The 5 Best TP-Link Wireless Adapters [Ranked]

In this post we examine five of the best-selling TP-Link wireless adapters.

Based in the city of Shenzhen, Guangdong in China, TP-Link is a Chinese manufacturing company that designs and manufactures computer networking products (Source).

The TP-Link Product Line

TP-Link produces a wide range of networking related products such as mobile phones, range extenders, switches, IP cameras, wireless routers, routers, powerline adapters, media converters, print servers and power bank.

What is a Wireless Netw​​​​ork Adapter?

A wireless network adapter is a card or device that allows your computer to connect to a network (usually Internet ) wirelessly. They’re also used for connecting to local home or office networks (Source).

How do they work?

Wireless network cards connect to a router, which acts as your network’s access point. The router gets information from the Internet and broadcasts like a radio signal which is then picked up by your wireless network card (Source).

What Is a Wireless Adapter?

Buyers say a USB adapter is useful for those who don’t want to crack open the computer’s case, but for real speed, you’re better off with an internal card (Source).

Whether your computer is older and doesn’t have wireless capability or you’re in need of an upgrade, a great way to accomplish this is by buying an aftermarket wireless network adapter.

Below we take a look at 5 TP-Link Wireless Network Adapters that offer a decent price to performance ratio.

TP-Link Wireless Adapters Compared

TP-Link Wireless Adapter
CPU Cooler

How They Compare


First up is the TP-Link Wireless Dual band PCI Express Adapter. This card installs in your computer’s internal PCI slot, which can be daunting if you’ve never cracked open your computer’s case before, but buyers say it’s an easy install. This adapter is compatible with wireless standards 801.11/a/b/g/n but not the current 802.11ac. Buyers note issues getting it to work on Windows 10 machines. Decent card for older computers as it supports all the way back to Windows XP.

Next is the TP-Link N150 Wireless High Gain USB Adapter. Unlike other adapters that have to be installed onto your computer’s motherboard, this adapter plugs into your USB port, which is ideal for those uncomfortable about cracking open their computer and monkeying around. This adapter offers 150Mbs throughput, which is decent, but gamers might need faster speeds. Still, it should do just fine for video streaming and voice calls.

Next is the TP-Link N300 Wireless PCI Express Adapter. Like the first, this one is installed into your computer’s PCI slot. This adapter offers speeds up to 300MPs, which should be acceptable for all but the most demanding games. Some buyers reported issues getting the card to work with Windows 10.

The TP-Link Archer T4UH High Gain Wireless Dual Band USB Adapter is another that works via USB port. What’s nice about this adapter is that it offers support for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX operating systems. Buyers say you get the best speeds via USB 3 ports. This is an inexpensive and ideal way for bringing wireless to older computers.

Last on our list is the TP-Link N150 Wireless Nano USB Adapter. What’s nice is its small size, which won’t take up much desk space. It offers speeds up to 150Mbs, which aren’t blazing, but should be fast enough for most use cases. This adapter can work with Windows, Linux and Mac OS x operating systems, has a 2 year warranty and offers 24/7 technical support.

Best TP-Link Wireless Adapters For 2017

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Effectiveness

Price

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Ease Of Use

If you’re looking for a top-rated TP-Link wireless adapter, you might want to consider the Dual Band TL-WDN4800 model. Users love the performances of this wireless adapter, but some do complain of stability and download speed issues.

This product is a 450Mbps wireless N dual band PCI express adapter with three 2dBi antennas. The manufacturer boasts that it offers the use of the 2.4GHz band or the 5GHz band, which gives users the extra benefit of running bandwidth-intensive applications like HD video streaming and multiplayer online gaming.

Plus, it is said that working on the 5GHz band avoids interference with microwaves, cordless phones and other wireless networks and thus provides a more stable wireless signal. There are two more models available: AC1300 and AC1900. This item might be a good choice if you want a dual-band TP-Link wireless adapter that offers you a smoother video streaming and online gaming.

In general, buyers have a very favorable opinion of the TP-Link TL-WDN4800 wireless adapter. They agree that it is easy to install and setup. Most of the online reviewers state that it works great with no stuttering.

However, several purchasers do complain of having trouble with stability for things like gaming and WiFi streaming. Some buyers state that the adapter drops download speed. One user shares that it makes a strange, loud noise.

Unboxing and Installation/ TP Link TL-WDN4800 Wireless Card

Pros

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    ​​Easy to install and setup
    Easy to install and setup/Amazing performance/No stuttering
    Great at keeping temperature down/Quiet
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    ​Amazing performance
    Great at keeping temperature down/Quiet
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    ​No stuttering
    Great at keeping temperature down/Quiet

Cons

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    ​Several purchasers complain of having trouble with stability
    Several purchasers complain of having trouble with stability /Frequent complaint – drops download speed/One user says it makes a strange, loud noise
    Complaint– may block slots due to its large width/Complaint – poor instructions
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    ​Frequent complaint – drops download speed
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    ​One user says it makes a strange, loud noise

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Effectiveness

Price

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Ease Of Use

If you are looking for a TP-Link wireless adapter, you might want to consider the high-gain TL-WN722N model. Users like the speed of this USB wireless adapter, but some do complain of vague instructions.

