USB Wi-Fi module is becoming extremely popular nowadays. That’s because it enables you to connect your laptop to the internet with the help of a wireless router. For this reason, it is extremely important to have many USB ports on your laptop. As long as you have one of these ports, you can plug in a USB Wi-Fi module and communicate with the router that will provide your laptop with access to the internet.
Want to know more about this smart device, how does it work, and the many benefits it offers? Keep reading then! You will find everything you need to know below.
The first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is what does the USB Wi-Fi module actually does. So, for those of you who do not know, it is a device that enables a laptop to communicate to a wireless router. When this communication takes place, your laptop can access the external internet.
Before these modules became popular, people used to connect physical cables to their laptop to an internet router with the help of the Ethernet system. However, since everything is going wireless now, the internet has become wireless too. Thus, it is extremely easy to access the internet through a wireless router with the help of a USB Wi-Fi module plugged into your laptop.
If you want to use the internet, your laptop needs to have a built-in wireless connectivity functionality. For this purpose, there are various cards available that include all the basic electronics that you require to work smoothly with the Wi-Fi standards and form a stable connection with a wireless router.
However, in the case of a USB Wi-Fi module, all the electronics that the laptop requires are available on a smaller scale on the inside of the USB stick. Thus, all you need to do is simply plug it into a USB port that is free and you are good to go!
The majority of the USB Wi-Fi adapters come with a built-in antenna into the stick. This helps the USB in picking up the signals from the wireless router. Thus, this combination works reasonably well if your laptop is placed close to the wireless router.
Other than that, you can purchase a USB Wi-Fi module that comes with an external antenna as well. This helps the laptop in picking up Wi-Fi signals from the router even if it is located some distance away. However, these modules are more expensive than the ones that have a built-in antenna inside them. But, they come in extremely handy if you are constantly on the move.
When you plug in the USB Wi-Fi module into the USB port of your laptop, it will directly communicate with the processor and other parts of your laptop’s system.
It is important to know that all the wireless modules require some additional software to ensure that they work properly. These software are called “Drivers”. Apart from this, you also need to check whether it will work fine with the version of Windows that you are using. This is important to know so that you can avoid any setup problems that may arise.
If there is a CD with your USB Wi-Fi module then have it ready as you will be needing it to install the device properly. In this case, if you do not have any CD, we recommend that you search for the drivers online and download them using any other laptop. You can then copy these drivers on your laptop before plugging in your USB Wi-Fi adapter.
After you plug in the USB Wi-Fi adapter, your laptop’s Windows will automatically detect it and will try to install the right drivers for your device. As Windows is extremely good at recognizing and the wireless adapters and installing the proper drivers for them, you will not have to worry about it in the majority of cases. However, this doesn’t work in all cases.
Even if your Windows install the drivers properly, we would still recommend you to install the drivers from the CD that came with the USB or the ones that you downloaded earlier. That’s because the drivers that Windows install will be very basic and the drivers that you install will work more efficiently.
Once you have installed the drivers successfully, you can use your USB Wi-Fi module easily.
If you have never used a USB Wi-Fi module on your Windows laptop before, there are a few steps that you need to follow before you can use the device on your laptop for internet connectivity.
First of all, you need to find out whether your ISP is installing the wireless router for you or not. If the ISP is doing this job, you need to tell them where your laptop or other devices are located at your home or office. This is important so that they can set it up in the best possible position.
Once your wireless router starts working and you have tested it using the device that has wireless connectivity as well, you can insert the USB Wi-Fi module into a free USB slot on your laptop.
Once the wireless network is successfully up, your wireless adapter will start looking for the wireless routers that are available nearby. Make sure that you give your router a unique name so that you can easily identify it. Giving a unique name to your router becomes extremely important if you are living in an apartment building. That’s because there might be different routers available out there. Thus, you need to know what the name of your device is.
The last step involves selecting your wireless network from the available list. Your laptop will then ask you to enter an “SSID”. For those of you who do not know what an SSID is, it is just a fancy name given to the password that you used to set up your wireless router.
