The internet has become an irreplaceable part of our daily lives, and it’s more or less impossible to go through a day with no or weak internet connection. That’s what WiFi adapters are there for.
Having one of these will make your life so much easier, especially if you are struggling with constant interruptions and lags while browsing the internet. In this article, we will take a look at what a WiFi adapter is and what you may need it for as a fellow internet user.
What is A WiFi Adapter?
A WiFi or wireless adapter is an electronic hardware device that allows you to connect to a wireless network nearby. It will help you access connectivity to the local area network (LAN) in the home or the office on devices that do not have WiFi support.
This basically means you can connect to the internet or even to other computers without needing a wire.
These adapters usually come in the form of a USB dongle device. You can input them into your desktop computers or the older models of laptops that don’t come with built-in WiFi. Though most laptops and tablet computers these days have built-in wireless adapters, there is a good chance you will have to install one on your desktop computer at least.
On the whole, there are mainly two types of wireless adapters, and these are based on the type of network they will help you connect to. Aside from the WiFi adapter, cellular or mobile broadband adapters are also available. You can connect to 3G or 4G/LTE cellular networks through those.
Again, based on the functions, there are also two types of adapters. One of them can only receive a single signal, while another can operate both in receive mode and signal transmission mode. The second one is more widely used. Before establishing a wireless network in your home or workplace, you should get an adapter that matches your needs.
In order to understand what wireless adapters are for, you have to know how they work. A wireless adapter first obtains signals from inside the computer or the device you are using, and it is equipped with a special antenna to capture those radio signals.
After receiving those signals, the adapter can change them into radio waves, also known as data packets. These data packets will then be sent over broadband radio communications. And to convert and digitize the data carried by the signals, the module will have a microservice and software.
In simpler words, a wireless adapter will convert data into radio waves to transmit the signal over the air. Then it will also receive the data package over the air, whereupon this radio wave will be read and digitized. It is to be noted that WiFi technology can only work within a fixed range of frequency.
The purpose of a wireless adapter is quite straightforward. If your computer or laptop does not come with a built-in WiFi adapter, you will need to install one. If it has a built-in adapter, but you have to connect to multiple networks, you’ll need it then as well.
Now let’s take a detailed look at the important uses and advantages of WiFi adapter:
- You won’t have to install internal hardware: Thanks to WiFi adapters, computer users can be freed from the tangles of cables. Using a USB WiFi adapter, you will no longer have to hardwire the computer to a router or another network device. That is usually a hassle that’s just not worth going through. Not to mention how a tiny adapter will take up minimal space, unlike a hardwired connection.
- You can keep your old laptop: There are many old laptops that don’t come with built-in WiFi. If you have an emotional attachment to the laptop, or you just cannot afford a new one right now, then a WiFi adapter can be a blessing.
- Connect to multiple networks: When you use a USB WiFi adapter, the built-in WiFi will continue to work like usual. On top of that, you can use the adapters to add a 2nd, 3rd, or even a 4th WiFi interface to an existing computer. By doing so, you will get to join multiple networks together.
- A longer range of connectivity: With a USB WiFi adapter, you can access a wider range of connectivity. This means you will be able to connect to WiFi in places where it was not available previously. So if you are outside or in a place where connectivity was not available before, you can easily use the internet with the help of an adapter.
- Better internet experience: Having a WiFi adapter with you will definitely call for a smooth internet experience. You won’t have to sit through the lagging or risk getting interrupted in the middle of something important or fun. You won’t have to go through the frustration of having your WiFi disconnect on you.
- Cost-effective: WiFi adapters are actually fairly cheap. You can find them within prices ranging from $10 to $100, and this is not one of those cases where expensive means better. Depending on your requirements, you can bargain a good deal online for an adapter. And once you have one, the headache will be gone.
- It can be a handy temporary fix: Even if you have a built-in WiFi adapter or a connection with a router, it’s still good to keep a wireless one with you. Suppose you support a number of desktop PCs primarily connected to a wired LAN. In such a case, if a wire or cable problem ensues, a wireless adapter can be an immediate temporary fix while you look into the issue. It can act as a backup plan.
There are many things WiFi adaptors can be used for and many benefits they can bring to you. You won’t have to break the bank to access better internet, nor will you have to worry about the location to connect in! Hopefully, you learned a bit about what WiFi adapters are, how they work, and how they can help you keep connected.