The job of a USB wireless adapter is to facilitate the interaction between a computer and a wireless network via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The reason why these devices are so popular is because they use a USB interface that makes them easy to install on almost any system. They also don’t usually need any additional hardware or software to work, nor do they need you to be tech-savvy so install them in the first place.
This being said, let us point out that their popularity made it so that the market got flooded with bellow-standard versions that aren’t really worth the investment. To give you a better idea of what to look for, we put together a list of the ten best USB wireless adapters on the market right now.
10Dual Band N600 Wireless Internet USB Adapter
This device benefits from a Multi-OS compatibility, one that allows it to work on any Windows 10, 9, 7, Vista, XP, or Mac system. It is also capable of transfer speeds of up to 300 Mbit/s per band thanks to its 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz capabilities. At the same time, it is guaranteed to work up to 100 yards away and to support any type of WLAN security system, be it WPA, WPA2, or WEP with perfect response times.
9Netgear AC1200 Wi-Fi USB Adapter
Even though it was primarily designed to boast the fastest transfer speeds possible via USB 3.0, it will also work well with USB 2.0 connections. Interestingly enough, the device also comes with high-gain antennas to improve its already fast performance as much as possible. Speaking of which, its Beam Forming+ technology will boost speed, range, and reliability quite a bit while still being relatively easy to use.
8Linksys AE2500 Dual-Band Wireless-N USB Adapter
If you’re looking for a USB wireless adapter that will provide you with the flexibility and high performance of a LAN network while still providing you with the mobility of a wireless connection, then this particular device might just be what you need. You see, it can reach transfer speeds of up to 300 Mbps while still boasting some of the highest standards of Wi-Fi security that WPA2 connections can have.
7TP-Link Wireless N Nano USB Adapter
What makes this particular USB adapter stand out is its compact, lightweight size, one that enables you to carry it around with you any time you’re not using it. It also benefits from a quick setup that will enable the device to work on almost any computer. As expected, it also benefits from WPA/WPA2 encryption to boost its security standards, which also comes in handy with any 802.11b/g/n connections.
6Linksys Dual-Band Wireless-N USB Adapter
Thanks to its MIMO technology that involves multiple antennas, this adapter will generate a robust signal that travels surprisingly far while still being perfectly accurate. At the same time, it benefits from performance investment protection which enables it to establish secure connections via Wireless-A, Wireless-B, and Wireless-G networks. Not only that but it also supports up to 128-bit encryption for greater security.
5TP-LINK Wireless AC450 Nano USB Adapter
Thanks to its small, unobtrusive design, this USB adapter will hardly stand out on your PC or Laptop while still giving you the full benefits of a modern Wi-Fi network adapter. In this respect, it has a guaranteed data transmission rate of up to 433 Mbps, which is more than enough for any wireless network. It also utilizes 802.11ac standards and is backward compatible with 802.11a/n while transmitting on a 5GHz band frequency to avoid any interference.
4Panda 300Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter
This particular adapter works with virtually any 2.4 GHz wireless g/n router and has a maximum wireless connection speed of 300 Mbps. Also worth mentioning is the fact that it supports infrastructure and ad-hoc modes with the same fidelity. As for security, let us point out that this adapter benefits from WEP 64/128 bit, WPA, WPA2, 802.1x, 802.11i, and Cisco CCS compliance and Multi-OS support.
3Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n Wi-Fi USB Adapter
Edimax EW-7811Un supports a 150 Mbps 802.11n wireless data rate which is more or less the wireless standard nowadays. It also permits users to have a fairly long range coverage as far as 802.11 connections go because 802.11b had nowhere near the coverage 802.11n has. Interestingly enough, this adapter also supports smart transmit power control and auto-idle state adjustment systems, thus vastly improving your overall connectivity.
2Panda Wireless PAU06 300Mbps N USB Adapter
The PAU06 N USB Adapter from Panda Wireless is perhaps one of the most reliable USB wireless adapters the market has to offer at this point in time. It has a maximum data rate of up to 300 Mbps with 802.11n along with a backward compatibility with 802.11g 2.4 GHz wireless networks. Furthermore, it also benefits from a much lower power consumption than standard wireless adapters, thus greatly increasing your laptop’s battery life.
1Plugable USB Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy Micro Adapter
This high-end USB wireless adapter supports Bluetooth speakers and headsets, keyboards, mice, and pretty much any other wireless device you may have. It is also surprisingly compact and lightweight, which is what you should expect from a modern USB wireless adapter all things considered. At the same time, it uses a built-in Windows Bluetooth software wich Broadcom Bluetooth drivers that will enable it to work with virtually any Windows OS. Overall, it is perhaps one of the best USB wireless adapters money can buy.