Usb wifi tv adapter: Wireless Television Adapter : Target

Best Wireless USB Adapters 2023 with Reviews and Speed Test – WirelesSHack

USB WiFi adapters work very well at connecting a desktop, laptop, or other electronics wirelessly to a router.

This makes it easy to set up a wireless signal and get online.

There are many USB WiFi dongles available with our favorite options below, along with full reviews, compatibility, and speed.

There have been some changes to WiFi with a new naming scheme and new protocol released.

What Makes a Good Wireless USB Adapter?

WiFi has been upgraded with new protocols and naming schemes.

WiFi Protocols New Naming Scheme and Speeds

Protocol Old Name New Name Year Introduced Theoretical Speeds
802.11n Wireless-N WiFi 4 2007 300 Mbps
802.11ac Wireless-AC WiFi 5 2013 866Mbps
802. 11ax Wireless-AX WiFi 6 2020 3.5Gbps

There is also a new protocol called Wireless-AX WiFi 6 (802.11ax) that has the fastest wireless speeds.

Having the newest wireless protocols doesn’t automatically make an adapter the best.

Build quality, speed, range, antenna size, backward compatibility, and more all need to be considered.

Below we list the best WiFi USB adapters currently available along with reviews to see if one is a good pick for you.

As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, here, elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for your set up.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Our Picks for Best Wireless USB Adapters 2023

  1. D-Link AX1800 WiFi-6 Adapter
  2. Available Here on Amazon

    D-Link is a well-known wireless manufacturer that makes many wireless-related types of equipment, including a new WiFi-6 USB adapter.

    It is dual-band 2. 4 GHz and 5 GHz with a rated top speed of 1800Mbps.

    While testing, the unit was very impressive, with a wireless speed of 454Mbps, which was the fastest USB WiFi adapter we have tested.

    It also uses a USB 3.0 for faster transfer speeds.

    Like all WiFi-6 devices, it can use the new WPA3 security, which is a big improvement over the older WPA2 wireless security protocol.

  3. BrosTrend AC3
  4. Available Here on Amazon

    Available Here on eBay

    The BrosTrend AC3 is a USB WiFi adapter that has two 5dBi antennas to help get a better wireless signal.

    The adapter uses the 802.11AC (WiFi 5) protocols and is dual band 2.4GHz/5GHz adapter.

    It will work with most any device old or new and has a good range.

    The unit is bigger compared to many other adapters and would be best plugged into a desktop computer.

    During testing in the 5GHz band, it gave some very good speed results of 225Mbps Download, and 20Mbps Upload.

    Read Full Review Here

  5. Panda PAU09
  6. Available Here on Amazon

    Available Here on eBay

    The Panda PAU09 is a good USB adapter that is compatible with most any operating system from Windows to Linux.

    It has two large 5dBi antennas for better range and comes with a USB extender to move it around for a better signal if necessary.

    It is also a dual-band USB adapter and works in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

    The one downside it is a Wireless-N dongle with none of the new protocols.

    Even though it is only a Wireless-N adapter its low-cost, very good range, and wide compatibility make it worth a look.

    Read Full Review Here

  7. EDUP AC600
  8. Available Here on Amazon

    Available Here on eBay

    The EDUP AC600 is a Dual Band 802.11ac WiFi adapter that works in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies.

    It also comes with a screw-on 2dBi antenna to improve range.

    802.11AC is a fast WiFi protocol and works in the 5GHz band.

    This makes it a wireless adapter that will work in most any WiFi network.

    The 2.4GHz frequency while slower compared to 5Ghz can travel farther and is still widely used when distance is a problem.

    While testing the 2.4GHz frequency using wireless-N 57Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload.

    The 5GHz using the 802.11ac protocol gave some very good results of 213Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload.

    Read Full Review Here

  9. Alfa AWUS036ACHM
  10. Alfa has a new dual-band USB WiFi adapter that works with the WiFi-5 802.11ac protocol.

    It is a larger WiFi adapter built for speed and distance along with a 5dbi antenna for good range.

