Top WiFi USB Adapters – Buyers Guide & Reviews

Last Updated: October 8, 2021

For anyone who owns an older computer lacking built-in wifi connection, powerful and pocket-sized solutions are at hand with the top WiFi USB adapters. Whether you need the Internet for work, gaming, streaming video, you’ll find something to suit your needs with any of these great wifi USB adapters.

top wifi usb adapters
top wifi usb adapters review - image source: D-Link Systems

If you own an old laptop, it may have connectivity issues or may not have a Wi-Fi card. Or maybe you’re just looking for an upgrade on your current laptop’s connectivity. In either case, it’s worth taking a look at a Wi-Fi USB Adapter. Here is our team’s buyers guide to the top WiFi USB Adapters currently available on Amazon.



Top WiFi USB Adapters

Our team has looked at the Top Wifi USB Adapters from the world’s leading tech innovators and manufacturers and compiled this comprehensive buyers guide, with product review posts and details of the primary factors to consider when purchasing a new USB adapter.


Product Price
NET-DYN AC1200 > Check Price >
Panda Wireless PAU06 > Check Price >
ASUS USB-AC68 > Check Price >
Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 > Check Price >
Trendnet AC1900 TEW-809UB > Check Price >
TP-Link Archer T1U AC450 > Check Price >
D-Link Systems AC1900 > Check Price >
Compact WiFi USB Adapter: Best Model – Glam Hobby OURLINK 600Mbps AC600 > Check Price >
Compact WiFi USB Adapter: Runner-Up – Edimax EW-7811UN > Check Price >
NETGEAR N300 (WNA3100) > Check Price >


1. Top WiFi USB Adapter – NET-DYN AC1200



Image Source: Amazon

The Net-Dyn dual band wireless Wi-Fi adapter is compatible with both Windows and Mac. It is capable of coverage of an area of up to 100 yards on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections, while still offering its fastest speed. The adapter can reach up to 300Mbps and has the addition of 802.11n connectivity.


Easy setup. Flimsy design.
Compatible with Windows and Mac. Issues with dropping signal.

Amazon Customer Reviews: 756
Average Review Rating: 4.2 out of 5 Stars

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2. Runner-Up Best WiFi USB Adapter – Panda Wireless PAU06



Image Source: Amazon

The Panda Wireless PAU06 is 802.11n friendly. It can reach speeds of up to 300Mbps. There is also backwards compatibility with 802.11g on the 2.4GHz band. This adapter is kind to your battery life so won’t drain your laptop quickly like other adapters may. It is compatible with Windows 10, Mac OS and various Linux systems.


Panda Wireless PAU06 - PROSPanda Wireless PAU06 - CONS
Cheap. May not last long before breaking (should be expected given price).
Compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Connection can be unreliable at middling distance distance.

Amazon Customer Reviews: 2,729
Average Review Rating: 4.2 out of 5 Stars

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3. Most Expensive WiFi USB Adapter – ASUS USB-AC68



Image Source: Amazon

This adapter from Asus offers outstanding range and speed. It uses 2 foldable external antennas to provide enhanced reception to laptops when open. The adapter utilizes powerful 3×4 MIMO(multiple in, multiple out) technologies which mean the same antennas are used for both transmitting and receiving. The external antennas pair with an internal antenna for long range connectivity. The adapter uses dual-bands, with the 2.4GHz band allowing up to 600Mbps and the 5GHz band allowing up to 1300Mbps.


2 foldable antennas. Expensive.
MIMO technology . Probably too big for use with a laptop.

Amazon Customer Reviews: 4,075
Average Review Rating: 4.1 out of 5 Stars

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4. Best WiFi USB Adapter for Gaming – Linksys Dual-Band AC1200



Image Source: Amazon

Reaching up to 867Mbps on its 5GHz network and up to 300Mbps on its 2.4GHz network the Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 is perfect for multiplayer gaming or video streaming . It features a 128-bit encryption through WEP, WPA and WPA2 standards. This adapter is also compatible with all Windows versions.


Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 - PROSLinksys Dual-Band AC1200 - CONS
Good price. No USB cradle.
128-bit encryption. Quite expensive for what it offers.

Amazon Customer Reviews: 430
Average Review Rating: 3.7 out of 5 Stars

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5. Best WiFi USB Adapter for Range – Trendnet AC1900 TEW-809UB



Image Source: Amazon

With four antennas the TRENDnet TEW-809UB has an extremely aggressive design. These powerful antennas offer beamforming technology that prevent interference while handling multiple users. This adapter can handle speeds up to 1300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band or up to 600Mbps on the 5GHz band. This device has a range of 100 yards before any difference in signal strength.


Trendnet AC1900 TEW-809UB - PROSTrendnet AC1900 TEW-809UB - CONS
Beamforming technology. Signal inconsistent over 100 yards from router.
Easy installation. Issues with overheating.

Amazon Customer Reviews: 422
Average Review Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

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6. Best Budget WiFi USB Adapter – TP-Link Archer T1U AC450



Image Source: Amazon

The TP-Link T1U wireless nano USB adapter is a Wi-Fi adapter you won’t even know is there. Staying close to your router is wise with this model as the size of the device leaves a smaller area for receiving signal. The focus of this device is really on transmission speeds. It’s lacking a 2.4GHz, offering speed of up to 433Mbps on its 5GHz band.


TP-Link Archer T1U AC450 - PROSTP-Link Archer T1U AC450 - CONS
Cheap. No 2.4GHz band.
Compact. Only 433Mbps speed.

