Do you want to connect your laptop, PC or other computer equipment to a WiFi network or a wired computer network and does the PC or laptop itself have no option? You can easily plug a USB WiFi adapter (also called USB WiFi dongle) into your device. You will be connected to the Wi-Fi network in no time. With a LAN adapter you can easily connect your equipment to a wired network. When ordering a USB network adapter, pay attention to maximum speed and USB version.
Best USB Network Adapter
What is a USB network adapter?
A USB network adapter is a term that is used in practice for a wide range of adapters that connect a laptop or PC via Universal Serial Bus to the computer network.
Two types can be distinguished. The first type is suitable for connecting a laptop or PC to the wireless network. This type has a built-in WiFi chip set that can connect to a WiFi access point in your favorite cafe or your WiFi router at home.
The second type is a USB network adapter that allows you to connect to a wired computer network. This is also called Ethernet adapter. The Ethernet standard describes the specifications of, among other things, the physical network cable and connector. It is also often referred to as LAN USB network adapter. LAN is an acronym for Local Aria Network, which means freely translated local computer network.
Universal Serial Bus is one of the most famous computer terminals for connecting peripherals. Due to its universal character, this connection is suitable for many different purposes, including connecting an extra USB network adapter to a wired or wireless network.
Is the WiFi in your laptop very slow or defective? A WiFi USB network adapter is an economical option to install and upgrade.
When ordering this it is important to pay attention to a number of properties. The first important feature is the maximum speed of the adapter. This is indicated in megabit per second (Mb/s). This is about the maximum performance that is achievable under ideal conditions.
In practice, this will be lower due to obstacles, external influences and pressure on the network. The speed you need depends on a number of factors. The first factor is usage. If you regularly transfer large files between different computers, you want the highest possible performance. If you mainly use your computer for the Internet, the performance does not have to exceed the maximum speed of your Internet connection.
The second important feature is single band or dual band. With single band, the USB network adapter only works on the 2.4 GHz band, with a dual band adapter it can work on 2.4 GHz and the much quieter 5 GHz band.
Ethernet Network Adapter
An Ethernet or LAN network adapter allows you to provide a fast wired computer network connection to a laptop that has no or a very slow LAN adapter.
For wired LAN networks, there are two commonly used speeds. All modern Ethernet networks and associated equipment are capable of transmitting data at a speed of 100 megabits per second (Mb/s). Sending large files at this speed gives long waiting times. That is why many people immediately choose the 1 gigabit per second (1 Gb/s) that is ten times faster when setting up their network.
We have tested and listed LAN adapters with a maximum speed of 100 Mb/s but also 1 gigabit per second. Fortunately, almost all network equipment capable of the higher speed is compatible with the slower speed. So you can simply connect an Ethernet adapter of 100 Mb/s to a 1 Gb/s network. It will function normally, but cannot send data at the high 1 Gb/s speed. A 1 Gb/s network adapter can also be connected to a 100 Mb/s network.
Which version to choose?
There are two commonly used versions: USB 2.0 and 3.0.
The big difference between these two versions is the maximum transfer speed that can be achieved.
At 2.0 this is 480 Mb/s and at 3.0 it is 5 Gb/s. This makes 3.0 over ten times faster than 2.0.
Wifi adapters up to a maximum speed of 300 Mb/s use 2.0. With WiFi adapters with a higher maximum speed, this older version has insufficient speed and USB 3.0 is used. If you want to use this high throughput speed, it is important that you connect an adapter to the USB 3.0 port. This port is easy to recognize by the blue plastic bar.
A 3.0 adapter also works in a 2.0 port, but can then achieve a maximum throughput of 480 Mb/s. If you have a USB-C connection on your laptop to PC, you can use a USB-C network adapter. It has the same throughput speed as USB 3.0. but uses a different connector.