The Best USB WiFi Adapter (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

best-usb-wifi-adapter-review-guidePerhaps you’ve got a computer that doesn’t possess an internal WiFi driver. Maybe your computer’s internal WiFi driver has gone bad and is no longer picking up the signal from your router adequately and consistently. In either case, you have a need for a new WiFi driver. If this is your current situation, you might consider purchasing a USB Wifi adapter.

A USB WiFi adapter is capable of bringing wireless internet capabilities to a computer without you having to install any internal hardware into said computer. It is the quickest and most efficient way of giving your devices WiFi capabilities.

Compare: The 10 Top USB WiFi Adapters of 2016

What is a USB WiFi Adapter?

A USB WiFi adapter is an electronic plug that can be put into a USB port in order to give a computer or other devices WiFi capabilities. They are one of the cheapest and most effective options for giving your devices WiFi capabilities.

USB WiFi adapters come in all different shapes and sizes, with some of them being about as small as the USB port itself, and some of them possessing antennas designed to increase their overall range. In any case, they are typically small enough to be stored away easily in a backpack, or even in your pocket, making them easy to transport from place to place.

Related: The Best Wireless Router for Home (Guide)

What are the Benefits of a USB WiFi Adapter?

While you can give your computer WiFi capabilities in a number of ways, such as with internal WiFi drivers, there is no easier way to give your computer WiFi capabilities than with a USB WiFi adapter. Unlike with internal drivers, USB WiFi adapters don’t require the complete opening and overhaul of your computer’s various hardware. It can simply be plugged into the computer’s USB port.

The fact that USB WiFi adapters are quite affordable is also an attractive aspect of their use. It should also be noted that USB WiFi adapters can be seamlessly switched from one device to another, allowing you to provide WiFi capabilities to all of your devices at different times.

Who are the Contenders for Best USB WiFi Adapter?

XinGe AC1200 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter

Equipped with USB port 3.0 speeds, this XinGe USB WiFi adapter works as quickly as any USB WiFi adapter you’re going to find. A dual band adapter with bands of 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz, it is capable of running at WiFi speeds of 1200 Mbps. With an updated chipset, it provides a more consistent and stable connection than ever seen in a XinGe USB wifi adapter.

iXCC 150Mps 11n Nano USB WiFi Dongle

A USB 2.0 WiFi adapter, this iXCC USB WiFi adapter works quickly and is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. With a 150 Mbps 802.11n data rate, it works with every modern device you could ever think of throwing at it. A small, compact adapter, it is very easy to transport and can be installed quickly with the use of an included driver disc.

SeoJack AC600 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter

Equipped with a flexible antenna for improved signal, this SeoJack USB WiFi adapter runs at speeds of 150 Mbps with dual bands of 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. Compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems, it works perfectly with just about any computer you can find. Whether you’re looking to stream videos, play online games, or just surf the web, this USB WiFi adapter will accommodate you.

Considerations for Choosing the Right USB WiFi Adapter

For folks who aren’t technologically literate, choosing the right USB WiFi adapter for you might seem like a daunting task. But the the truth of the matter is that it’s really very simple. In order to choose the right USB WiFi adapter, there are just a few things that need to be considered. While you don’t necessarily need the best USB adapter on the market, you should find one that suits your particular purposes reasonably well. So, when choosing a USB WiFi adapter, it’s best to consider its speed capabilities, its overall range, its ease of installation, and any additional features it may possess.

Speed Capabilities
One of the most important things to consider when purchasing a USB WiFi adapter is its speed capabilities. Different adapters are equipped to run at different speeds, with more expensive adapters typically running faster. Before making a purchase, you should consider how much your WiFi speed matters to you.

Range
Range refers to the distance from which your USB WiFi adapter can be from a router while still being able to adequately pick up that router’s signal. Again, more expensive WiFi adapters are typically going to offer greater range. You should find an adapter that has enough range to cover your entire house.

Ease of Installation
While some USB WiFi adapters are very simple to install, others take some technological know-how. If you possess no knowledge of how to install drivers on a computer, you would be best served by an adapter that comes with an easy-to-install software disc.

Compatibility
Not every USB WiFi adapter works with every computer operating system. While some are only compatible with certain Windows operating systems, others are compatible with everything from Windows, to Mac, to Linux, and more. Choose your adapter accordingly.

Also see: The Best WiFi Extender (Guide)

Speed Capabilities

XinGe AC1200 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter

With dual bands of 5GHz and 2.4GHz, this XinGe USB WiFi adapter is capable of running at up to 1200 Mbps. Possessing a USB 3.0 port, it works as quickly and as intuitively as any WiFi adapter currently on the market.

iXCC 150Mps 11n Nano USB WiFi Dongle

When compared to the XinGe adapter in our top 3, this iXCC USB WiFi adapter pales on the subject of speed. With just one band of 2.45GHz, it can run at up to 150 Mbps. Possessing a USB 2.0 port, it works quickly and without much hesitation.

SeoJack AC600 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter

Equipped with dual bands of 5GHz and 2.4GHz, this SeoJack runs at speeds of up to 150 Mbps. With a USB 2.0 port, it is very comparable to the iXCC WiFi adapter in our top 3, working quickly and intuitively with little hesitation.