    This makes it a good fit for a desktop or laptop that needs a better wireless signal.

    It also has broad compatibility with almost any operating system, including Mac, Windows, and Linux.

    Read Full Review Here

  11. Alfa AWUS036ACH
  12. Available Here on Amazon

    Available Here on eBay

    The Alfa AWUS036ACH is an 802. 11AC USB adapter built for fast WiFi speeds with good distance.

    It comes with two 5dBi antennas that greatly improves the WiFi signal.

    It is also compatible with most any Operating System from Windows 10 to Kali Linux.

    During our test, it worked with Windows 10 basically plug-and-play with some impressive wireless speeds, 213Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload.

    Alfa USB adapters are widely used in the Pen Testing community for their strong Chipsets and screw on antennas that can be easily changed out for larger ones.

    If you need better WiFi coverage along with fast speeds this is a good adapter to get.

    The new AWUS036ACH from Alfa uses a Type-C USB connector which is backward compatible with older USB standards.

    Read Full Review Here

  13. Ourlink 1200
  14. Available Here on Amazon

    Available Here on eBay

    This unit from Glam Hobby called Ourlink is a small low-cost 802.11ac dual-band dongle

    In our test it worked well with Windows 10/11 and ran at a solid 100Mbps download speed.

    Even though it did well for a low-cost dongle we could not get it to show up as a Wireless-AC unit and only Wireless-N. (Update: New Drivers have solved this problem)

    Read Here for a Full Review

  15. TP-Link Archer T2UH
  16. Available Here on Amazon

    Available Here on eBay

    The TP-Link Archer T2UH USB Adapter is a lost cost entry-level 802.11ac adapter with basic WiFi capability

    In our test it worked well enough although not as good as we expected from TP-Link, but is compatible with Macs and Window machines.

    The downside was it is only a USB 2.0 dongle which will bottleneck at 480Mbps.

    TP-Link is a known manufacturer of wireless products. For those looking for a Name Brand WiFi dongle, it is a good one to go with.

    Read Full Review Here

  17. Panda PAU06
  18. Available Here on Amazon

    Available Here on eBay

    This adapter from Panda is a Wireless-N 2.4GHz network adapter with a screw-on/off antenna that gives it good range.

    It is only a 2.4 GHz Wireless-N dongle so the speeds are not the best but it works well for those who need more distance from their WiFi.

  19. Edimax EW-7811Un
  20. Available Here on Amazon

    Available Here on eBay

    The Edimax EW-7811Un is a small and convenient wireless dongle. It is an 802.11n 2.4 GHz adapter.

    This is not a dongle built for speed or distance since there is no large antenna. If you are looking for a quick reliable cheap WiFi adapter this one will get you online. Just don’t expect it to do wonders.

  22. Available Here on Amazon

    Available Here on eBay

    The ANEWKODI is a low-cost but reliable dual-band dongle.

    It uses the new 802.11ac protocol and has a small antenna to give it a boost in coverage.

    It is a good low-cost unit that will give coverage a small boost and get you online quick and easy.

    Read Here for Full Review

  23. USB Novel 600CU
  24. Available Here on Amazon

    Available Here on eBay

    The USB Novel 600CU is a small nano-sized wireless USB adapter that runs the 802. 11ac WiFi protocol.

    Its small size would make a good fit to upgrade a laptop or add wireless to a desktop.

    While testing the unit gave some good results on the 5GHz frequency of 218Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload.

  25. USBNOVEL 1200
  26. Available Here on eBay

    The USBNOVEL 1200 is an 802.11AC dual-band USB WiFi adapter built for fast transfer speeds and distance.

    802.11AC is a newer wireless protocol working in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

    It is backward compatible so it will also work with older devices.

    While testing the 5GHz band gave some very good results of 216Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload.