There are several benefits of using a USB Wi-Fi module. Some of them are mentioned below for you to check out.
During old times, you had to sit near the internet router to use the internet on laptops or computers. That’s because people used landline phones to use the internet network on PCs. So, if you wanted to use the internet connection in your room and the internet source was placed somewhere else, then it was practically impossible to do so. However, this is not the case anymore. One of the major benefits of a USB Wi-Fi adapter is that you no longer need an ethernet cable. With the help of these adapters, you can easily access the internet connection no matter where you are sitting as long as the area is in the range.
We all know how messy the cables can get. Managing these cables is another long story. However, when you use a USB Wi-Fi adapter, you can easily make your laptop cable-free since you do not require any wires or networking devices with it. What’s more, you can even connect multiple wireless devices to your laptop without using any ethernet to transmit or receive the data. This becomes extremely important when you travel or stay at a hotel. That’s because you no longer need an ethernet cable there to access the internet.
Another major benefit of a USB Wi-Fi module is that you can make multiple devices wireless enabled. You can easily share a single Wi-Fi adapter all across the devices that have USB ports and attach the adapter to it. This means that the devices having single or multiple USB ports can easily use the wireless USB adapter to access the internet connection.
If you have purchased an expensive laptop recently and it does not have wireless capability, then you no longer need to upgrade your laptop. All you need to do is purchase a budget-friendly wireless adapter as it is the best option to opt for instead of upgrading the hardware and software of your laptop which can certainly break your pockets.
Before you head out to purchase a USB Wi-Fi module for your laptop, there are some important factors that you need to consider. Want to know what those factors are? Keep reading then!
The first thing that you need to consider while buying a USB Wi-Fi adapter is the wireless protocols that come with it. For those of you who do not know, all the wireless routers come with the number 802.11. After this, some letters follow these numbers. The letters that come after these numbers indicate the transmission protocol that the USB adapter supports. For example, 802.11b is the shortest and the slowest connection. On the other hand, 802.11ac will provide the users with the fastest and the broadest connectivity.
The thing here is to ensure that the module you pick can easily transmit on the same protocol that your router does. For instance, the 802.11ac will only work on the 802.11a adapter. So, if you want fast and reliable connectivity, you should shop for the same router and adapter.
The next important thing to consider is the types of USB ports that come with the USB Wi-Fi adapter. That’s because the speed of the connection will depend upon the types of ports that are available. For example, if your laptop has USB 2.0 ports only, you can get the maximum theoretical speed of 60MB/s. However, if your laptop supports USB 3.0 as well, you can easily achieve a speed of 640MB/s. However, to achieve this speed, you will have to ensure that your subscription is above 60MB/s. Moreover, you should choose the protocol of 802.11ac as well.
There are basically two types of wireless frequencies available out there. These frequencies are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Both of these frequencies have their own strengths and weaknesses. So, it is better that you do some research before deciding which frequency to go for.
However, we suggest that you go for 2.4GHz if your home contains a lot of walls. That's because there will not be any interference from other wireless devices present around. That’s because 5.0GHz suffers from the loss of signals over long distances.
Some modern USB Wi-Fi modules support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. So, you will have the choice to pick whichever band that your situation requires.
Nowadays, markets are full of low-quality USB Wi-Fi adapters that ensure great performance. However, they hardly last for a month. That's why it is important to pay attention to the build quality other than paying attention to the specs. So, you should identify different dongles that provide the best balance between cost and quality.
Some Wi-Fi adapters in the market are bulkier than the other adapters. However, your laptop’s setup will determine how big an adapter you need. Since USB ports are quite close to each other, so the device that you intend to buy needs to be small enough. This is important so that it does not block the adjacent ports. Apart from this, with a small dongle, there will be fewer chances of bumping into obstacles.
We hope this article helped you understand the setup and working of the USB Wi-Fi module in detail. However, if you have more queries, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can!
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