This product is a wireless USB adapter that features a 150Mbps wireless transmission rate. It provides two methods of operation: Infrastructure and Ad-Hoc. You can choose between 5 high-gain models (TL-WN722N, T4UH, T9UH, T2UH, TL-WN822N) and 1 standard-gain model (T1U). This item could be a solid choice if you’re looking for a TP-Link wireless adapter with 4 external dBi omni-directional antennas.

In general, users state that the TP-Link wireless adapter WN722N meets their expectations. They agree that it works brilliantly, as well as that the upload and download speeds are good enough for things like Skype calls. Users appreciate that it can receive a wireless connection and act as a WiFi hotspot simultaneously.

However, some users complain about the instructions for installing the driver. They say that the instructions are incomplete, which makes it a little tricky to get the adapter working.

TP-Link TL-WN722N - Unboxing Video and First Look

Pros

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    ​Works great
    Works great/Receives a wireless connection and act as a WiFi hotspot simultaneously/Good enough speeds for Skype calls
    Great cooling/Simple installation
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    ​Receives a wireless connection and act as a WiFi hotspot simultaneously
    Great cooling/Simple installation
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    ​​Good enough speeds for Skype calls
    Great cooling/Simple installation

Cons

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    ​Some users complain about the instructions for installing the driver
    Some users complain about the instructions for installing the driver
    Some buyers complain that the fans are loud when running in performance/Frequent complaint – very big

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Price

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Ease Of Use

The TP-Link wireless adapter T4UH (AC1200) is a solid option if you want a superb Internet signal. Users love the performances of this wireless adapter, but Windows 10 users do complain about various issues.

This product comes with the next generation Wi-Fi standard – 802.11ac, which is said to be 3 times faster than wireless N speeds. Featuring 867Mbps wireless speed over the crystal clear 5GHz band or 300Mbps over the 2.4GHz band, the Archer T4UH is claimed to be a right choice for seamless HD streaming, online gaming, and other bandwidth-intensive tasks. This item might be a solid choice if you want a TP-Link wireless adapter with the latest, most powerful Wi-Fi technology.

The general user consensus concerning the TP-Link wireless adapter T4UH is that has a strong and stable signal. Many buyers appreciate its fantastic connection and speed.

However, buyers wouldn’t recommend it for Windows 10 users since it doesn’t work with the drivers provided by TP-Link. They add that even if you get past the installation issues, it’s likely that it won’t work well.

TP-LINK Archer T4UH AC1200  Unboxing

Pros

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    ​Fantastic connection and speed
    Fantastic connection and speed/Strong and stable signal
    Cools very well/Handles overclocking/Very quiet
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    ​Strong and stable signal
    Cools very well/Handles overclocking/Very quiet

Cons

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    ​Buyers don’t recommend it for Windows 10 users
    Buyers don’t recommend it for Windows 10 users
    Frequent complaint– bulky and might be difficult to install

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Effectiveness

Price

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Ease Of Use

The TP-Link N300 wireless adapter TL-WN881ND could be a solid option if you want to connect your desktop computer to a high-speed wireless network. Users like the reliability of this wireless adapter, but there are complaints regarding its design.

As the manufacturer states, this wireless N PCI express adapter uses MIMO (multiple input multiple output) and CCA (Clear Channel Assessment) technologies, which provide large coverage, as well as fast and reliable wireless connection with speed up to 300 Mbps. The stated speed makes it ideal for video streaming, online gaming and Internet calls. This product might be a solid choice for those who want a TP-Link wireless adapter that features reduced data loss over long distance, as well as increased stability.

In general, users have a good opinion of the TP-Link wireless adapter TL-WN881ND and they conclude that it is affordable, yet reliable. Many buyers appreciate that it has a great range and that it is easy to install. Most of the users share that it works just fine for gaming.

However, buyers warn that this item may not be the most aesthetically pleasing device. Some users complain of a bad shipping box. As one of them shares, the adapter arrived with an antenna snapped off.

TP-LINK TL-WN881ND Wireless N300 Unboxing

Pros

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    ​Affordable
    Affordable/Reliable/Great range/Easy to install/Works fine for gaming
    Cools great/Very quiet/Simple to install
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    ​Reliable
    Cools great/Very quiet/Simple to install
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    ​Great range
    Cools great/Very quiet/Simple to install
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    ​Easy to install/Works fine for gaming
    Cools great/Very quiet/Simple to install

Cons

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    ​​Complaint – not the best design
    Complaint – not the best design/Some users complain of a bad shipping box
    Some users complain that the stock fans are loud at high RPM
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    ​Some users complain of a bad shipping box
    Complaint – not the best design/Some users complain of a bad shipping box
    Some users complain that the stock fans are loud at high RPM

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Price

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The TP-Link N150 wireless adapter TL-WN781ND is a solid option for someone who wants lag-free video streaming and Internet calls. Users like the effectiveness of this wireless adapter, but some complain about the reception and range.