    The USBNOVEL 1200Mbps would be a good fit for a desktop or laptop that needs to pick up a signal from farther away.

  27. Inamax 1200
  28. Available Here on Amazon

    Available Here on eBay

    Inamax makes this low-cost WiFi adapter that uses the 802.11AC WiFi-5 protocol.

    During testing, the 5GHz band gave the results of 230Mbps Download, and 21Mbps Upload. This was some very good results and one of the faster units available.

    It is a dual-band unit so will also work in older 2.4GHz networks.

    It also has a 5dBi antenna to get a better signal making it a very good unit for the money.

    Read Full Review Here


Best USB Wireless Network Adapters 2023 Comparison Chart

Adapter Name Protocol Size Download Speed Test Frequency
D-Link AX1800 802.11AX Large 454Mbps 5GHz/2.4GHz
BrosTrend AC3 802.11AC Large 225Mbps 5GHz/2.4GHz
Panda PAU09 802.11AC Large 55Mbps 5GHz/2.4GHz
EDUP AC600 802.11AC Medium 213Mbps 5GHz/2. 4GHz
Alfa AWUS036ACHM 802.11AC Large 209 Mbps 5GHz/2.4GHz
Alfa AWUS036ACH 802.11AC Large 213Mbps 5GHz/2.4GHz
Ourlink 802.11AC Small 48Mbps 5GHz/2.4GHz
Archer T2UH 802.11AC Medium 92Mbps 5GHz/2.4GHz
Panda PAU06 Wireless-N Medium 47Mbps 2.4GHz
Edimax EW-7811Un Wireless-N Small 45Mbps 2.4GHz
ANEWKODI Wireless-N Medium 73Mbps 5GHz/2.4GHz
USB NOVEL 600CU 802.11AC Small 216Mbps 5GHz/2.4GHz
USB NOVEL 1200 802.11AC Large 216Mbps 5GHz/2.4GHz
Inamax 802.11AC Medium 230Mbps 5GHz/2. 4GHz

Wireless USB Adapter Buyers Guide

When buying a USB network adapter knowing a few things will go a long way to fit your setup.

Finding a USB network adapter that works best for the desktop, laptop, tablet, and router you use is the main objective.

So let’s look at the things that are important to know with WiFi today.

2.4GHz vs 5GHz Frequencies and Distance

2.4GHz was the frequency used for WiFi until 2013 when the 5GHz band was opened up for wireless devices.

The thing is the higher the frequency the less distance wireless signals can reliably travel.

So a dongle using the old 2.4GHz will transmit and receive farther than the newer 5GHz dongles.

Why Use the 5GHz Band?

Simply put there are too many devices talking in the 2.4GHz frequency.

It has become overcrowded which slows everyone down trying to get a signal through.

When a WiFi signal packet collides with another packet it must be resent which slows the network down.

While the 5GHz band is not able to send a signal as far as 2.4GHz it is not crowded and relatively unused.

If you live in a crowded city using a 5GHz WiFi adapter is likely your best option.

If you need a signal from a distance and live outside a city with few if any neighbors a 2.4GHz dongle is likely your best option.

802.11 WiFi Protocols

802.11 is what sets the standards for device manufacturers to create their products that all talk together.

Here are the main ones to know.

  • Wireless-N WiFi 4
  • Wireless-AC WiFi 5
  • Wireless-AX WiFi 6

The WiFi Alliance now has a new naming system for wireless protocols.

This includes Wireless-N, now called WiFi 4; wireless-ac, now called WiFi 5; and Wireless-AX, now called WiFi 6.

The new naming scheme is simply a way for users to understand wireless protocols better.

Most WiFi USB adapters are 802.11n, also called Wireless-N. Wireless-N can work in both the 2. 4GHz and 5GHz frequency ranges.

Dongles that work in both 2.4GHz and 5GHz ranges are called Dual Band.

Dual Band is ideal for backward compatibility with older devices.

