If you ask me, everyone needs a WiFi booster in their home. Doesn’t matter if you think that you have a strong signal or a weak one. A WiFi booster will help you a great deal, especially when it comes to stuff such as working from your laptop. How does it work? Well, a WiFi booster for a laptop will extend the network coverage space. It will boost or amplify existing signals, as it enables wireless devices to connect to the Internet at a much faster rate. Think of it like putting a magical buff on the router. A WiFi booster for your laptop will take the weaker signals and amplify them.
Of course, there are a few versions of this magical device. There is the USB WiFi adapter and the WiFi antenna booster for your laptop, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Most high-end options also come with their own apps, and those can get very useful. So if you find yourself with slow Internet, it could be because your WiFi coverage is too small – that’s why you need a booster, unless you have an Ethernet port. Who uses that stuff anyway? Instead, check out a WiFi booster app for your laptop, and maybe in this article, you will find something that piques your interest, maybe even something that expands your mesh network. Who knows? Anything can happen.
- Best WiFi Booster for Laptop at a Glance
- Best WiFi Booster for Laptop – Full Reviews
- 1. Alfa Dual-Band AC1200 – Best Range
- 2. NETGEAR WiFi Range Extender EX3700 – Best for Versatility
- 3. INAMAX USB WIFI ADAPTER 1200MBPS – Best for Travel
- 4. Techkey Wireless USB – Best Budget
- 5. Glam Hobby OURLiNK AC600 – Best for Minimalism
- 6. TP-LINK Archer T2UH – Best Design
- 7. Alfa Long-Range Dual-Band AWUS036AC – Best for the Office
- 8. Edimax EW-7833UAC – Best Signal Strength
- 9. Panda PAU07 – Best for Security
- 10. BrosTrend AC3 –Best WiFi Booster for Laptop Overall
- Best WiFi Booster for Laptop Buyer’s Guide
- Top Rated WiFi Boosters for Laptop
Best WiFi Booster for Laptop at a Glance
- Best Range – Alfa Dual-Band AC1200
- Best for Versatility – NETGEAR Wi-Fi Range Extender EX3700
- Best for Travel – INAMAX USB WIFI ADAPTER 1200MBPS
- Best Budget – Techkey Wireless USB
- Best for Minimalism – Glam Hobby OURLINK AC600
- Best Design – TP-LINK Archer T2UH
- Best for the Office – Alfa Long-Range Dual-Band AWUS036AC
- Best Signal Strength – Edimax EW-7833UAC
- Best for Security – Panda PAU07
- Best WiFi Booster for Laptop Overall – BrosTrend AC3
Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best WiFi Booster for Laptop – Full Reviews
As people, we all love traveling, right? Well, most of us anyway. Traveling the Internet at your disposal may be unpredictable. That’s why these WiFi boosters exist to help you on your travels. Although these get a bit more complicated when you are going on a road trip, then you will need to find a good WiFi booster for an RV. However, we’re not talking about that right now.
1. Alfa Dual-Band AC1200 – Best Range
Starting off this review, we have the Alfa Dual-Band AC1200. While its design is not at all portable and it would be very awkward to carry this thing around, the performance speaks for itself.
This wireless adapter can provide up to 867Mbps of WiFi data transfer speed. If you are planning on connecting to a public network with a lot of traffic, possibly in a hotel, then this thing would really come in handy – that is if you are not planning on moving a lot. The Alfa’s two antennas are meant for both bands. One carries the 2.4Ghz frequency, while the other emits a 5Ghz frequency. It also has an extremely wide range, and it will eliminate any dead spots you may have. It’s perfect for penetrating tough walls that might otherwise slow down the signal strength. Best part is that it works for Mac, Windows, and Linux, and it is quite fast.
Apart from the portability, there’s not much I can complain about – except for the price. While it is not as expensive as some other powerline adapters, it is still a bit pricey when compared to other USB WiFi boosters for laptops. However, I think it is well worth the range it has, and I would definitely recommend it if you are planning to go somewhere for a week or two, but not if you are constantly traveling.
