with three antenna position options plus an internal antenna means that it really has reach when it comes to optimal connectivity.
The Asus USB-AC68 actually uses both the 2.4Hz and the 5 GHz band and Ai radar, ensuring extreme speed and stability. This is a 3.0 USB interface moves data at a rate that is extremely fast compared to the 2.0—up to 10 times faster. This allows you to stream a large amount of content to various devices while gaming or using other types of information-heavy content. Whether you are tech-savvy or not, this could very well be the answer to your glitchy wireless issues, as its very easy for anyone to hook up. Note that it’s likely to work best with routers that can handle AC1700 or AC 1900.
This unit also comes with Airradar, which uses beamforming technology to essentially scan a wide range of area, thereby picking up all signals in its path more readily than older models would. Speed wise, you can expect this unit to reach to 1.75 GHz / second which means a very large amount of data can be transferred in a small amount of time. No matter where you set up your gaming station in your house, you are guaranteed full, interrupted coverage.
This particular adapter is larger and sturdier, so it’s not necessarily optimal for portable laptops. You can install the antenna on the back of the card or on your computer case to get the best reception. It also comes with a handy desktop cradle for optimal positioning. This unit is easy to install and is compatible with Windows 10 operating systems. You’ll want to get drivers and updated compatibility information from the Asus website.
Best Wireless Adapter for Windows 10
Here’s some good news for the gamers and heavy internet users who need a bit of a boost: the NET DYN Dual Band N600 Adaptor is a solid choice for a mid-range adaptor. Try this one on for size and experience the end of slow downloads. You’ll no longer have glitches, interruptions or lag time when gaming or when running multiple systems through the house, even if you’re based in the basement or a little further out, like in the garage or back yard. This is a great option for those who live in rural areas or might be thinking of sharing your Wi-Fi with neighbors in an apartment building.
The N600 is also a nice option that’s on the less expensive side if your current card is broken or you just have slow internet, or if you have a home office and need high speed, reliable internet for working. This adaptor will give you a smooth ride, matter how far away you are from it or what everyone else is doing. With this adaptor, you can find peace of mind that everyone in the house is free to enjoy their separate streaming and gaming activities in peace!
With the option of 5GHz connections and WPA/WPA2 security encryption, you’ll be relieved to have a fast and secure connection in every corner of your house. Even if the kids are doing their homework (or probably watching YouTube videos), your partner just wants to relax and watch a movie, and you’ve finally carved out some time to get that last bit of work done, make a few VOIP calls or dig into that flight simulator game, everyone will be able to do their thing without interruptions.
This device is super easy to install even for those who don’t feel very tech savvy: you just plug it into your desktop or laptop into a USB port and enjoy. If you do find you need a driver or extra assistance, all are available or check the website for the latest software download or contact customer service. Even with the driver, you should be able to set this up in a matter of minutes. The best part is that this is the only one on our list that specifically comes with a lifetime warranty.
Best Tp-Link Wifi Adapter
If you’re looking for a bandwidth boost in your home for regular day-to-day use, you might want to consider the TP-Link AC 600 USB adapter for reliable internet connectivity and to stop lagging and dropping. This little gadget supports all of the newest version of Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems. If you work at home and need reliable, consistent speed and strength for conference calls, gaming, uploading and streaming, this can be a game-changer. The gamers in your household will likely be impressed at how fast and glitch-free their next session will be.
The Archer T2UH comes with a 1m USB cable so you can easily plug the device in and out. The best thing about an adapter with an external antenna like this is that it really allows you maximum flexibility in terms of directing it. And if you don’t really know what this means, it’s basically like having an old TV set with a pair of bunny ears. An antenna allows the signal to be picked up better. Of course, these kinds of antennas have super high tech functionality and allow you to access 5 GHz connections. You can plug this in and use the 3-foot cable for optimal placement, and enjoy fast streaming and gaming. You may consider investing in a longer cord for setup, depending on where you need it in the house.
Having a high-end external antenna helps give this adaptor a solid signal throughout the house. It comes with two-speed options, 5 and 2.4 GHz. You can try the 5 GHz frequency setting for streaming videos, gaming, and the lower one for glitch-free surfing. Use either frequency for clear and clean uploading and downloading and transferring, even if your router is on the other end of the house. You can install this in a matter of minutes and expect it to solve most of your connection issues, just check the website for the most recent driver if you don’t want to use the CD. This comes with a 2-year warranty and a 24-hour technical support team should you have any issues. And while color may not seem that important, it adds a little bit of class to what might otherwise be a not-so-elegant cable tangle look that many high-tech rooms tend to take on! Who knows, it might even make your office look better.