Wireless-AC WiFi 5 (802.11ac) was introduced in 2013 and is much faster than Wireless-N.

Wireless-AC WiFi 5 only works in the 5GHz range, which doesn’t travel as far as 2.4GHz but has much higher speeds.

The new Wireless-AX WiFi 6 is the newest WiFi protocol with the fastest wireless speeds yet.

Like Wireless-AC WiFi 5 only works in the 5GHz range.

Wireless USB Adapter and Antennas

Internal antennas are good at staying low profile but will not transmit as far as an external antenna.

Adapters that come with an external antenna often use an SMA connector that will allow for easy-screw-on attachments of different sized antennas. This allows for very cheap solutions to connectivity and distance issues.

An antennas size is valued by its dBi number value, for example a 9 dBi antenna is bigger than a 5 dBi antenna.

How To Install and Setup USB Wireless Adapter

  1. Insert the USB adapter into a USB port.
  2. A PC will usually install the Drivers automatically.
  3. If the Drivers do not install a CD with the Drivers is usually included.
  4. If there is no Driver CD, search online for the manufacture website to download and install them.
  5. Once the Drivers are installed you should be able to connect to a WiFi signal

If you are unsure which USB network adapter will work in your wireless network be sure to get a dual-band dongle as they will work in almost any network.

Dual-band will work with both the older 2.4 GHz and new 5 GHz frequencies.

Also, be sure your operating system is supported by the dongle and the drivers available.

For example, a Windows 10 PC will need Win 10 Drivers.

The WiFi protocols will also matter since new protocols have more security and speed compared to older ones.


How to make a USB Wi-Fi adapter from a broken Smart · GitHub

This article could easily be titled How I fixed a 50 inch Vizio TV for $26 and made a Wi-Fi adapter with the leftover parts. Here is a photo of the finished adapter.

A few days ago, I was on my way home and noticed that someone threw out a 50 inch LCD TV. It was in mint condition—not a single scratch, and it didn’t even have dust on it. So I took it home to see if I could fix it. It turns out that the TV was stuck on the Vizio logo. This was probably because of a corrupt eeprom chip. The chip was $15 and the motherboard was only $26! So I replaced the old motherboard and the TV worked perfectly.

The TV is from 2013, the built-in apps we’re outdated, and I was going to use a modern FireStick anyway, so I had no use for the built-in Wi-Fi. I looked on the motherboard and noticed a little white sticker that had a MAC address and an FCC ID (NKR-DNURW5370). That’s the Wi-Fi module! It also had a model number (DNUR-W70B) as shown in the photo below.

It looked like it was easy to remove, and it had a pigtail connected to an antenna on the left side. It also had five pins on the right side. I Googled the FCC ID / model number and found that it had a non-standard USB connection. So I broke out my $2 multimeter and tested each pin for continuity against one of the screws on the motherboard. I did this while the TV was on. This revealed that the 1st pin starting from the left was grounded (black). Then I tested each pin for voltage and found that the 4th pin had +5 volts (red). This meant that pins 2 and 3 were for data (white and green). I believe the 5th pin was also grounded. The photo below shows the connection.

So now it was a simple matter of shutting off the TV, and carefully removing the USB Wi-Fi adapter card. I checked if the TV would boot up properly without this card installed, and thankfully it did. I was in the home stretch now.

Among my spare parts, I found a USB cable from an old webcam that had a plug on one end that happened to fit perfectly onto the five pins. You’ll notice that I plugged it with one pin dangling so that the 5 volts would be on the correct wire. I found a pigtail connector from a broken PCI Express to Mini PCI Express Adapter Card. And I also had an antenna from an old broken modem.

With all the hardware parts in place all I needed was a nice little case. I just so happened to have a little plastic box that the card would fit in perfectly. I think this was some sort of jewelry case for a bracelet or something like that. I drilled a hole on the top for the antenna. I used a razor blade to carefully cut a notch on the side for the cable to fit in. I also made sure that the case would snap shut. Here’s a photo with the case open.