2. NETGEAR WiFi Range Extender EX3700 – Best for Versatility
Now, we have something more versatile. The NETGEAR Wi-Fi Range Extender EX3700 requires an outlet to work, which may be a problem if you are using it at home but too much at a hotel. I think this is another one of those devices that are good if you are going somewhere on a single trip, but not if you are constantly traveling.
It’s on the bulkier side, and it has a range of up to 1000 sq ft. – definitely enough to cover your hotel room. You can connect up to fifteen devices to this thing so you know you will have the Internet to spare. If you are someone who works from home and you need that extra oomph, this is a good choice also.
This particular wireless repeater provides a 750Mbps max performance using its dual-band and patented FastLane technology. This is pretty good in its own right, but where this device truly shines has to be with its universal compatibility. This thing will work with any router, and if you are going to some hotel where you can’t even check the Internet specifications, is that not what you want?
It’s not all perfect though, and other than the design, the WiFi repeater has a problem with long-range connectivity. Even so, I would still recommend it if versatility is your thing.
3. INAMAX USB WIFI ADAPTER 1200MBPS – Best for Travel
So we have finally arrived at the first truly portable WiFi adapter. The INAMAX USB WIFI ADAPTER 1200MBPS is a device that you can take anywhere on any trip. It is also perfect for a hotel room. Even if you are constantly traveling, it won’t be too much of a hassle to carry this thing, although the installation process is a bit complex.
This particular WiFi booster can reach speeds of up to 1200Mbps, so yeah. Say goodbye to lags or frame drops during gaming or streaming. It is equipped with a dual-band frequency which emanates from its WiFi antenna. The INAMAX is a type 3 USB; however, it is backward compatible with 2.0 and 1.1 devices. Now, remember that antenna I mentioned? Of course you do. It captures the weaker signals and buffs them with a +100 strength boon.
However, as mentioned, the installation process for this thing is something else. First, you will need to put in the CD that it comes with, then download the required drivers and then you install them. After all this, you will finally be able to set up the WiFi antenna booster for your laptop. A hassle, I know, but I think that the speed is definitely worth it, even if the short range is not. In the end, if you are someone who is looking for something portable, I would definitely consider this one.
4. Techkey Wireless USB – Best Budget
Now, here is a device that you will either love or hate. The Techkey Wireless USB is a WiFi booster that I would not recommend for traveling. However, it is great if you want to bring your laptop to the office or you simply want something that won’t stand out at home.
This particular WiFi antenna booster has a dual-band frequency but can only work one at a time. What’s more, the Techkey is only compatible with 802.11n and 802.11AC connectivity types. If you have an 802.11n, the WiFi booster will access the 2.4Ghz frequency for a max speed of 300Mbps. However, if you find yourself with an 802.11AC type router, then you can increase the max speed to 867Mbps, thanks to the 5Ghz frequency. So this particular product is only available for a niche group of people. This means you won’t be able to use it if you don’t know the type of router, but at least it’s perfect for the office or office space.
The WiFi extender also provides 900 sq. ft. of range, and although it may not seem like a lot, it’s enough to get the job done. In the end, I would recommend this to anyone who is seeking a relatively cheaper alternative to the other WiFi booster on this list.
5. Glam Hobby OURLiNK AC600 – Best for Minimalism
If you are someone who more often than not finds themselves on the road from hotel to hotel, from guest house to guest house, then I believe that Glam Hobby OURLiNK AC600 is the perfect wireless repeater for you. Its design is so minimalistic that it can fit in your pocket and barely take up any space. You can simply plug it in and forget about it, not to mention it is on the cheaper side of this when compared to some of the other products.
This WiFi booster has a dual-band frequency with a top speed of 433Mbps, which may not seem like a lot by itself, but when you compare it to all the other features, it is more than enough. However, the best part is that this booster can create a WiFi hotspot using its SoftAP mode – similar to the connectify hotspot. Although it does not have the capability to support multiple devices by itself, this WiFi hotspot allows your phone and other peripherals to connect to its mesh network.
I would recommend this to anyone, and I mean everyone, who is traveling on a budget. It is well worth it, and your world will be forever changed, especially if you are going somewhere with slow Internet, like the USA.
