USB wireless Wi-Fi Network Adapters
Wireless internet, commonly known as Wi-Fi, requires a wireless router, which transmits signals through the air to devices equipped with wireless network cards or adapters. Using Wi-Fi, computer users can connect to the Internet from practically any room and can even connect to the Internet on the go using Wi-Fi hotspots. There are dual and single band routers, with the former providing much faster Internet. To connect to a wireless network, a computer or other device must have wireless adapters, whether internal or external. The most commonly used external options are USB Wi-Fi adapters.
A Brief History of Wi-Fi
Although the term Wi-Fi was not used until 1999, wireless Internet was created as part of an FCC ruling in 1985. AT&T was the first company to work with this technology and created it for use in cash register systems. One of the major problems with early wireless signaling was that information waves were being bounced off objects and causing unclear reception on the receiving end. In the 1990s, an Australian company solved this problem and filed a patent for the wireless technology.
It took less than 20 years from the time Wi-Fi signaling was perfected for wireless Internet and wireless networking to pervade everyday life. Computer and smartphone users connect to wireless networks on a regular basis. Cafes, libraries, bookstores, and even fast food restaurants offer their customers free or paid Wi-Fi, and many homes have adopted wireless networks.
There are many benefits of using a USB Wi-Fi adapter, the top five of which are as follows:
1) Frees Computer Users from Cables
A USB Wi-Fi adapter eliminates the need to hardwire the computer to a router or other network device. What's more, mini options truly take up minimal space. The adapter receives signals from a wireless router or other wireless device and translates the signal so the computer user can access the Internet any time they are in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot or wireless network. This allows laptop users to be truly mobile; they can access the Internet anytime they are in proximity of a free Wi-Fi hotspot or within range of a wireless network they have the right to access. However, when people use new, free Wi-Fi- networks, they should be aware of security issues that can arise. Password protected networks are generally safer, and private networks should be used to guarantee that information is kept private. A dongle is often used to connect and share private information.
Prior to the advent of wireless networking, computer users needed to connect to a router using an Ethernet cable. Any time they traveled, they would have to bring an Ethernet cable to access the Internet at the hotel, satellite office, or client's location. The computer user was then limited by the cable length, and if they forgot it, they would have to purchase a new one to connect to the Internet.
2) Eliminates the Need to Install Internal Hardware
Internal wireless adapter cards are available for both desktop and laptop computers. However, most people are unfamiliar with installing hardware inside their computers and could end up damaging the wireless adapter card or the computer itself during the installation process. USB Wi-Fi adapters simply plug into a USB port on the computer, so there really is no installation required, making it easy enough for just about anyone to use.
Many laptops come with built-in wireless adapter cards, but if a user purchases one, installing an internal adapter may not be possible because of the compact configuration of laptops. While it may be an option with some laptop models, the cards are usually quite expensive as the ones made by the laptop manufacturers are the only ones that fit an individual computer. This means consumers have no choice but to purchase the manufacturer's adapter card if they want to install a wireless card internally.
Occasionally, internal components installed in computers and laptops go bad, rendering them useless. This is true of graphics cards, hard drives, motherboards, memory, and wireless cards. While a computer cannot run without a hard drive or motherboard, it can run without a wireless adapter card. That means consumers could connect to the Internet using a USB Wi-Fi adapter, rather than having to purchase a brand new computer or internal wireless adapter if this happens.