And now for the Moment of Truth. I plugged in the USB Wi-Fi adapter to a PC that was running Linux. It was immediately detected and since the drivers were already pre-installed, I was able to connect to a Wi-Fi network. Running lsusb shows the following output:

Bus 001 Device 002: ID 058f:6377 Alcor Micro Corp. AU6375 4-LUN card reader
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 148f:5370 Ralink Technology, Corp. RT5370 Wireless Adapter
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub

I also ran dmesg and it also shows proper detection:

[ 2297.768058] usb 1-5: new high-speed USB device number 5 using ehci-pci
[ 2297.941643] usb 1-5: New USB device found, idVendor=148f, idProduct=5370
[ 2297.941650] usb 1-5: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[ 2297.941654] usb 1-5: Product: 802.11 n WLAN
[ 2297.941658] usb 1-5: Manufacturer: Ralink
[ 2297.941660] usb 1-5: SerialNumber: 1.0
[ 2298.076058] usb 1-5: reset high-speed USB device number 5 using ehci-pci
[ 2298. 242622] ieee80211 phy1: rt2x00_set_rt: Info - RT chipset 5390, rev 0502 detected
[ 2298.271120] ieee80211 phy1: rt2x00_set_rf: Info - RF chipset 5370 detected
[ 2298.271752] ieee80211 phy1: Selected rate control algorithm 'minstrel_ht'
[ 2299.332318] ieee80211 phy1: rt2x00lib_request_firmware: Info - Loading firmware file 'rt2870.bin'
[ 2299.332404] ieee80211 phy1: rt2x00lib_request_firmware: Info - Firmware detected - version: 0.29

Please note that the number 5370 in the above two commands matches the one in the FCC ID.

So there you have it. That’s how I made a USB Wi-Fi adapter. I was lucky that I found a particular TV with a particular Wi-Fi module that made it just too easy, and required no technical skill.

And, oh yeah, I have a 50 inch TV as well.

Wi-Fi adapters for TV: how to set up and choose?

Reading time: 6 min

Wi-Fi adapter for TV is a very interesting topic, about which there are many rumors and ambiguities on the Internet. No matter how much we search, there is no normal guidance, everywhere there are not quite truthful, sometimes even false or very vague explanations. With this article, we want to dispel the myths around the topic and talk about the real possibilities of such adapters, the features of their connection and the selection rules.

What is a Wi-Fi TV adapter?

Wi-Fi adapter, module or dongle (Dongle) is a device that can receive a wireless Internet signal from your router. In its appearance, it resembles a flash drive, sometimes a little larger. Very often, such devices are installed on stationary computers, for the most part not equipped with built-in modules. Recently, they are often advised for installation on TVs and this is not bad, but, unfortunately, they are far from omnipotent.

See also: How to connect an old TV without Smart to the Internet?

What are the Wi-Fi adapters for TVs?

There are several main types of adapters that you need to pay attention to first of all. They differ in the type of connection, and a lot depends on this.

Main types of Wi-Fi adapters:

  • USB . In appearance, these are ordinary flash drives, and they are also connected to the USB connector on the TV. It is an alternative to the built-in wireless module. For example, it could fail or is simply not on the TV by default.
  • HDMI – more functional devices. The HDMI connector allows you to display on the TV screen a picture processed inside the same dongle. In this way, you can quickly display the image from your phone or computer on your TV via Wi-Fi.

Can I connect a Wi-Fi adapter to the TV?

It is very important to think about whether you can insert a Wi-Fi adapter into your TV and make it work. And there are many nuances that you need to know.

