Is a USB WiFi adapter worth it?

A USB WiFi adapter is worth it

There are currently two ways that we can use to connect to an Internet network. The first and most classic of them is to use an Ethernet network cable. The second way is quite modern, and involves the use of WiFi wireless technology. In this article we analyze whether it is worth using a USB WiFi adapter .

What are USB WiFi adapters

In the case of laptops we have no problem, since all of them include a WiFi wireless connectivity module. However, the situation is quite different for desktop computers, as they generally do not include any kind of WiFi technology.

Faced with this situation, many desktop computer users resort to the use of USB WiFi adapters, to be able to make use of wireless Internet networks.

These USB adapters with built-in WiFi are a great way to improve convenience on computers that do not include an integrated wireless connectivity solution. They are very cheap devices, simple to use and do not usually cause any kind of problem.

Keep reading this article is at the end if you want to know what exactly these USB WiFi adapters are, and the best advice we can give you to choose the correct model.

How USB WiFi Adapters Work

USB Wi-Fi adapters are very small devices, generally no bigger than a USB stick like the one you use every day. The main difference is inside these small devices, since they include a complete WiFi reception system, with all the necessary elements to function, including the antenna.

These devices connect to a USB port on our computer, and work as if they were a wireless network card. In addition, all of them are designed so that they can work together with the main network card of your computer, so that they do not cause any type of interference.

Using these devices has two great fundamental advantages. The first one is that it is not necessary to open the computer or carry out any complicated assembly , you just have to remove the device from its box and connect it to a free USB port.

use usb wifi adapter

The second advantage is that these devices do not usually need any type of software installation , since they are plug and play, and Windows 10 recognizes them without any problem. Once you have connected your computer, you will only have to select the wireless network to which you want to connect and enter the password.

All this leads us to think that they are great devices, which allow us to enjoy the entire community of WiFi networks , on computers that do not include a module with this technology, and of course we recommend them.

What to consider when buying a USB WiFi adapter

Nerves that we are quite clear that USB WiFi adapters are very worthwhile, we are going to see some of the most important tips that we can give you to get the purchase right.

Currently we can find two large groups of USB WiFi adapters. The first of them are the most basic and the cheapest. These are usually based on the USB 2.0 interface and the WiFi b / g / n protocol .

Cheap USB WiFi

On the other hand, we have models that are based on the WiFi a / c standard, and on the USB 3.0 connector . These devices belong to a higher range and are usually considerably more expensive.

Expensive USB WiFi

When choosing a USB Wi-Fi adapter or another, keep in mind that this small device will work at the speed that our router allows . That means that, if we have a router capable of transmitting WiFi b / g / n at 300 Mbps, and we buy a USB WiFi adapter capable of working at 1,200 Mbps with WiFi ac, we will be wasting the adapter, we will have paid a lot of money for nothing.

At the other extreme, we can imagine that we have one of the most advanced routers on the market, capable of transmitting a signal at a speed of 2200 Mbps or even more. In this case, it would be useless to buy a small cheap USB adapter capable of working at a speed of 300 Mbps, since it would not be able to keep up with our router.

Another very important aspect that you should pay attention to are the USB ports available on your computer. Nowadays it is quite difficult to buy computers that do not include USB 3.0 ports, but if you have a computer in your house that is many years old, it is possible that it only includes USB 2.0 ports.

If your computer does not have USB 3.0 ports, it will be useless to buy an advanced USB Wi-Fi adapter , which is based on this interface, since it will work at the speed that the USB 2.0 ports of your computer allow.

Another aspect in which the different USB Wi-Fi adapters that we find on the market differ greatly is their design.

Here we can also do two large groups. In the first group would be the USB WiFi adapters that do not have external antennas . These types of adapters are very easy to identify, since their writing is exactly the same as a pendrive.

In the second group would be the USB Wi-Fi adapters that have external antennas . In this case, the devices also look a lot like a pendrive, and they quickly attract attention due to the antenna they include, so that it is impossible for someone to mistake them for a pendrive.

usb wifi adapter with external antennas

Wi-Fi USB adapters with an internal external one, usually present a higher performance than those that do not include it, although change will be a larger and less transportable device.

If you are only going to use the USB Wi-Fi adapter inside your home, it will surely be better for you to opt for a model with an external antenna with it that its performance will be superior. On the other hand, if you need to move with the device, how would it be better to opt for a shaper without external antennas, since it will be easier for you to carry it in a pocket.