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The Asus USB-AC68 adapter features a novel folding design that incorporates dual deployable antennas. It supports USB 3.0 connectivity, as well as the AC1900 standard, Asus AiRadar Beamforming, and MU-MIMO via a 3×4 antenna design. The results are a bit of a mixed bag as this Asus adapter lags in the 2.4 GHz tests at a distance.

The D-Link DWA-192 tested well for PCMag and Tom’s Hardware, but those tests happened in the early days of 802.11ac and many newer adapters have come out since then. It performed well on our tests, but it is expensive, and its external ball-shaped housing isn’t as portable as our picks. Like the Nighthawk A7000, the Asus AC-68 is a large expensive stick with a pair of pop-out antennas. While its performance at the long distance testing point was adequate, the A7000 trounced the AC-68’s throughput results, and the Asus adapter is significantly more expensive. The A7000 is significantly larger than the Archer T4U, measuring 4.7 by 1.8 by 0.87 inches , but it needs that chunky chassis for multiple radios, a swing-out antenna, and room for cooling vents.

Keep a solid connection with one of the best USB Wi-Fi adapters. Sign in to commentBe respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. Compared to Wi-Fi, the PLEK500 is faster than most, including some 802.11ac clients.

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At short distance, the T2U’s throughput was faster than the Archer T4U’s on the music folder test (25 MB/s) and competitive on the large file folder (27.3 MB/s). The steam windows Archer T4U is a fairly bulky stick, measuring 3.64 by 1.24 by 0.55 inches , with an external antenna that swings up and out to 180 degrees relative to our test laptop’s keyboard. You can use the adapter with the antenna closed, but we tested it vertically at 90 degrees, like the other adapters with external antennas.

Also note that a powerline connection is a lot more stable than a wireless connection and has much lower latency. PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology.

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There’s also support for more granular controls such as Jumbo Frames, ARP Offload, and Flow Control. StarTech’s USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet NIC Network Adapter takes advantage of USB 3.0 connectivity to deliver network throughput that’s almost as good as using an on-board Gigabit Ethernet controller. PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing. Everyone needs more USB ports, and we have updated picks to help you make sure you can attach all your devices while you work from home.

The StarTech adapter supports client machines running Windows XP, Vista, Window 7 and 8 , as well as Windows Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2, and Mac systems running OS X 10.6 and later. There are some advanced settings in the adapter’s properties worth exploring. For example, you can enable VLAN tagging and Wake on LAN.

While the 5 GHz tests are much more reliable, it still wasn’t the fastest at either the close or far distance tested. And if you’re looking to cut down on that cord clutter elsewhere in your set-up, the best wireless gaming keyboards or the best wireless headsets should be your next stop. We’ve tracked down all our favorite USB Wi-Fi adapters below, along with a handful of bullet points to help you decide.

It supports beamforming and MU-MIMO, and it comes with an external USB cradle so you can reposition it on your desk. It only has a one-year warranty, and while that’s sufficient for most people, the TP-Link adapters do offer a two-year warranty for a lower price. The adapter has a thinner, lighter case than the Archer T4U, though you’ll need clearance for the long antenna. Its articulated connection to the adapter’s case feels robust. The Archer T2U Plus also has an excellent two-year warranty and works with macOS and Windows.

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