Important information about USB Wi-Fi adapters:

  • The USB adapter is just an alternative to the built-in module. It does not process the image, it is simply not capable of this due to the low power supply of the connector and the lack of the ability to output a picture. The device only receives the signal and transmits it to the TV. If the TV can process it, connecting to the Internet will not be a problem.
  • Wi-Fi module with USB connection will not work on TVs without Smart TV. Why? Very simply, the TV is not capable of processing the received signal, because it does not have an operating system and applications capable of this. Even flashing is powerless here, because the hardware is also deprived of the necessary capacities for complex calculations.
  • This adapter can only be used on Smart TVs. It makes sense to use it, provided that the built-in module was broken or not provided from the factory. True, in modern devices, a wireless adapter is almost always installed.

What you need to know about HDMI Wi-Fi adapters:

  • They can perform signal processing, and the HDMI connector allows you to output the finished picture as if it were received from a set-top box, DVD player, etc.
  • The connection obviously requires an HDMI connector. If it is not, most likely the adapters will not work.
  • HDMI Wi-Fi adapter requires network signal transmission from another device. It will not work on its own, as a regular TV is not able to somehow work with such data. Playback control will be on the other device.

How to choose a good Wi-Fi adapter: selection criteria

Having dealt with the intricacies of both types of adapters, it’s time to study their characteristics in more detail. You also need to pay attention to them when choosing a device, so as not to be disappointed in the purchase.

Selection rules:

  • Compatible with TVs. Ideally, it is better to buy devices from the same manufacturer or products certified by them. Samsung, LG and a number of other companies already have similar devices. Another way is to buy universal Wi-Fi modules, but there is a small risk that they will not work. But often their price is lower than official devices. In any case, you need to look so that the package says that the adapter works with your Philips, Toshiba or other TV. It’s better not to hide the check far until we check the device.
  • Connection type . Enough has already been said about this above.
  • Gain power or coverage radius . The farther the TV is from the router, the higher it should be. It is desirable that the indicator be equal to or greater than 17 dBm.
  • Frequency . 2.4 GHz – more common and works stably with all electronics, but is slower. 5 GHz is still a relatively new frequency and less busy, faster. Here you need to focus on the capabilities of the router.
  • Standard . The Wi-Fi module must support 802.11n or 802.11ac, only their bandwidth is enough to watch high-definition video.

After analyzing the above parameters, you can determine which Wi-Fi adapters are suitable for the TV and which are inappropriate.

How to connect the Wi-Fi adapter to the TV?

In general, the connection procedure is simple if the conditions are met and the correct device is purchased. If we are talking about a USB module, then you need to connect the Wi-Fi adapter to the TV to the appropriate connector, and then in the “Settings” section on the “Network” tab, start searching for wireless networks. After entering the password for the appropriate network, everything will work.

In case of HDMI Wi-Fi adapter, the procedure is slightly different. Of course, the device must be connected to the appropriate socket on the TV, but it also requires a little setup. There are several options for the development of the situation.

First, you can use the image broadcast function, a similar function can be found in the notification shade. Secondly, you can set up a Wi-Fi Direct connection. You need to open “Settings” – “Network” – “Wireless networks” and go to the “Advanced” section. There, on the corresponding Direct page, there should be the name of the Wi-Fi dongle. Just connect to it and you’re done.

Best Wi-Fi adapters for TV

We have previously written about the best Wi-Fi adapters for TV. This niche is not updated so often, so the article is still relevant. With the caveat that universal modules are described there, official products usually work better and more stable, but not always.

Connection problems and how to fix them

You may have difficulty setting up the Wi-Fi module connection. Here are the main problems and how to solve them:

  • TV does not recognize adapter . Most likely the problem is in the HDMI device, you need to change the source.
  • TV does not have Wi-Fi search capability. Most often we are talking about TVs without Smart TV, and they do not support such receivers.
  • Unable to connect to network . It is worth trying to manually specify the connection parameters: IP address, subnet mask, gateway, DNS server.
  • Poor connection quality . It’s either a bad signal, or a low-quality device for receiving / transmitting it.

Wi-Fi adapters are really useful devices, but when used correctly. If you need to connect an old TV without Smart to the Internet, just use a TV box. It should already have a module by default.

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