Some computers might need a Wi-Fi adapter to connect to the internet. You need to know which computer needs a Wi-Fi adapter. Let’s get from the basics. Here on this page, you’ll get to know the complete information about the Wi-Fi adapters. After reading this article, you can easily find whether the computer has built-in Wi-Fi or not, and how to choose the best one for your work.
First, you need to know the meaning of a Wi-Fi adapter.
The Wi-Fi adapter is a hardware device or chip that is used in the computer to connect to the internet. The computer only needs this device if its motherboard doesn’t come with the inbuilt Wi-Fi. There are 3 types of Wi-Fi adapters mainly, one is a true USB adapter and the other two are PCI and PCIe adapters.
Don’t get confused, the Wi-Fi signal and the Wi-Fi adapters are different.
A network of a device shares its data through the radio waves to another device, then we call the waves or signal between the device is called a Wi-Fi signal. The host or the base device will generate this Wi-Fi signal, but the device at the receiving end must be capable of receiving these signals. If it can’t, then we can use external devices called Wi-Fi adapters.
There are some electronic devices like washing machines, fridges, printers, TV, etc. Nowadays, all these come with built-in Wi-Fi. For example, if you are using an HP all-in-one wireless printer, then you don’t need a cable to connect it to your computer. All you need is a Wi-Fi source to operate it, whether it is your mobile or your PC.
Why do we need a Wi-Fi adapter to connect to the Wi-Fi signal?
After reading the above section, you may have a doubt, “Why do computers need and printers don’t need Wi-Fi adapters?” Here is the thing, the Wi-Fi technology in a motherboard is a feature. And we all know that the more features we need, the more money we should pay.
These are the possible conditions in which you need a Wi-Fi adapter to
The motherboard doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi
Because it is a feature of a motherboard, it is available on some high-featured motherboards. Sometimes you may find the Wi-Fi has motherboards at a cheap cost, no wonder about that.
It is all the motherboard manufacturers wish, whether to provide built-in Wi-Fi or not. Here are multiple ways to find the motherboard model and its specifications on your computer.
After finding the model of your motherboard, you should do some research about your device to find whether it is compatible with the Wi-Fi connection or not. If you have a motherboard manual, then go through it (simple way).
Lack of Ethernet Availability
The ethernet connection is a traditional way to connect to the internet. But we have some limitations while we are using the internet via ethernet cable. The ethernet cable is not portable and so we can only use it in a static position. That’s a major drawback.
Of course, when it comes to the comparison, the ethernet cable will beat the Wi-Fi adapter in terms of speed. But the primary use of the Wi-Fi adapter is ‘portability’. Here you can find the complete comparison between the ethernet and the Wi-Fi adapter.
So when you don’t have ethernet cable availability in your location and your computer doesn’t support connecting to the Wi-Fi network, then you need to buy a Wi-Fi adapter for your PC.
The adapter price is cheap compared to the motherboard
Let’s say you are building a PC, and you want the motherboard with fewer features that fit your work. Unfortunately, the motherboard in your budget doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi, and all the other features are suitable for you like RAM capacity, ROM type, GPU compatibility, etc. what should you do then? Whether you buy it or not?
Obviously, you can buy that motherboard because the only issue with the board is Wi-Fi connectivity, and you have an alternate option to that – a Wi-Fi adapter. Just for the Wi-Fi connection, you don’t need to buy a high-featured or gaming motherboard.
You can easily buy an adapter than the featured motherboard – it is cost-efficient. Click here to check the Wi-Fi adapter price on amazon.
Easy to connect multiple devices (Plug & Play)
There is no rule to connecting a device to only one device, which means you can connect your Wi-Fi adapter to your desktop computer at home and to your laptop in the park. This feature enhances its necessity in a computer.
Here the USB Wi-Fi adapter is compatible to do that because the USB port exists in all computers. But when you are using PCI and PCIe adapters, this feature is partially possible. For example, if you are using a PCI adapter on your desktop computer, then you can use the adapter on another desktop computer that has the same PCI bus on the motherboard.
The laptop computers don’t have PCI slots on them. So there is no way to install a PCI adapter on them.
Easily upgrade to another one without a second thought
All the good features like less weight, low cost, portability, etc, will increase the necessity of a computer. Another advantage is you can easily upgrade to another better device if you want. In some cases, you might feel that your internet connection via the Wi-Fi adapter is very low. If you are sure the source is providing a high bandwidth Wi-Fi signal, then the suspect is the adapter.
In such cases, you can easily shift to another adapter that can provide high internet speed to your computer. You can do this because the cost of the adapter is less than around $10 to $20.
After all these things, now you know the importance of a Wi-Fi adapter on a computer. However, if you have one already on your PC, I want you to find its model and specs through the steps listed here.
And here is the step-by-step installation process of a Wi-Fi adapter in a computer.