Best Linksys Wireless Adapter
If you have experienced poor internet connection with multiple users in your house, you will want to look for a quick and easy solution in the form of an easy-to-install adaptor to boost your internet speed and connectivity. The Linksys Dual Band AE3000 is a great choice that is particularly compatible with Windows operating systems. It works well with Wireless-A (802.11a) Wireless-B (802.11b) and Wireless-G (802.11g) standards and supports up to 128-bit (WEP, WPA, and WPA2) encryption so it can enhance the security of your internet in your household. Even if your connection is restricted because of concrete walls, or if you’re in a rural area, installing the Linksys AE3000 will give you smooth surfing and gaming you can rely on.
If you’re looking for longevity, stability and an easy install, this should be your go-to unit. The unit comes with a disk for easy install with or without. It is recommended that you use the CD for help configuring the wireless connection. Note that it’s a little on the larger size, but it’s sturdy and will last. The adaptor comes with a cradle and supports 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands, and with 3 internal antennas, it’s bound to get into every corner of your house. It offers Mimo technology, which gives an extra boost to antenna power. The Linksys boasts maximum speed and advanced security plus 24-hour technical help should you find you need extra support during an install.
This is a superior device that will definitely give you a fast boost connectivity boost for smooth streaming. Expect maximum speeds of 450 Mbps and compatibility with any system and the driver is self-installing, so you don’t even need to mess with discs or software. The high-end technology and superior speeds will keep everything flowing and functional in your day-to-day usage. No matter what system you’re working with, if your wireless signal drops regularly and you’re sick of resetting the network card (but can’t replace it), choosing a USB adaptor like this one will help you go from 3 bars to 5, and stay there.
Best Asus Wireless Adapter
If you’re looking for a boost in your wireless connectivity, ASUS offers a few solid solutions. This particular model is an easy plug-and-play solid and secure 2-in-1 sharing device for Windows, Mac, and Linux (Mint) systems. It will reach speeds up to 300 Mbps and will sweep through a range of up to 300 meters, so it’s a fast and stable option for those living in larger houses. You can use this to rely on smooth gaming and streaming in every area of the house. Finally, they can watch Netflix without interruptions while you can relax you’re your games or get work done fast!
The ASUS (USB-N13) not only has a great wireless range, it also comes with an extender cable for optimal placement. This is a nice piece of hardware for those who might have an older computer tucked away in the basement or attic, or parts computers, that maybe don’t have the strongest internet connection. You can also use ASUS (USB-N13) to set up sharing when you’re traveling on business or use it to run video conference calls out of your home. To install, just insert the USB into your computer’s port and press the WPS buttons on each respective device, and enjoy a secure and fast connection.
One cool thing about USB N13 is that you can create a secure local network and share it with others. Gamers also have the option of using the Xlink Kai software play games on the internet instead of LAN. You can also share a local network in the same way if you’re looking to join a group just use the ACL and ISL to manage connectivity. This adaptor is a good choice if you are wanting to connect with the Live-TV Media Player. It will support playing movies in 1080p.
You may find that you experience some unexpectedly high speeds with this one, but it might be a bit tricky to set up, so don’t hesitate to call their awesome customer service if you can’t find the driver you need online.
Best Small Wireless Adapter
This is a great choice of wireless adapter for people who require optimal portability. Its minimalist design means that you can leave it plugged into a laptop without risking breakage. It doesn’t stick out at all, and it provides an exceptionally strong and clear signal. Simply plug it into any USB port and get fast, secure wireless with barely any setup time. It’s portable, user-friendly and won’t get in the way. It’s actually quite amazing how well this works given its size, and you won’t even remember it’s there!
The Archer T1U Nano is awesome for use with laptops and is compatible with Windows 8 or higher as well as the most updated versions of Mac and Linux. This would be an awesome and cheap fix if you have a busted Wi-Fi card in a laptop or old desktop that is still in working use. This is also a great solution if you just need to boost Wi-Fi on a slow home setup or want to set up your computer with a local hotspot to share with others. Plus, you can use it for a laptop with a slower (2.4 GHz) wireless modem card that just needs a little extra boost.
The TP-Link Nano should install on Windows easily and is compatible with most operating systems. The bright green LED gives an easy signal as to whether the device is installed properly, and it should work continually with no stop and start or rests. If you are looking for a clear and cheap speed upgrade, this will help immensely with your overall speed and clarity. Expect speeds of at up to 150 Mbps on most units. Notable features include the 802.11 b, g or n, which allows it to transfer data at about 3 times faster than the older standards. Though it only has a 2.0 instead of 3.0 USB, you likely won’t notice too much of a difference because of the 802.11 n feature. If you have an older router, you’ll only be able to use this in the lower, 2.4 GHz band range.