This product is a150Mbps wireless adapter with 1x 2dBi antenna. According to the manufacturer, it fits into any standard PCI Express slot and thus provides fast wireless-N speeds. Another useful feature is the QSS function which is said to ensure wireless network security. This item seems like a solid choice for those who want to experience interruption-free performance and fast data transfer speeds.

The general user consensus concerning the TP-Link wireless adapter TL-WN781NDis that it is versatile, simple and effective. Most of them agree that it is a decent unit for gaming.

However, some buyers complain about the reception not being so good. Also, some find the range to be poor. Some users complain that they experience occasional speed drops and disconnections.

How to install The Wireless PCI Express Adapter

Pros

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    ​Versatile
    Versatile/Simple and effective/Decent for gaming
    Easy to install/Not bulky/Great value for the price
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    ​Simple and effective
    Easy to install/Not bulky/Great value for the price
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    ​Decent for gaming
    Easy to install/Not bulky/Great value for the price

Cons

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    ​Some buyers complain about the reception and poor range
    Some buyers complain about the reception and poor range /Complaint – occasional speed drops and disconnections
    Several purchasers state that they had difficulties with the installation
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    ​​Complaint – occasional speed drops and disconnections
    Some buyers complain about the reception and poor range /Complaint – occasional speed drops and disconnections
    Several purchasers state that they had difficulties with the installation

TP-Link Company Information


The company has also designed and manufactured the OnHub for Google Inc. In 2016, TP-Link launched a new brand of smartphones called 'Neffos'. They also design and manufacture smart home gadgets that come under their 'Kasa' product line.

TP-Link uses multiple distribution channels to sell their products all around the world. These channels include online retailers, direct market resellers (DMRs), value added resellers (VARs), traditional retailers, wholesale distributors and broadband service providers. Their main competitors in their market niche are organizations such as Buffalo, Linksys, D-Link, Netgear, Belkin and Asus.
History

WiFi Networking Equipment for Home & Business - TP-Link

TP-Link is the world's #1 provider of consumer WiFi networking devices, shipping products to over 120 countries and hundreds of millions of customers

TP-Link was originally founded by two brothers, Zhào Jiāxīng (赵佳兴) and Zhào Jiànjūn (赵建军) in 1996. Their first product was a network card that they designed from scratch. The name of the company was based on the idea of a 'twisted pair link', which is a type of electromagnetic cabling system, thus the 'TP' in the company name refers to 'Twisted Pair'.

Initially, the company was not as large and expansive as it has become currently. They properly began to expand in 2005, and as their resources and capital grew, they shifted their headquarters and manufacturing facilities to a 100,000 square meter plot in the Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industry Park in 2007. They opened a branch in the USA in 2008, known simply as 'TP-Link USA'.

As TP-Link continued to grow and develop, they revamped their slogan and logo in September 2016. Their new slogan was 'Reliably Smart' and their new logo represented the company as a lifestyle themed brand as they expanded their development of smart home gadgets.

What Are Wireless Adapters?

A wireless adapter is an electronic device that enables laptops or desktop computers to wirelessly connect to other electronic devices and networks. All of the wireless adapters mentioned below are now available from TP-Link in the form of PCI or PCI Express (PCIe) cards that can be added to a computer motherboard. They are also available in the form of external USB modules that can simply be plugged into a USB slot on any computer system.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi adapters enable various electronic devices in home or office environments to be wirelessly connected to each other through a local area network (LAN). The most common use of Wi-Fi adapters is to connect desktop computers to a Wi-Fi network. They can also be used on older models of laptops that don't have their own inbuilt Wi-Fi adapters or network cards.

Cellular (3G, 4G)

Cellular wireless adapters are also referred to as 'air cards', 'broadband cards', 'broadband adapters' or 'cellular modems'. These wireless adapters provide the same kind of 3G and 4G wireless connectivity service that modern smartphones provide.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth is a technology that enables short range transmissions and communications between a computer system and computer peripherals such as a keyboard or mouse.

Understanding Wireless Internet

Most commonly referred to as Wi-Fi, a wireless internet service requires the use of a wireless router. This router is used to transmit electronic information signals through the medium of air to electronic devices that have their own wireless network adapters or cards.

With the help of Wi-Fi, users of a computer system can access the internet from any location that is within the range of the router, or even while travelling with the help of Wi-Fi 'hotspots'.

There are various kinds of routers, mainly single band and dual band routers. Dual band routers provide much faster internet speeds as compared to single band routers. In order to connect to any wireless network, a computer or any other electronic device must make use of a wireless adapter to do so.

This adapter can either be already built into the device or attached externally. The most common example of externally attached wireless adapters are USB Wi-Fi adapters.

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