Buying a USB Wi-Fi Adapter/Dongle Can Make You More Mobile

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Buying a USB Wi-Fi Adapter/Dongle Can Make You More Mobile

The Internet has become a very important part of everyone's life that most people have at least one of their devices connected to it at all times. If you surf the Internet a lot and would like to stay connected even when on the move, then you can find good use out of a USB Wi-Fi adapter/dongle. A USB Wi-Fi adapter/dongle is a great device that allows you to stay connected to the Internet whether you are in your living room, bedroom, or even when you are out.

Wi-Fi adapters/dongles come in many shapes, sizes, and brands. While it is true that almost any Wi-Fi adapter can help you stay connected to the Internet, you should still know how to choose a reliable one or risk wasting your money. Buying a USB Wi-Fi adapter/dongle is a great investment, and to help you choose the right Wi-Fi adapter, you may want to know what is Wi-Fi, how an adapter can help you to be mobile, and how to buy a suitable Wi-Fi adapter for your device.

What is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi is a term used for the technology that enables computers and other devices to connect to each other and the Internet without using any wires. Wi-Fi includes networks that use radio waves to communicate, with frequencies ranging from 2.4 GHz to 5.0 GHz. Wi-Fi signals are digital and they travel only a short distance, making them suitable for private use in a localised area.

How a USB Wi-Fi Adapter/Dongle Makes You Mobile

A Wi-Fi adapter/dongle plugged into your computer, laptop, or another similar device allows it to receive Wi-Fi signals, and then connect to the available networks in your area. A Wi-Fi adapter has an antenna to receive and transmit radio signals, which it then processes to enable your computer to be connected the Internet. A USB Wi-Fi adapter is usually very small and can easily be stored in your pocket. Besides a USB Wi-Fi adapter, you can also find internal adapters that you can install directly inside your desktop or laptop computer.

If your laptop or tablet computer does not have Wi-Fi capabilities, or has a broken internal adapter, you can just use a USB Wi-Fi adapter to connect to the Internet. The device is often inexpensive and can help you to be online wherever you go. Furthermore, since a USB Wi-Fi dongle is compatible with multiple devices, you can just plug it into any device that you have at hand when you want to connect to the Internet.

Buying a USB Wi-Fi Adapter/Dongle

USB Wi-Fi adapters are available in various brands, prices, and features. To choose the right Wi-Fi adapter for your needs, you should consider a few factors closely, such as the wireless standards that the adapter can support, its price, and a few other criteria. The first thing you should look at when shopping for a Wi-Fi dongle is the quality, so you can be sure that you can always connect to the Internet with your adapter.

Wireless Standards

Wireless standards are the type of Wi-Fi networks that your adapter can connect to. There are several standards available, and they are named after IEEE802.11. A common wireless standard that you can use is 802.11g. When purchasing your USB Wi-Fi dongle, you should know what wireless standards are available in your area and whether you are free to access them.

Wireless Standards



Modern and fast technology;

Twice as fast as 802.11g and has a wider connectivity range


Predecessor to 802.11n but still widely used;

Five times faster than 802.11b


Older than 802.11g;

mostly used by businesses


The oldest and slowest wireless standard

A fast wireless standard available is the 802.11n. However, it is not a commonly used one for Wi-Fi, especially at public hotspots. Therefore, it is important for you to be sure of the available Wi-Fi standards at your location before you buy a Wi-Fi adapter. For example, 802.11a and 802.11b networks are quite rare and are very slow. Most USB adapters are compatible with all wireless standards, but some of them may be quite pricey. Before you purchase a USB Wi-Fi adapter, make sure you read the label or the product description when buying online and see that it is compatible with the Wi-Fi standards in your area. However, if you find an affordable Wi-Fi adapter that supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, you could choose to purchase it.

USB Wi-Fi Adapter for Home or Public

When purchasing a USB Wi-Fi dongle for your home, you should find out what kind of Internet router you are using. If your router uses 802.11n wireless technology, you should find a compatible adapter. In general, you should always purchase a Wi-Fi adapter that is compatible with the Wi-Fi standard of your wireless router. However, if you are using a 802.11g router and are planning to upgrade it soon to 802.11n, it is a good idea to buy an 802.11n compatible adapter.

If you are purchasing your Wi-Fi adapter only for use in public places, then try to find out what are the available Wi-Fi standards in your area or the areas you plan to visit. Most public hotspots still use 802.11g. However, since most Wi-Fi adapters support multiple Wi-Fi standards, you can buy a suitable adapter according to your budget.

Other Factors to Consider

There are other important factors to consider when shopping for a USB Wi-Fi adapter, including the available security features and the connection speed it offers. Many adapters provide extra security for your network by supporting Wi-Fi Protected Setup or WPS. With WPS, you can block access by other devices by simply pushing a button. This setup also allows you to configure your network, activate wireless security, and also add new devices to your wireless network. Besides that, you can also look for adapters that have WPA2 encryption.

USB Wi-Fi Adapter/Dongle Speed

Although many USB Wi-Fi dongles support the 802.11n protocol, they may provide varying speeds when you connect to a local Wi-Fi network. Look at the packaging or manual of the adapter to find out its maximum speed. Some adapters provide speeds of up to 54Mbps, whereas some can even reach 300Mbps.

USB Wi-Fi Adapter/Dongle Wireless Range

If possible, you should also find out the wireless range of your adapter. Some adapters may have weaker antennas than others and, thus, may not be able to pick up Wi-Fi signals very well. You can also read reviews on different USB Wi-Fi adapters to know more about their performance and reliability. If you are purchasing an adapter for your desktop PC, you might want to find one that comes with an extra USB cable. With an extension cable, you can position the adapter on top of your PC to help it pick up Wi-Fi signals better. However, this is not absolutely necessary as you can also easily purchase a cheap USB cable to use as an extension cable for the wireless adapter.

Buying a USB Wi-Fi Adapter/Dongle on eBay

eBay is a great place to shop for a USB Wi-Fi adapter/dongle and other electronic accessories as there is a large selection of them. To find the right USB Wi-Fi adapter, you can type your keywords into the search bar on the eBay home page. You can use any suitable keywords including 'USB Wi-Fi Dongle' or 'mini USB Wi-Fi adapter'. After you lookup your keywords, you will be presented with a list of all available Wi-Fi adapters. Look through the list carefully to find the device that is right for you. Make sure you read the description, price, and also postage fee.

After you select the USB Wi-Fi adapter that you like, you can view its product page. On this page, you can usually see all the information that the seller has provided on the item. Look at the wireless standards that the adapter supports, as well as other features. If you have any questions regarding the device, ask the seller before you make a purchase.


Everybody likes to stay connected to the Internet so they can work, check their e-mails, as well as update their social networks pages. If you want to stay online while on the move, you should get a USB Wi-Fi adapter/dongle. Compared to older Wi-Fi adapters and Wi-Fi network cards, USB Wi-Fi dongles are much smaller, affordable, and reliable. You can even find mini USB Wi-Fi adapters, which are about the size of your thumb. With a USB Wi-Fi adapter, your mobile device can connect to any available Wi-Fi hotspot to allow you to surf the Internet.

When you shop for a Wi-Fi adapter, there are a few things to consider including the wireless standards that the adapter supports, its connection speed, and also its security features. However, you should also remember to consider the quality of the adapter. USB Wi-Fi adapters for personal use have become quite affordable, and you can find them in almost any computer shops and online shops like eBay.

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