USB WiFi adapters work very well at connecting a desktop, laptop, or other electronics wirelessly to a router.
This makes it easy to set up a wireless signal and get online.
There are many USB WiFi dongles available with our favorite 2022 options below, along with full reviews, compatibility, and speed.
The best USB Wi-Fi adapter has one thing to get right: provide a stable internet connection. Simple, right? For anyone who plays online, it’s beyond important to have zero interruptions as you try to secure a Victory Royale in Fortnite as Robocop(opens in new tab).
This is especially important if you want to live a wireless lifestyle but don’t want to invest in a new motherboard with a wireless card. It’s a cheaper alternative than a full-on upgrade and super-easy to set up.
A wired connection will give you the best stability and throughput in a perfect world, especially when paired with the best gaming router. The reality is, for many folks, the idea of running an ethernet cable down a flight of stairs or through the kitchen is not super appealing nor safe.
Our Picks for Best Wireless USB Adapters 2022
1. D-Link WiFi-6 Adapter
D-Link is a well-known wireless manufacturer that makes many wireless-related types of equipment, including a new WiFi-6 USB adapter.
It is dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz with a rated top speed of 1200Mbps.
While testing, the unit was very impressive, with a wireless speed of 454Mbps, which was the fastest USB WiFi adapter we have tested.
It also uses a USB 3.0 for faster transfer speeds.
Like all WiFi-6 devices, it can use the new WPA3 security, which is a big improvement over the older WPA2 wireless security protocol.
2. BrosTrend AC3
The BrosTrend AC3 is a USB WiFi adapter that has two 5dBi antennas to help get a better wireless signal.
The adapter uses the 802.11AC (WiFi 5) protocols and is dual band 2.4GHz/5GHz adapter.
It will work with most any device old or new and has a good range.
The unit is bigger compared to many other adapters and would be best plugged into a desktop computer.
During testing in the 5GHz band, it gave some very good speed results of 225Mbps Download, and 20Mbps Upload.
3. TP-Link Archer T3U Plus
If you just went to spend a little bit of cash to get a capable Wi-Fi adapter that you can slap onto the back of your PC and forget about, then you should be after the TP-Link Archer T3U Plus. Even though this upgrade is just $30, it can offer you a worthy Wi-Fi connection for regular use. The USB portion of the unit is about the size of your typical flash drive, so it won’t have to stick out too far from your computer. But, TP-Link has also attached a lengthy and adjustable antenna to the adapter to give it stronger reception.
The Archer T3U Plus supports dual-band AC wireless, giving you the option to connect to 2.4GHz networks for speeds up to 400Mbps or to 5GHz networks for speeds up to 867Mbps that can keep up with just about whatever you throw at it.
4. Panda PAU09
The Panda PAU09 is a good USB adapter that is compatible with most any operating system from Windows to Linux.
It has two large 5 dBi antennas for better range and comes with a USB extender to move it around for a better signal if necessary.
It is also a dual-band USB adapter and works in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
The one downside it is a Wireless-N dongle with none of the new protocols.
Even though it is only a Wireless-N adapter its low-cost, very good range, and wide compatibility make it worth a look.
5. Trendnet TEW-809UB
There are nano adapters at the tiny end of the scale, and at the opposite end is the Trendnet TEW-809UB(opens in new tab). This networking adapter tosses portability for faster AC1900 (N600, AC1300) speeds and serious antennas—four, to be exact, all positionable with a strength of 5 dBi each. There is only a driver provided, but no software. Instead, Windows is in control of the networking duties. The adapter does not support MU-MIMO but does support Beamforming.
The TEW-809UB has great range but is often inconsistent with its performance, so that’s something to consider the further away. It’s also bigger than other USB Wi-Fi adapters on the list below. It’s four large antenna
In use, the Trendnet TEW-809UB is stable and fast. It puts its antennas to good use, beating every other adapter tested on our wireless fringe location testing—on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. This is an excellent solution if you’re using Wi-Fi in a challenging situation with a weak signal.
6. EDUP AC600
The EDUP AC600 is a Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi adapter that works in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies.
It also comes with a screw-on 2dBi antenna to improve range.
802.11AC is a fast WiFi protocol and works in the 5GHz band.
This makes it a wireless adapter that will work in most any WiFi network.
The 2.4GHz frequency while slower compared to 5Ghz can travel farther and is still widely used when distance is a problem.
While testing the 2.4GHz frequency using wireless-N 57Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload.
The 5GHz using the 802.11ac protocol gave some very good results of 213Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload.
7. Edimax EW-7833UAC
The Edimax EW-7833UAC(opens in new tab) is the update to our previous budget adapter pick, the EW-7822UAC. While many mainstream adapters suffice with AC1200 specs, this one takes it a notch up with AC1750 speeds (N450, AC1300). Installation was straightforward, with Windows 10 managing the settings. While it is similar in size to other mainstream adapters, it cleverly features a small deployable piece that contains three antennas to increase range and throughput, along with support for both MU-MIMO and Beamforming technology.
The EW-7833UAC smoked the competition, with class-leading throughput on four of the six tests, which included both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. We came away particularly impressed on the close 5GHz test of 298.9 Mbps, much faster than some other respectable adapters could muster. The only real weakness was on the far tests where this adapter gave up a little ground to the competition. Perhaps the best part is that the street price of this adapter is $34 making these kinds of speeds affordable for all.
8. Linksys WUSB6300
The Linksys WUSB6300 gets termed “micro” by the Linksys folks. To be fair, it is quite small. It offers AC1200 speeds, which translates to about 860Mbps via 5GHz, and 300Mbps on 2.4GHz. Even with the tiny size, it supports the latest technology for wireless adapters, including MU-MIMO and Beamforming.
The WUSB6300 balances its small size against decent range and throughput. While the spec does limit the 2.4GHz scores, the speeds on 5GHz, even on the more extended distance tests, bring home the win for throughput on three of the six criteria for this increasingly competitive category of the adapter. The longer distance tests for this adapter are even more impressive when you compare it against the competition that falls short in the wireless fringe testing. The list price of $40 makes the Linksys WUSB6300 an excellent choice for an adapter to toss in a bag with your notebook or to carry as a backup.