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Get Connected With a USB Wireless Adapter

Whether you want to get rid of messy cords or move your computer to a location that can't be easily wired, a USB wireless adapter opens your computer to the world of your wireless home network anywhere within range. Find brand-new or used USB wireless adapters that fit your needs on eBay.

How does a USB Wi-Fi adapter work?

Completely get rid of the cords and wires connecting to your home network with a USB Wi-Fi adapter and place your computer anywhere within your home. A Wi-Fi adapter receives signals from your wireless router or similar wireless network device and lets you access the internet on your computer from anywhere within range of your Wi-Fi hotspot or home network. Just plug it in, set it up, and you are ready to go wireless.

How do you install a USB Wireless adapter?

Check the instruction manual of the USB Wi-Fi adapter you purchased to see if the device connects to your wireless network automatically. If it does not automatically connect to your network, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Install the driver software that was included with your wireless adapter into your computer
  2. Follow the instruction on your computer screen
  3. Select your wireless network from the on-screen list
  4. Enter your home network password
  5. Your wireless adapter will now connect to your network
What is a dongle?

While the terms dongle and USB wireless adapter are often used interchangeably among manufacturers and customers alike, they are not actually one and the same thing. A USB wireless adapter allows a device that is not Wi-Fi enabled to connect to a wireless network as long as there is an existing wireless network in range for the device to connect to. A dongle, on the other hand, provides a wireless connection even when there are no available networks to be found. A dongle works in a similar fashion as cellular phone internet services by using a mobile broadband connection that you are required to pay a monthly service fee for.

Do you need a USB wireless adapter for laptops?

Nearly all laptops come with built-in Wi-Fi due to the portability of their design and don't require additional hardware for wireless connection. If you have noticed a lag in your web pages loading or have sat waiting for Netflix to buffer, adding an external USB wireless adapter might be an easy solution to clean up your slow connection problems. At optimal performance, some internal wireless cards that lack an antenna simply don't get as strong of a connection as external options. When you are several rooms or even floors away from the wireless router adding a USB wireless adapter to your laptop will give you a more reliable connection.

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