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A laptop, tablet, or smartphone already has a wireless card built into them, but under many peoples desk is a PC that cannot connect by wireless to a home network or the Internet.
A wireless adapter with a USB port can easily be fitted into a desktop to send and receive data giving it immediate wireless capability, even for older computers.
The most important part of a WLAN USB stick is the maximum speed at which the unit is transmitting data.
The possible data transfer rate can be measured by the standard that supports the stick. Brian Thomas from the Computer shack magazine recommends models that dominate the standard IEEE 802.11 n.
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
“And they are definitely worth the price.” The N-standard theoretical offers a data transfer rate of up to 300 megabits per second (Mbit / s). In practice, however, there are only about 80 to 120 Mbit / s. If you want to use the fast N standard, it will also require a wireless router which can operate at the same speed.
Outdated USB sticks can slow down your internet speed
If you are in the market for a USB adapter than wireless N is important as most devices today now use it as the main way to communicate with a router. Wireless N is also backward compatible so it will work with legacy wireless G and A if needed.
If the adapter is outdated and not wireless N capable than this will slow down the net work. A network is only as fast as its weakest link, explains Thomas.
If the user, for example, has two modern notebooks and a router with N standard, but in addition an outdated USB adapter that does not give these data rate transmission, it will slow any transfer of files to the desktop.
External devices also offer better reception
Another reason for the purchasing a Wi-Fi USB adapter, according to Thomas, is that the built-in PC wireless cards might not offer good reception since it is inside the cabinet behind other metal parts.
Wireless USB adapters lie down with a USB extension cable outside the housing and can be moved about to get better reception.
Often moving a adapter even a few inches can make a huge difference in reception and higher bars.
To install a wireless USB pen, is generally not a problem. Most models today basically install themselves. Configuration steps are usually to simply plug it in and enter the username and password to a router.
Good drives come with latest drivers
Even though most computers will install the drivers for you it is also important to have the latest drivers for the best possible performance.
Many users may assume that the latest version of Windows will have the latest driver but this is not always the case. If performance is lacking checking that the correct driver has been installed should be done.
Other differences lie in the quality of workmanship and service, also whether the software is provided only in English or Chinese. The quality of differences are often reflected in the price.
For users who live in an apartment building, a wireless USB pen might be of interest, which can work not only in the usual 2.4-GHz band, but also on the 5-GHz frequency. For there where many WLANs operating on narrow space, the networks overlap, and the 2.4-gigahertz frequency is overloaded quickly.
A wireless adapter operating in the 5-GHz range will have lots of empty space to operate compared to the overcrowded 2.4 GHz range.These adapters are often called dual band.
The quality of the wireless USB pen, according Thomas, also depends also on the antenna that emits and receives the signal. The antenna has a major influence on the range. If distance is a factor getting a wireless USB adapter with a larger antenna is always a option.