8 Best WiFi USB Adapters in 2024

As far as the top or best WiFi USB adapters are concerned, the choices are plenty. But if we have to pick one model, it has to be the Netgear Nighthawk. This dual band adapter offers a wide range of features and can offer up to 1,300 Mbps speeds.

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Practically everyone knows about Wi-Fi at this point. If you have a smartphone, you automatically know about it or have one at your home or office. Well, sometimes, even if you have a Wi-Fi router at your home for your mobile devices, your computers might not come with Wi-Fi support. This is because much like every other component on your computer, a Wi-Fi is not built-in on some devices. There are also cases when the Wi-Fi adapter inside your computer goes bust.

This can be quite troubling as users will then have to use a standard ethernet cable to connect to the internet. So what can you do in a situation like this to retain Wi-Fi network connectivity?

Well, the simplest solution for this is to invest in a USB Wi-Fi Adapter. Thankfully, the list of the best USB adapters is quite long, so there are quite a few of these adapters to choose from.

Wi Fi Adapters with USB allow customers to simply plug in an external device onto an existing USB port, and get Wi-Fi network connectivity again. Similar to routers, the range and speed differ from the model you pick, so it’s important to know what you’re buying before you make that final call.

Since these use conventional USB ports, the adapters will not be compatible with some of the recent computers that forego the traditional USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 port for USB C. So be sure to know this before you check out some of the best wireless USB adapters.

As we’ve touched on above, range differs from model to model, which also means that not every USB adapter for Wi-Fi will be similarly priced. So we’re going to cover the top Wi Fi adapters across multiple price segments, thus giving you plenty to choose from.

With this out of the way, we’re going to talk about some of the best Wi Fi USB adapters available to buy right now, which, when added to your computers, can make them fully capable of receiving Wi-Fi signals again.

Best USB Wi Fi Adapter in 2024


1. Netgear Nighthawk

When you’re on the search for the best USB Wi Fi adapter, not many lists will leave out the Netgear Nighthawk model. This comes with a sleek design, making it suitable for practically any computer setup. As far as speeds are concerned, the Netgear Nighthawk can offer up to 600 Mbps of speeds over a 2.4 GHz network connection and up to 1,300 Mbps over a 5 GHz internet setup.

The company also points out the use of the 3×4 MIMO design, allowing for wider range and increased bandwidth capacity. Netgear also mentions that the Nighthawk can work with practically any existing wireless router at your home or office. This adapter can work with both Windows and macOS computers (OSX 10.8.3 or later), while there’s a dedicated driver within the adapter for Windows computers, making the setup process even easier.

It’s also worth mentioning that this Wi-Fi adapter uses the USB 3.0 interface, which is recommended for faster access to your devices. Since it’s backwards compatible, users can also use this with standard USB 2.0 slots. As far as the top USB Wi Fi adapters are concerned, the Nighthawk is certainly among the best USB adapters in the business. The cherry on top here is the inclusion of a magnetic cradle to hold the adapter in place.

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2. Panda Wireless USB Wi-Fi Adapter

Now that we’ve discussed a top of the line offering, let’s talk about an adapter that’s well within your budget. This product has an extremely simplistic design, consisting merely of an antenna to receive Wi Fi signals and obviously a USB plug on the other end. However, the product page makes no mention of USB 3.0, so it’s safe to assume that this product comes with a conventional USB 2.0 port.

In terms of Wi-Fi bands, the manufacturer mentions that this adapter will work with any 2.4 GHz connection, which also means there’s no support for 5 GHz networks. The company further mentions that this adapter can capture network speeds of up to 300 Mbps at best, and not beyond.

Naturally, this is not meant for high-speed modern-day internet connections, though it’s worth mentioning that getting 300 Mbps can still get the job done in any part of the world. With that in mind, we don’t think the speed should be a detriment here, especially given the low-cost appeal.

The company issue a further clarification that this USB adapter is meant for devices that make use of Intel or AMD processors, meaning mostly computers. This effectively means this USB adapter for Wi Fi won’t work with media players or televisions. To summarize, though this doesn’t have all the top features you would find in more expensive products, it certainly ranks among the best cost-effective Wi-Fi adapters.

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3. TP-Link USB Wifi Adapter

This counts among the best of the low-cost USB adapters. In terms of design, it has 5 dBi high gain antennas (Archer T3U Plus) protruding out from the adapter. One of the best parts about this Wi-Fi adapter is that it comes with a USB 3.0 interface, allowing for faster network connection with your computer.

Additionally, the company mentions that this is a dual-band adapter which effectively means that it can connect to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz network connections, offering network speeds of up to 867 Mbps on 5GHz and 400Mbps on 2.4 GHz. In addition to being an excellent device for replacing your existing Wi Fi card, this can also be useful in eliminating Wi-Fi dead zones around the home or office.

It works with both Windows and macOS computers, and it may ask you to install drivers before setting up the Wi-Fi adapter. What this also means is that this product is not rated to work with televisions and other media devices. However, users can use it with any computer, including a laptop.

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Perhaps one of the top Wi Fi adapters after the Netgear offering we discussed above is the ASUS USB AC68. Not only does it have a unique design, but ASUS has made sure it’s packed with practically every feature that a user could ask for. First and foremost, the design here is unlike anything you will find in the market right now. It has two wings spreading out that can reach out to the far corners where the router is placed to connect to the network.