6. TP-LINK Archer T2UH – Best Design
The TP-LINK Archer T2UH has to be the best-designed WiFi adapter out there, not only because it looks sick but also because it was made specifically for your laptop. Yes, I am talking about you, reading this article right now.
This WiFi signal booster for laptop has a total dual-band speed of 600 Mbps. It also, as you might have noticed, has a big-ass antenna which is used to power up the signal strength. You can also switch between the frequencies, and use the 2.4Ghz one for web browsing or e-mail and the 5Ghz one for gaming and watching your favorite shows.
The best part of this design, however, has to be the hidden cable. Yes, there is a hidden cable – it’s like an obvious easter egg. The 1m USB 2.0 cable will allow you to place the WiFi booster anywhere you want so it won’t have to be stuck in your laptop all the time. However, the device sadly is not compatible with every router, only the standard 802.11 a/b/g/n, not to mention the speed is a bit on the slow side when compared to all the others. Still, if you want something more stylish and portable that would do a decent job, well here you go.
7. Alfa Long-Range Dual-Band AWUS036AC – Best for the Office
Next up, we have another USB WiFi booster for laptops by Alfa. The Alfa Long-Range Dual-Band AWUS036AC is a portable device with removable rubber antennas.
This WiFi booster is equipped with dual-band frequency, as always. It has a maximum Internet speed of 867Mbps, and the signal is strong enough to penetrate walls, eliminating dead zones. The range is flexible, although not that large. If you put on the antennas, the range will increase. Take them off, and the wireless repeater is more concentrated. You can of course take this traveling with you, but I see it more as an office partner of sorts. I think this device will be perfect for the office or office space with its flexible range and ease of use.
However, the sad part about all of this is that even with the antennas, this particular WiFi booster’s range is on the shorter side. Even so, I would still recommend it to someone who is finding themselves working at a cafe or somewhere other than home. It will do you a pretty decent job even if the range is short. However, let’s be honest. If you are working somewhere, do you really need 2000 sq. ft. of network coverage?
8. Edimax EW-7833UAC – Best Signal Strength
Now, we are entering the realm of the best. The Edimax EW-7833UAC is a flash drive-looking USB WiFi booster for laptops. It has an antenna that moves at 180 degrees as well as dual-band connectivity.
This wireless adapter can reach a top signal strength of 1300Mbps, making it an amazing device for a few matches of Apex Legends, even at the office – don’t quote me on that. It is equipped with special beam-forming technology that improves the range and coverage, resulting in a more streamlined mesh network. This particular WiFi booster has three transmitter antennas and three receiver antennas, all of which are located in the flexible middle part. I am not sure, but I think that all of its power comes from those six antennas. Now, I know what you are thinking, and the answer is no, you cannot build another antenna. If you have ever Googled “homemade wifi antenna booster for laptop,” then you would know that the results are not pretty.
Another thing that’s not that pretty is the price. I always hate talking about this, but it must be mentioned. This wireless repeater is a bit more expensive when compared to the other entries on this list, but I still think it is well worth it – doesn’t matter if you are going to travel or simply go write your fantasy novel at a cafe.
9. Panda PAU07 – Best for Security
Apart from having an adorable name, the Panda PAU07 looks exactly like a flash drive. In fact, I once mistook it for my flash drive and spent the better part of a minute wondering why nothing was opening.
This particular WiFi booster is equipped with a dual-band frequency and top signal strength of 300Mbps. I know that may seem like a slow speed and maybe you won’t be able to play some Apex Legends, but this device is not meant for that. If you have a job to do and you need to do it fast, this is the WiFi repeater you call.
Where the Panda truly shines is with its security. The device is so secure that even the NSA will have a hard time hacking in. What’s more, the device is also compatible with – are you ready for this – 32-bit and 64-bit Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, MX Linux, Manjaro, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Lubuntu, OpenSUSE, RedHat, Fedora, CentOS, Kali Linux, and Raspbian – no Mac. I guess Panda just doesn’t like Apple.
Anyway, if you are Edward Snowden or someone who doesn’t want to be found out, this is the perfect choice for you. If my FBI agent happens to be reading this, could you please add potatoes to the grocery list – I forgot.
