A fast internet connection is an absolute necessity these days. To ensure good internet connectivity on your home network, you’ll need a good modem and router. A strong wireless USB adapter is also essential. However, not all Wi-Fi USB adapters are same and there are hundreds of adapters available. There are different types of adapters for different types of users. So let’s go over some basics.
What are Wireless USB Adapters and how do they Work?
A computer, or any other device with online capabilities, needs an internal or external wireless adapter to connect to a wireless network. USB Wi-Fi adapters are the external options that are most commonly used. These adapters don’t require special SIM cards or dedicated service providers like satellite USB modems and broadband to connect to wireless networks.
To install a wireless USB adapter, you need to plug it into your computer’s USB port and install the driver and software. These days, Windows and Mac OS/iOS are come equipped with driver software that recognizes an extensive range of USB adapters from different manufacturers. Microsoft’s generic drivers can support almost all adapters. Once installed, your computer gets connected to an access point of a wireless network.
The Best Wireless USB Adapter under $25
In this price range, TP-Link Wireless N300 USB Adapter TL-WN821N is one of the most popular USB adapters available. It offers a speed of 300 Mbps that’s ideal for HD video streaming, internet calling, and online gaming. It also complies with all common types of Wi-Fi standards – Wireless B, G, and N.
This adapter has several other important features –
- It uses MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology which is an antenna technology providing optimized performance, data speed, coverage, and stability.
- It employs CCA (Clear Channel Assessment) technology that uses its feature of channel selection to avoid channel conflicts.
- It supports 64/128-bit WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) encryptions, WPA/WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK (Pre Shared Key) encryptions.
- It comes with a QSS (Quick Secure Setup) feature that allows users to setup wireless security easily and quickly just at the push of a WPS button.
- It enables the establishment of high-speed Wi-Fi hotspot with just a few clicks.
- It supports both ad-hoc (“peer to peer”) and infrastructure wireless modes. Through ad-hoc mode, you can connect devices on the wireless network directly to each other. Infrastructure mode connects devices on the wireless network to each other through a centralized access point.
- It supports Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1, MAC OS X 10.7~10.10, and Linux operating systems.
These external gears from TP-Link are easy-to-install, highly functional, well documented and flexible. These qualities keep this TP-Link Wireless N USB Adapter TL-WN821N ahead of most of its competitors for this price range.