Best Range Wireless Adapter
If you’re having trouble getting decent quality internet in different parts of your home, picking up a wireless adapter is a super easy fix. And if you’re wondering why you might want to get an external antenna version, consider that this really works in the same way as old TVs used to work: it’s just going to be able to detect signals easier for a clearer, faster connection. Faster Wi-Fi will make such a difference in your house, especially if you are running special programs for gaming or your home office.
Pick up the ANEWKODI 600Mbps USB Wi-Fi adapter and avoid interference from other devices of all kinds from now on. This is a solid choice if you’re looking for something that offers completely interruption-free gaming and streaming for anywhere in your home. You’ll notice that it reaches speeds of up to 433 Mbps on the 5G setting. If you’re using Windows 10, you won’t need any kind of driver, you can just plug it in and it should set up automatically. If you have old computers lying around that you want to use this with, install Windows 10 first and setup will be a breeze. If you have a different operating system, you can just go to the product page for updated driver software. Do be sure to double-check compatibility specs with other operating systems.
This is a good quality adapter for its price point. Notable features include the 802.11 ac, which allows it to transfer data at about 3 times faster than the old 802.11n speeds. You won’t be noticing any interruptions with the long range antenna that offers a very stable signal. This device should be compatible with any router. Anewkodi offers a 12-month warranty on this device, so there’s basically no chance of wasting money with this choice. Set this one up at home and you’ll be amazed at how your internet speed picks up.
Best Wireless Adapter for Desktop
This wireless router is a great choice if you’re looking for an easy plug and play option to boost internet connectivity throughout your home, the Panda PAU06 will go the extra mile. The easy install connects it with your device in a matter of minutes. Even if you need to get around thick walls or other thick materials, the power and speed of this adaptor will get into hard-to-reach places and will work around interception from other devices to provide a smooth, strong signal even during a heavy gaming session.
Though it’s a bit on the bulky side to use with portable laptops—at least, you’ll want to take it out before travelling around with your laptop as it protrudes and could easily break–it does work well on all types of PCs that have a USB port and at least 1GHz CPU and 1GByte Memory. It is compatible with 802.11g 2.4GHz wireless networks (but not with 5GHz) and with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8, Mac OS 10.4-10.10, Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE.
The main thing that stands out with the Panda is its versatility and compatibility with a range of less-known operating systems. Still, it’s a good idea to check with customer support before you buy if you don’t see your version of your program on the list. The Panda PAU06 offers the best in security featuring standard high-end security of 64b/128bit WEP, WPA and WPA2 (TKIP+AES) to ensure your piece of mind. It also doesn’t use up too much battery power, which is great if you’re looking to take your laptop away from the main area, such as the back yard or garage.
Overall this adapter stands out as an effective, versatile, portable and easy option for any use, even if you want to share your wireless with neighbors. Price- and quality-wise, it stands out as one of the best in the mid-range external antenna type adaptors, with performance definitely in the top 10 of the ones tested. The connection is so clear and stable, and installation is so easy, you won’t be disappointed. And if there are any problems, this item comes with a 1-year warranty.
Best Wireless Adapter for Laptop
Here’s a great little compact dongle that is all setup to handle all types of activities, whether you’re streaming, gaming, downloading or video calls. The Glam Hobby AC 600 Dual Band features speeds that get up to 3 x faster than regular Wi-Fi speeds. The design is simple and innovative, perfect for smaller devices like laptops, and it’s compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems. Plus, at only 22mm, it’s so tiny you won’t even notice it’s there, even while traveling or going to school or work.
The special beamforming technology on this device allows it to scan a wide swath of area, so it picks up receptors from further away. This will allow you to catch a connection speed that’s likely going to be several times faster than others in its class. Using an adaptor like this means that you can stop worrying about whether your computer network will be up to high-intensity loads in the following months and hopefully years. You can say goodbye to weak signals, delays and interruptions.
Whether you are using a desktop or laptop, this is a seriously smart and super easy method of adding speed and reliability to your home network. It can even work as a hotspot for mobile devices like tablets or phones. You might want to consider purchasing the Glam Hobby dongle if your current network card is not up to speed, if you have an older computer or if you just have a weak wireless signal whenever other devices in the house are sucking your reception away from your important work or gaming.
You can install this anywhere in your home and boost your wireless connectivity making it several times faster and more stable, even if your home is very big. You can count on no longer seeing only half of your internet bars, and enjoy the luxury and peace of mind of a completely powerful setup. This is also a great option for those who are into heavy gaming and have older rigs or super powerful computer builds. It’s also a great price for adaptors in this class. Getting the Glam Hobby AC 600 at home will allow everyone in your immediate network to enjoy a speedy and superior connection on a range of devices, including TVs, tablets, phones, laptops and desktops. This is also a great option if you have tenants or kids living way in the basement or who tend to spend a lot of time upstairs in their rooms.