Range

XinGe AC1200 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter

Updated with an advanced chipset, this XinGe USB WiFi adapter offers an extremely strong and stable signal. Some users have reported using it in a four story house with absolutely no problems in terms of signal disturbance or degradation.

iXCC 150Mps 11n Nano USB WiFi Dongle

While it doesn’t provide quite as strong of a signal as the XinGe adapter in our top 3, this iXCC USB WiFi adapter is still plenty powerful. Online reviewers have reported using it at up to 45 feet from their routers with absolutely no disturbance issues.

SeoJack AC600 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter

As far as WiFi range goes, this SeoJack WiFi adapter is comparable to the iXCC adapter in our top 3. It doesn’t possess ridiculous range like the XinGe, but is capable of extending to about 45 feet.

Ease of Installation

XinGe AC1200 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter

As far as installation goes, this XinGe USB WiFi adapter installs as easily as any WiFi adapter you’re going to find. By simply plugging it into your USB port and downloading drivers from an included CD, your WiFi capabilities will be up and running.

iXCC 150Mps 11n Nano USB WiFi Dongle

Like the XinGe adapter in our top 3, this iXCC WiFi adapter is beyond easy to install. With an included driver disc, you simply plug the adapter into your USB port, install the drivers with the disc, and reap the benefits of brand new WiFi capabilities.

SeoJack AC600 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter

Just like the XinGe and iXCC WiFi adapters in our top 3, this SeoJack USB Wifi adapter is ridiculously easy to install, You simply install the drivers from the included driver disc, plug the adapter into the USB port, and connect to your local network.

Compatibility

iXCC 150Mps 11n Nano USB WiFi Dongle

Seamlessly compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, including Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, this iXCC WiFi adapter works with just about anything. If you have a Mac or Linux operating system, this would be a great USB WiFi adapter for you.

SeoJack AC600 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter

Capable of working with both Windows and Mac operating systems, including Windows XP, Vista, 8, and 8.1, and Mac OS X 10.11.X, 10.10.X, 10.9.X, 10.8.X, and 10.7.X, this SeoJack is a great option for Mac users. Unfortunately, it is not yet equipped to work with newer versions of Windows.

XinGe AC1200 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter

Compatible with just about any Windows operating system, including Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, and Vista, this XinGe USB WiFi adapter is perfect for Windows users. While it can be used with Mac, Linux, and other operating systems, it takes some knowledge of computers to be able to do so.

Our USB WiFi Adapter Reviews

Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n USB WiFi Adapter – Best Cheap

edimax-ew-7811un
Perhaps you’re looking for a quality USB WiFi adapter at a very affordable price. If so, you might consider this USB WiFi adapter by Edimax. Supporting WiFi speeds of 150Mbps, it is compatible with everything from Raspberry Pis, to Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Ridiculously compact, it is great for the streaming of videos, the playing of online games, and general web surfing. If you’re looking for a solid USB WiFi adapter at an affordable price, you must take a look at this one by Edimax.

Pros:

  • Compatible with just about any operating system you can find
  • Extremely compact for easy storage

Cons:

  • Has some signal stability issues
  • Not easy to install

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iXCC 150Mps 11n Nano USB WiFi Dongle – Best for the Money

ixcc-wireless-n-wifi-adapterFor a USB WiFi adapter in its price range, this iXCC USB WiFi adapter is the best USB WiFi adapter on the market. Providing 150Mbps WiFi speeds, it excels whether you’re streaming videos, playing online games, or simply surfing the web. With a USB 2.0 port, it works quickly and is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. If you’re looking for a truly high-quality USB WiFi adapter at a very fair price, you should definitely take a look at this.

Pros:

  • Works well for video streaming, gaming, and general web surfing
  • Ridiculously compact and portable
  • Compatible with most operating systems

Cons:

  • Downloading its driver can be troublesome

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XinGe AC1200 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter – Best Overall

xinge-ac1200-dual-band5ghz-and-2-4ghz-wireless-usb-wifi-adapterWhile there are a number of great USB WiFi adapters on the market, in our opinion, this one created by XinGe is the best USB Wifi adapter there is. Capable of running at a remarkable 1200 Mbps in dual bands of 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz, it accommodates a strong and consistent signal at all times. Compatible with USB 3.0 ports, USB 2.0 ports, and USB 1.1 ports, it works quickly with any computer you wish to use it with. If you’re looking for the best USB WiFi adapter on the market today, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Pros:

  • Works with USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and USB 1.1
  • Staggering 1200 Mbps WiFi speed
  • Compact and easy to transport

Cons:

  • No major negatives to speak of

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Conclusion

Internal drivers are expensive and difficult to install. If you know nothing about putting together computers, they’re going to cause some trouble for you. The simpler and more affordable option is to purchase a high-quality USB WiFi adapter.

Compact and consistent adapters like the XinGe AC1200 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter allow you to cruise the net at ridiculously high speeds without shelling out an arm and a leg for an internal WiFi driver. Want to give your laptop or desktop computer WiFi capabilities? Purchase a solid USB WiFi adapter.