Amazon Customer Reviews: 566
Average Review Rating: 2.8 out of 5 Stars

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7. Best Designed WiFi USB Adapter – D-Link Systems AC1900



Image Source: Amazon

The D-Link Systems AC1900 Ultra Wi-Fi USB 3.0 adapter is about the size of a tennis ball – so it’s a big one. The adapter offers up to 1300Mbps on its 5GHz network and up to 600Mbps on a 2.4GHz network. It is also backwards compatible with 802.11n/g/a networks and uses beamforming technology which directs the network signal straight between a router and the DWA-192 adapter.


D-Link Systems AC1900 - PROSD-Link Systems AC1900 - CONS
USB 3.0. Price.
Backwards compatible with 802.11n/g/a networks. Size.

Amazon Customer Reviews: 386
Average Review Rating: 3.7 out of 5 Stars

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8. Compact WiFi USB Adapter: Best Model – Glam Hobby OURLINK 600Mbps AC600



Image Source: Amazon

This device offers 433Mbps on its 5GHz band and 150Mbps on its 2.4GHz band and is compatible with both Windows 10 and Mac OS. The Glam Hobby also has the option to to create a Wi-Fi hotspot for additional mobile devices when there is a wired internet connection.


Glam Hobby OURLINK 600Mbps AC600 - PROSGlam Hobby OURLINK 600Mbps AC600 - CONS
Size. No 802.11n.
USB 3.0. Slightly confusing installation.

Amazon Customer Reviews: 1,182
Average Review Rating: 4.2 out of 5 Stars

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9. Compact WiFi USB Adapter: Runner-Up – Edimax EW-7811UN



Image Source: Amazon

This USB Wi-Fi adapter from EDIMAX is just 1.2 inches long. It uses interference-free 5GHz transmission frequency, meaning you can transfer data via Wi-Fi without any noise or interruptions. The adapter offers a secure network as well with WEP64, WPA, WPA2 and 802.11x. It also features a setup wizard for Mac OS.


Edimax EW-7811UN - PROSEdimax EW-7811UN - CONS
Setup wizard for Mac OS. Issue with setup with Windows 7 and Vista.
Size. Poor range.

Amazon Customer Reviews: 10,256
Average Review Rating: 3.7 out of 5 Stars

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10. WiFi USB Adapter with Best Features – NETGEAR N300 (WNA3100)



Image Source: Amazon

The Netgear N300 offers the standard 802.11n connection. Reaching speeds of up to 300 Mbps on a 2.4GHz band it is capable of handling most basic operations. It features the usual encryption in WPA and WEP. The adapter is compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux. You can either plug this adapter directly into a USB slot like a thumb drive or use the extension wire to stand the device upright to utilize the antenna for a stronger signal.


Compatible with Windows, Mac OS and Linux. No 5GHz band.
Ability to plug in directly or through a wire. Complex installation.

Amazon Customer Reviews: 954
Average Review Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Check Price >



Top WiFi USB Adapters – Buyers Guide

To help you find the WiFi Adapter that’s ideal for you, we’ve compiled some of the factors that you should take into consideration when browsing the market. By using the information in our buyers guide and in our product reviews above, you should be able to recognise the features that should be prioritised, and so you’ll be able to find the right product in no time.


What is a WiFi USB Adapter?

A WiFi USB Adapter is useful for those who have devices that do not come with a built-in WiFi chip. These computers are basically unable to pick up on WiFi signals, so the only way they can connect to the internet is through the good old ethernet cable. However, this isn’t very convenient, especially with laptops. The WiFi USB adapter essentially solves this problem, by plugging into the USB port and connecting your device to WiFi.


Are WiFi USB Adapters expensive?

Yes and no. You can get lower end WiFi USB adapters for a little over $10, which are fantastic as budget friendly alternatives to the more expensive products. However, be aware that you will not be able to draw the same performance out of one of these that you can get out of a $80 adapter.


Key factors to take into consideration

Size: The size of your USB adapter is obviously going to be something you should want to take into consideration. If you’re going to be transporting a product like this around the place, you’re going to want to be able to slip it in and out of your pocket relatively easily.

MU-MIMO: MU-MIMO stands for “Multi-user, multiple input, multiple output”. This technology is relatively new to the market. What MU-MIMO essentially does is allow the user to direct additional bandwidth to specific devices, thereby improving their connectivity, while other devices share the left-overs.

Generation of USB Port(s): USB ports come in different generations, 2.0 or 3.0. USB 3.0 ports are usually slightly pricier, however they are considerably faster. If you’re looking for small ways to upgrade your internet speeds, changing from the USB 2.0 to the 3.0 USB port is one option on the table. Fortunately, nowadays most USBs are already 3.0, and are backwards compatible.

The Extension: The extension will usually keep the antenna of your USB WiFi adapter close, limiting range somewhat. However, there are range extenders available for purchase separately.

The Antenna(s): There are several USB adapters that don’t have a bulky exterior antenna, however if you’re looking for the best connectivity, you’re going to want an adapter with the external antenna, and preferably a big one at that. Unfortunately, this will drive up the cost of your adapter slightly.



Wrapping up our review of the top WiFi USB adapters, the best way you can find the right product for you is to reflect. Think about how much you’re actually going to be using the adapter, and what kind of performance you’re going to need out of it. If you know that you don’t need a top-of-the-line model, you can save a considerable amount of money by going for the adapter that performs just how you need it to.


top wifi usb adapters

Image Source: D-Link Systems


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