What Is A Wireless USB Dongle?

By | November 7, 2022

What Is A Wireless USB Dongle
A wireless USB dongle is a small adapter that converts WiFi signals to a USB signal.

Adapters or dongles are often used interchangeably to describe a small wireless electronic device.

For example, a wireless mouse that has its own USB adapter that transmits wirelessly to the mouse is often called a dongle.
What is a dongle example
Most often, when the word wireless dongle is used, it is meant to reference a WiFi or Bluetooth device.

These small dongles can connect to any computer that has a USB port and receive a WiFi or Bluetooth signal. This allows it to connect to a network and get online or for a mouse to connect wirelessly to a computer.

This is useful for various reasons, from a computer that has no wireless built-in to a laptop that has a broken wireless card or simply needs upgrading.

Wireless USB Dongle Protocols

Wireless dongles use the same WiFi protocols as smartphones, tablets, or routers, making them helpful in getting a computer on a wireless network.

The protocols used are backward compatible as new ones are introduced.

WiFi protocols all start with the number 802.11, followed by the number a/b/g/n/ac/ax to indicate the version.

For example, the newest protocol, 802.11ax, also called WiFi-6, is also the fastest and works in the 5GHz wireless frequency.

Older protocols are still widely used and working in the 2.4GHz range, including Wireless-N (802.11n)

Wireless USB Dongle Range

Some dongles are small and don’t have a good range since the built-in antenna is smaller.

These are still widely used since they are very small and out of the way. These types of small adapters have about the same range as a laptop’s built-in wireless card.

Other dongles have large external antennas that give them better distance and are often used to upgrade a laptop’s poorly built wireless card or simply when a WiFi signal needs to reach farther.
What Is A Wireless WiFI USB Dongle

The words wireless dongle and wireless adapter can be used interchangeably. So if the word dongle is confusing, simply replace it with an adapter.

Even though a wireless dongle usually means a WiFi USB adapter, it can also sometimes be used in another context, such as a computer mouse transmitter.



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