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Top 10 Wi-Fi USB Adapters

Get Wi-Fi connectivity easily with these wireless adapters

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Wireless USB adapters help mobile users easily connect to wireless networks for Internet access or to share files with other computers. These compact wireless adapters also make upgrading to the latest wi-fi technology simple and inexpensive (much cheaper than buying a whole new laptop!). Shown here are the top wireless adapters from major network device manufacturers; they all are 802.11n-capable and offer easy installation. January 21, 2011

1. Linksys AE1000 High Performance Wireless-N Adapter

Linksys AE1000 High Performance Wireless-N Adapter
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The Linksys AE 1000 High Performance Wireless-N Adapter is ideal for both Windows desktop computers and laptops, and comes with a USB extension cable and base so you can easily connect the adapter to a hard-to-reach USB port. It also offers a lot of other flexibility: dual-band capability (works on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radio bands), WPA2 (personal and enterprise) security, and backwards-compatibility with not just wireless-g and wireless-b networks, but wireless-a as well.
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2. Netgear RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N USB Adapter (WNDA3100)

Netgear RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N USB Adapter (WNDA3100)
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The RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N USB Adapter from Netgear can operate on both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands to minimize interference. Like other wireless-n USB adapters, it is backwards compatible with wireless-g access points and hotspots. This adapter may perform best with other Netgear routers, such as the RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Router (WNDR3300).

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3. Belkin N+ Wireless USB Adapter (F5D8055)

Belkin N+ Wireless USB Adapter (F5D8055)
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Belkin's wireless N+ adapter works with both wireless-n and Belkin's own optimized n+ routers (as well on older wireless-g networks). It comes with a convenient USB base for more placement flexibility, has WPA2 encryption, features an LED light for security status as well as wireless connectivity, and also supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).

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4. D-Link Wireless 150 USB Adapter (DWA-125)

D-Link Wireless 150 USB Adapter (DWA-125)
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Besides its sporty look, the D-Link DWA-125 offers push-button Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), WPA2 encryption, a link/activity LED, and a USB extension cradle for ease of connecting to desktop computers.

5. IOGEAR Wireless-N USB 2.0 Adapter (GWU623)

IOGEAR Wireless-N USB 2.0 Adapter (GWU623)
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This IOGEAR wireless-n adapter comes with a USB extension cable, a 3-year warranty, and also has Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) capabilities. Like the other adapters mentioned here, it's backwards compatible with wireless-g networks but can also upgrade your computer to faster wireless-n.

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6. Belkin N Wireless USB Adapter (F5D8053)

Belkin N Wireless USB Adapter (F5D8053)
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Like its N+ sibling (and the Linksys AE 1000), the Belkin N Wireless USB Adapter offers a desktop stand for ease of placement. Besides the typical WPA2 encryption and backwards compatibility with wireless-g networks, this adapter is also certified for Widows Vista, to ensure compatibility with that OS in particular.

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7. Medialink Wireless N USB Adapter

Medialink Wireless N USB Adapter
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This Medialink wireless-n USB adapter comes highly rated by customers at Amazon. Its Microsoft WHQL certification means its compatibility with Windows is ensured, and, for Windows 7 users, the USB adapter is plug and play. Other features include WPA2 security and a docking station with 3 ft. extension cable.

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8. TRENDnet 150Mbps Mini Wireless N USB Adapter (TEW-648UB)

TRENDnet 150Mbps Mini Wireless N USB Adapter (TEW-648UB)
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This mini wireless-n USB adapter has an ultra compact form factor (it's slightly larger than a penny) and Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). Compatible with Windows 7 (and earlier Windows computers) as well as Mac OS X, the adapter also features Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) Quality of Service (QoS) support for prioritizing multimedia (video, audio, and gaming) traffic.

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9. AirLink101 Wireless N 150 Ultra Mini USB Adapter (AWLL5088)

AirLink101 Wireless N 150 Ultra Mini USB Adapter (AWLL5088)
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Marketed as the smallest wireless-n USB adapter, the Airlink101 Wireless N 150 Ultra Mini USB Adapter works with both Windows and Mac, has a data rate of up to 150 Mbps, power saving features, and even an LED light to indicate wireless link/power.
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10. D-Link Wireless N Nano USB Adapter (DWA-131)

D-Link Wireless N Nano USB Adapter (DWA-131)
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The D-Link DWA-131 USB Nano Wireless Adapter is a very compact and slim wireless adapter (the top of the external adapter is about the size of a penny). It features a LED indicator light, works with WPA2 encryption, and can also help you connect to wi-fi networks with the push of a button with Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).

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