10. BrosTrend AC3 –Best WiFi Booster for Laptop Overall
So if you have been wondering what is the best WiFi booster for laptop – which I doubt because I said it in the beginning – wonder no longer. The BrosTrend AC3 is the best of both worlds.
This particular WiFi adapter has a slick-looking design with two antennas and dual-band frequency. You get 867Mbps WiFi speed on the 5GHz frequency or 300Mbps WiFi speed on the 2.4GHz frequency your choice. Its antennas increase the available range to encompass a wide area. The WiFi booster also comes with an extension cable if you don’t want to plug it directly into your PC.
Here’s the best part: This portable, universally compatible USB adapter has a gold-plated USB 3.0 port that ensures a more stable and solid connection. The WiFi extender is perfect for the office or if you are going somewhere on a trip.
The only problem I can think of is that the range, although good, could have been a bit wider. Even with the one we have now, I would highly recommend this USB adapter to just about anyone. It has everything you need and more, not to mention it is budget-friendly. So what are you waiting for?
Best WiFi Booster for Laptop Buyer’s Guide
When it comes to choosing the best WiFi booster for laptop, you will need to consider the portability of the device. Of course, there are bigger ones out there. Those so-called long-range wifi extenders are a bit bigger and not at all portable. You can take the USB signal booster anywhere, and it will do a good job of extending your mesh network, that is, if you know how to pick the right one.
If you are typing in Google something like “wifi booster for my laptop,” then I will immediately assume you travel a lot and are looking for something portable. So you should be looking for something smaller, something that looks like a USB with antennas, or you can go the even smaller route with the OURLiNK.
Alternatively, there is another option, an option that is not as portable. Depending on what you are looking for, this may be even more to your liking. I am talking about the wall-plug WiFi booster. They are slightly bigger than a charger head and take up one wall outlet. These outlet extenders may have a slightly higher WiFi coverage or WiFi connection, but they are also bulkier and much more annoying when it comes to traveling.
Even more alternatively, if you are not planning on traveling that much, then I would recommend looking at some of the bigger options out there. Are those WiFi repeaters slightly more expensive when compared to the USB ones? Yes, yes they are. Are they also better at boosting your existing WiFi signal? Possibly. The WiFi extenders I am talking about are versatile and can work with all your other wireless devices, including your Playstation 4 or 5 or 6 if you are reading this in the future. However, it should be noted that the ones mentioned in this list will not work with a gaming console – they are just not compatible. So you should take a look at some sort of powerline adapter, maybe a WiFi booster for a PlayStation specifically or just a general one.
In this day and age, it is not surprising to know that even the powerline adapters have their own apps. They can help you with installation as well as operation. Each and every major WiFi booster brand has their own app. However, the best one has to be NetSpot.
It’s a third-party app that is available both for Mac and Windows and works with most powerline adapters out there. NetSpot detects your WiFi thanks to its powerful scanning and mapping tools. The free version gives you access to their mesh network scanner which will show you all the WiFi hotspots and dead zones. You can also see the signal strength, network frequency, capacity, and other important factors. The signals are collected over a period of time, and you can compare them to find the perfect spot for your WiFi booster. So if you are planning on getting a powerline adapter, I would recommend looking into this app as well – or at least Internet Accelerator.
Frequency & Compatibility
What you will notice is that most WiFi adapters have one or two frequencies, either a single 2.4GHz one or a dual-band one which uses both 2.4GHz and 5GHz support. While the majority of WiFi extenders may work on the single 2.4GHz frequency spectrum, the best ones and more high-end options are actually dual band. So unless you are searching for something more portable you should only be looking at dual-band WiFi boosters.
The WiFi adapter’s compatibility is linked to the frequency and age of your router. What you can do is look at the specifications of your device, either on the box or at the back. You will need to check the standards that it supports, which include IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n or IEEE 802.11 b/g/n or IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac. However, if you are still in doubt, you can always look up your router online, or simply choose a powerline adapter that has universal compatibility. Either way, this is an important step that you should not skip.
Top Rated WiFi Boosters for Laptop
Last update on 2021-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API