Wireless-N may seem dated with the new Wireless-AC able to move data faster, but Wireless-N has advantages some over 802.11AC.
The firsts advantage is the ability of Wireless-N to work in the 2.4 GHz range.
A signal can carry farther on the 2.4Ghz frequency the 5 GHz.
802.11AC only work in the 5 GHz range. Because of this a AC wireless setup will never transmit as far as Wireless-N
The second advantage is that Wireless-N can work in both the 2.4GHz and the new 5GHz frequencies, making it the only protocol that can do this.
Older B and G protocols only work in the 2.4Ghz band.
The combination of working in any WiFi band, distance, and backward compatibility make Wireless-N still an important part of WiFi.
Every WiFi setup is different and many can take advantage of the high speed data transmission of 802.11AC.
802.11AC has a transfer speed up-to 866.7Mbit/s while 802.11N moves at 300Mbit/s
Here are the main 802.11 protocols
|802.11b||1999||11 Mbit/s||2.4 GHz|
|802.11g||2003||54 Mbit/s||2.4 GHz|
|802.11n||2009||150/300 Mbit/s||2.4 GHz|
|802.11ac||2013||866.7 Mbit/s||5 GHz|
The average internet connection in the USA is between 10-50 Mbps. This means most will never be able to take advantage of the speed of Wireless-N.
The only time most would be able to max out a connection is on a internal network.
Of course as most know WiFi never reach their theoretical speeds and fall short. Everything from distance to barriers can slow a WiFi connection.
Our Picks for Wireless-N USB Adapters 2016
Panda 300Mbps Wireless N USB Adapter – Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10, Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, CentOS, Lubuntu, Zorin, Kali Linux and Raspbian Wheezy
The Panda PAU05 is a 2.4 GHz Wireless-N USB adapter.
The thing that stands out about the PAU05 is it works with most any operating system form a Raspberry Pi to Windows 10.
It is small, with the the range about the same as a laptop but the combination of price and compatibility make it a good Wireless-N USB adapter.
Edimax EW-7811Un 150Mbps 11n Wi-Fi USB Adapter, Nano Size Lets You Plug it and Forget it, Ideal for Raspberry Pi / Pi2, Supports Windows, Mac OS, Linux (Black/Gold)
The Edimax EW-7811 is another small USB WiFi dongle that is barley noticeable after being plugged in.
It also supports a wide variety of operating systems.
Alfa AWUSO36NH High Gain USB Wireless G / N Long-Rang WiFi Network Adapter
The Alfa AWUS036NH is a well known USB adapter in the wireless Pen Testing/hacking community.
It has a 3070 wireless chipset that allows it to go into wireless mode which is necessary to to capture a WiFi signal.
The range is also excellent with a SMA connector for easy screw on and off of different sized dBi antennas.
Wireless-N still has its place in Wireless networks and is not going away anytime soon.
The ability of better range and backward compatibly makes it the Swiss army knife of WiFi protocols.
Each USB wireless adapter will have its positives and negatives. As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere to find the right fit for your setup.