Also, this is one among the smart wireless adapters, and among its top features is the ability to enable Auto-Switch to use 802.11n or 802.11g, 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11ac modes based on the network available around you.

It also comes with support for WEP, WPA, WPA2, and WPS interfaces, making it compatible with a wide-range of routers currently available. Another feature worth pointing out here is the presence of a high-speed USB 3.0 interface to allow for faster connections with the network.

Additionally, the USB AC68 by ASUS also comes with dual band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks, offering speeds of up to 1,300 Mbps. Similar to the Nighthawk, this impressively designed wireless adapter comes with a cradle that holds it together firmly at all times. Though there aren’t a lot of top rated premium adapters out there, this one surely counts among the best.

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5. TP-Link Archer T2U Plus

TP-Link is a renowned name in the routers and network equipment business. Naturally, the company also offers USB adapters for computers, and one of its top offerings is the Archer T2U Plus. This has a very basic design, so it doesn’t necessarily look to stand out from other similarly priced adapters in the budget segment. There’s a singular antenna that is attached to the other end of the USB adapter.

The top speeds listed by the company are a little different from what we’re used to, which makes it clear that this isn’t among the run of the mill budget USB Wi Fi adapters. TP-Link adds that this is a dual band adapter, though the speeds are not necessarily the same as some of the other dual band adapters we’ve discussed in this article.

As per the manufacturer, the Archer T2U Plus can offer top speeds of up to 200 Mbps on 2.4 GHz network connections and top speeds of up to 433 Mbps over a 5 GHz network. As for the antenna that we talked about above, it can be positioned in any direction as it is flexible, allowing you to adjust its placement for better coverage.

As with most third-party USB adapters, this one too works with both Windows (XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10) and macOS computers (OSX 10.9 or later). Though not the best, this certainly ranks among the top-rated offerings out there.

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6. EDUP USB Wi Fi Adapter

This is among the stylish looking adapters that has an attractive feature set onboard. The manufacturer mentions that it supports dual-band networks, though speeds are capped at 150 Mbps on 2.4GHz network connections and up to 433 Mbps of speed on a 5GHz network. This puts it in a similar league as the top-rated TP-Link Archer model we discussed above, though that model offers better 2.4GHz speeds.

Though these speeds are not the best you can get from Wi-Fi USB adapters, it’s certainly adequate for the regular user. Among the things you can do with these speeds is stream the best 4K movies or TV shows via top online platforms while also downloading large files within a matter of minutes or seconds depending on the speed provided by your ISP (internet service provider).

Much like other USB adapters we’ve discussed, this adapter works with a wide range of computer operating systems out there, including Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. Mac users can operate Wi Fi USB adapters of this make as long as they’re running OSX 10.7 – 10.15.

In terms of driver installation, the company offers a conventional CD along with the product. This could prove to be a problem for computers or laptops that lack a CD drive. Thankfully, the required drivers can also be downloaded from the company’s website. The product comes with 1 year of warranty and a 45-days replacement as per the product listing.

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7. Blueshadow Wi Fi Adapter

This is one of the smallest Wi Fi adapters you will come across. However, that doesn’t mean it cannot perform on par with other high-end products. This is a dual band adapter, meaning it has support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks respectively. However, speeds are cut short given the size limitations, so you will only see top speeds of up to 150 Mbps or 433 Mbps depending on the network connection you have.

The company further mentions that this can be used as a wireless range extender to enhance coverage for your computer. Additionally, it can work with practically any Wi Fi router available in the market, saving you the trouble of getting a specific router for this adapter.

As far as compatibility is concerned, this adapter can work with Windows and macOS computers, though the manufacturer mentions that it won’t work on other devices like printers, media players or set top boxes. On par with other USB Wi-Fi adapters, the company provides driver software for this adapter, users can also download the driver from the company’s webpage.

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8. Nineplus Wireless Adapter

Rounding off our list is this dual-antenna Wi Fi USB adapter that comes with support for both 5GHz and 2.4GHz albeit with slightly altered speeds, which is mostly due to the smaller size of this product. The manufacturer specifies that this USB Wi-Fi adapter can offer up to 867Mbps of network speed on 5GHz connections and up to 300Mbps over a 2.4GHz network.

So while it doesn’t offer the full capabilities of conventional USB dual-band adapters, it’s a notch above the rest of its competitors, making it our top pick among budget offerings on this list. The company mentions that this device comes with MU-MIMO technology, offering enhanced top speeds compared to conventional adapters.

It’s also a major bonus here that the company is using a USB 3.0 port by default, allowing for faster network connectivity with your drivers. Unfortunately, drivers are not built-in to the device like the ASUS product we talked about above, though the company is kind enough to offer a driver installation disc with the product which is on top of the downloadable drivers from the company’s official website.

Buy it Now: Amazon

41ZOd6HScGL. SL500NETGEARNetgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter (A7000-10000S)Check Price on Amazon
41aN7RPsG8L. SL500Panda WirelessPanda Wireless PAU06 300Mbps N USB AdapterCheck Price on Amazon
21kFWSGjPSL. SL500TP-LinkTP-Link USB WiFi AdapterCheck Price on Amazon
31sC lyXXPL. SL500TP-LinkTP-Link USB Wifi AdapterCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

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