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How to Choose the Best USB Wireless Adapter

Deciding on you wireless connection

Are you looking to buy a new USB wireless adapter? How do you know how to choose the right one? Read on to learn how to choose a USB WiFi adapter.

Even in cities, 60 million Americans still struggle to have an adequate internet connection at home or when they need one. That means that most people probably need to have more reliable technology on hand to help do the work that can help them to succeed.

With the right USB wireless adapter, you can live, work, and play online faster and more reliably.

Here is what you need to know in order to choose the perfect USB wireless adapter for your situation.

Choosing USB over PCI

USB Wireless AdapterWhen you're searching for a wi-fi adapter, you'll be faced with choosing either USB or PCI. The big difference between the two of them is in how they connect to the computer that they serve.

A PCI adapter is a fast solution for getting connected to the internet and having a steady and wide bandwidth. However, for the bit of performance you get, there's a lot of hassle involved. You get lots of wireless throughput's but you can't just plug and play this solution.

They require an intense installation that should be done by either an engineer or a technical professional.

That's one of the reasons a USB adapter is a great option. A USB wi-fi solution is a plug and play solution that allows you to get connected to the internet immediately. You don't need a clunky antenna and it's more convenient than using PCI

When you need to send massive files over a broad network and connect to a bunch of other machines at the same time, perhaps PCI is the solution for you. For most users, however, USB's speed, efficiency, and convenience are more than enough to get the job done.

If you're looking for a practical choice to deliver the service you need on a regular basis, USB is the wi-fi solution for you.

Understanding Protocols

Wireless routers all use the protocol of 802.11. Following that number, there's usually a letter that tells you the transmission protocol supported by that router.

When a router lists its protocol as 802.11b, that means it offers a slow and short connection. You need to keep your device close to the point of transmission to get a useful connection from it. If you have a connection that reads as 802.11ac, you're getting a lot of bandwidth from a broad and fast connection.

In order to get the best out of your USB wi-fi connection, you should match your adapter to your router. If you know what router you're going to be using, you should pair the two together. If your router is 802.11ac, you need your USB adapter to be 802.11ac.

If you're shopping for them both together, you should look for 802.11n or 802.11ac. They will ensure fast and reliable connections that will deliver the data you need to deliver, without fail.

Choosing USB Port Types

If you're looking for a USB dongle, you need to decide the kind of port that you want. USB 2.0 ports aren't up to date with the latest needs for data transfer. If that's the most you can get, you'll be stuck at around 60MB/s speeds of data.

However, as most new machines accommodate USB 3.0, you're going to see speeds that are more than three times that amount. You could see speeds hit 640MB/s if you get a USB wifi dongle that fits the bill for USB 3.0.

However, this all depends on how much broadband you pay for. If you're only paying for speeds around 60MB/s from your service provider, you should take your choices into consideration. If you have a USB 2.0 machine on top of that, there's no need to worry about paying for a USB 3.0 adapter.

Figuring out your Frequency

Different wireless frequencies have different strengths and weaknesses. If you're considering the difference between the two, you need to start by thinking about interference.

When you're offered the option of 2.4GHz, that's a great choice if your home has many walls and if you're not working around many wireless devices. However, if you have lots of wireless devices, you might want to choose to use 5.0GHz.

The biggest difference is just how many devices will be connecting on that wireless spectrum. With too many devices, you'll be dealing with interference and could deal with signal loss. While 5.0GHz is a strong connection, when you're sending over long distances, you might be dealing with signal issues.

Lots of modern adapters are considered "dual band adapters". They can offer you both bands simultaneously. Setting up both means that you can have one device connecting to 2.4GHz while another connection to 5.0GHz, helping you avoid interference.

Think About Size

While some adapters are bulkier than others, most USB adapters are relatively small. This isn't really something that should make or break your decision, but there are some practical aspects to consider.

If you travel a lot and sit in lots of tight spaces, like economy seating on domestic flights, you might want a smaller USB adapter. Since USB ports are also usually very close to one another, your device should be small enough to leave other ports open.

If you're using a laptop, you need to ensure you can't bump into things an break your adapter. You could badly damage your logic board, resulting in a very expensive repair.

A USB Wireless Adapter Does More Than Get You Connected

With the right USB wireless adapter, you can turn a wired machine into one that's portable, versatile, and able to get the job done. With a good adapter on your side, you can travel, stay connected, and work faster than ever before.

If you want to get a view of the full array of USB adapters we have available, check out our selection.