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How to choose USB Wi-Fi adapter for your laptop

The main purpose of Wi-Fi is to provide the wireless internet access in your home or public places: restaurants, cafes, railway stations, airports. Wi-Fi constantly evolving and progressing and it’s much more convenient way to use the internet than the old way – using cables.

Those users who have a laptop, they already have an internal Wi-Fi card installed. The downside of it is that some of these cards aren’t good enough and even they are of poor quality. Often, there are situations when you just can’t use the full speed of your internet connection or can’t connect to your home network at all. One of the most common problems that can come up, is a long waiting time to play streaming content, such as videos, which loading is almost impossible.

If you don’t know already, the main reason for this problem are the walls in your house or apartment. Just one wall reduce the speed by one bar, and when you have only one, it’s almost impossible to connect. You can find tons of suggestions and different homemade creations on the internet that will “help” you to get better Wi-Fi. But, if you really want to solve problems described above, the only solution is to buy USB Wi-Fi adapter with a higher power output and better antenna. No matter if you have many walls or floors, usually the connection is good when an adapter is used on your laptop. It would be ideal if all laptops will have RP-SMA connector for an external antenna with a higher gain. However, even in some cases, this would not help if the wireless adapter has a relatively low power output and small “range”.

USB Wi-Fi adapter is a modern high-tech network equipment, made to provide your laptop a better and stronger signal from your high-speed wireless network. This device provides a data speed up to 300 Mbps and support for 802.11 wireless protocol, so the device is characterized by great abilities to prevent data losses even over long distances. USB Wi-Fi adapter also uses CCA technology that can avoid a conflict between the channels. Usually, they have a CD with guides and even a novice is able to configure the device in a few minutes. A stable signal is provided by the built-in high-performance antenna. It uses 2.0 or 3.0 USB ports to connect to a laptop.

One of the most common mistakes of people who came to the store for a new device is that they implicitly trust sales consultants. In fact, the seller is usually not trying to sell the model that best fits you the best, but one for which he could get a percentage. That is why before the purchase is recommended to be acquainted with the functionality of the selected models and read reviews about them on the Internet.

Another mistake is that people believe all adapters are virtually identical. In fact, different models are different from each other in power characteristics even of the same manufacturer.

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Many people believe that there is no need to spend money on expensive devices. Of course, you can buy an inexpensive device, but its capacity is much smaller than the one for which you have to pay just a few dollars more.

In addition, we should also mention one of the biggest misconceptions that absolutely all the equipment manufactured in China, is of poor quality. In fact, the quality of products don’t depend on where the manufacturer is, but who ordered the manufacture of these products.

Before going to the store, let’s get acquainted with their external appearance. USB Wi-Fi adapter looks like a small USB flash drive. We recommend choosing the option with USB since you can use it not only on the laptop or PC but also on any device where USB port is available.

When you’re choosing a suitable adapter, you don’t have to be guided by its appearance. There are adapters with 2 antennas, and many people would think that it is the key factor of better USB Wi-Fi adapter. It’s usually wrong approach, because it’s much better to decide when you see the main characteristics of the adapter which can be found on its packaging. The front side contains information about the lists of standards device supports, special features, and adapter’s settings, as well as protection guide.

Then you can ask a reasonable question: “How to choose one USB Wi-Fi adapter from several models, with similar characteristics, but from different manufacturers”? There is nothing complicated, choose one based on an affordable price. For home use, it will fit almost any Wi-Fi adapter that works at least on the 802.11b network protocol, which is the most common.

You must pay attention to these key features described below:

  1. Firstly, and as suggested by NoypiGeeks, you need to choose a USB Wi-Fi adapter that supports the latest data transfer standard with speed up to 300 megabits per second – 802.11n and 802.11ac. Although they are slightly more expensive, by choosing the stronger device, you’ll get rid of possible problems in the future because it’s a very rapidly aging equipment. If you are one of those users who have a router 802.11ac, there is no doubt that the ideal is a wireless 802.11ac adapter.

You have to assess what type of USB ports are available to you. This means you have to see if they are 2.0 or 3.0. If your laptop is old, it surely has USB 2.0 port, however, if your laptop is newer, released in the last 3 years, it certainly has at least one USB 3.0 port. This is important because the maximum speed that USB 2.0 reaches is 60 Mbps, against 640 Mbps of USB 3.0. But, remember that it also depends on the speed of your router.

However, if the USB Wi-Fi adapter inserted into USB 2.0 and 802.11ac router are combined, it may not work well.

  1. Secondly, you need to pay attention to the power of the receiving adapter’s antenna. They are responsible for giving the strength or power to the reception of the wireless signal. The best option – 20 dBi. This feature is always shown in the instructions. By choosing this option, you provide a more stable reception in the places where Wi-Fi signal isn’t very strong.
  2. You also have to consider the wireless frequency you want to use, which can be 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. If there are a lot of walls in your home, 2.4 GHz will be the best choice, but if you’re aware of signal loss over long distances, you should choose 5 GHz. It all depends on the size of your home and interference that the router can have.
  3. Look at different types of security and support for the encryption type WPA / WPA2 and WPA-PSK / WPA2-PSK. These are the most advanced security standards for a wireless network.
  4. Check if it has support for various connection modes, for example, not only from the access point to the client but also Ad-Hoc (Client-Client).

So, now you know what to consider when buying USB Wi-Fi adapter. If the internal Wi-Fi card on your laptop suffering to connect to the network, or it has many failures or delays when using streaming services, it’s a clear indication that you urgently need a USB Wi-Fi adapter.


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