In your own four walls, wireless home networks have become part of everyday life, and a WLAN stick is often used. Using radio signals, end devices participating in the network can surf the Internet without the hassle of network cables. Whether in the kitchen, in the living room, on the balcony or in the office – the WLAN provides users with internet access everywhere. But what if the computer does not have a WLAN adapter and therefore cannot receive data wirelessly? A WLAN stick can help: inexpensive models are easy to connect and install.
- If your computer does not have a WLAN adapter, a WLAN stick is an inexpensive alternative.
- The WLAN stick is usually connected via USB and is ready for use immediately after the driver has been installed.
- Ideally, the WLAN stick has a WPS assistant and a dual-band function.
No WLAN adapter on the PC? No problem!
Conventional mobile devices such as notebooks, tablets and smartphones have a built-in WLAN adapter ex works. This enables these devices to dial into existing wireless networks and surf the Internet within a few seconds. This does not necessarily apply to fixed computers, as a network card is not always installed and the module on the motherboard often does not have a WLAN-capable adapter. If you don’t want to buy a network card for a lot of money, you can use the WLAN stick. This can be purchased for around 20 euros and connects to the network in no time at all.
WLAN stick scores with its ease of use
According to abbreviationfinder, a WLAN stick for PC looks like a standard USB stick and is basically no different when used. It is supplied with power and data from the computer via a USB interface. In contrast to the USB stick, however, a WLAN stick does not contain an internal memory, but an adapter with radio technology that receives signals from the router and forwards them to the connected device via the interface. A WLAN stick can be used independently of the operating system and is usually supplied with driver software. Plug the WLAN stick into the USB port, install the software and connect it to the WLAN – it’s that easy.
One should pay attention to this when buying
If you want to buy a WLAN stick, you can choose between numerous models from different manufacturers. These do not differ in their basic properties and are available for just a few euros. Depending on the version, you can choose between different transmission rates (in Mbit / s), with 150 Mbit / s being more than sufficient for normal use. If the WLAN router used transmits in the 5 GHz frequency range, compatibility must also be ensured when purchasing the WLAN stick. However, current models have a dual-band function that supports both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands.
A WLAN stick with a WPS assistant is also recommended, which makes setting up the WLAN particularly easy and quick.
WLAN stick and surf stick
A WLAN stick should not be confused with a surf stick. As described above, a WLAN stick for PC establishes a connection to an existing wireless network and uses a WLAN router to receive and send data. A surf stick, on the other hand, is its own router. In contrast to the DSL router, the data transmission with the Surf-Stick does not take place via a telephone socket, but via a cellular connection, like with a cell phone.
Those who use the Internet at home now mainly do so via WiFi, with the WiFi router taking on essential functions. The wireless network connects computers, smartphones and notebooks with just a few clicks and provides Internet access. As home networks play an increasingly important role and more and more network-compatible devices such as tablets and televisions are added, the wireless router is also gaining in importance. Here you can find out what role the WiFi router plays in your network, what to look for when buying a router and what you can do about a weak WiFi signal.
- The term router comes from “routing”, which describes the way a data packet is found in the network.
- Almost every DSL tariff includes a router provided by the provider.
- Thick walls weaken the signal on the end device and cause frustration when surfing.
The WLAN router: all in one
A modern WLAN router is a combination of WLAN access point, switch and actual router. Where a few years ago there were still numerous devices, the home network can now be conveniently operated using a WLAN router with an integrated DSL modem . In addition to price aspects and lower power consumption, this has the advantage that no coordination between individual devices is necessary and all functions are set up within one process. In addition, questions about the space to set up the individual components are superfluous: A WLAN router is no bigger than a pocket book and can be conveniently set up and wired.
WLAN router takes on numerous tasks
The term router comes from “routing”, which describes the way a data packet is found in the network. The router takes over the coordination of the clients and sends and receives data packets. In addition to PCs and notebooks, the connected clients can also be printers, smartphones and even televisions. Since most people prefer wireless surfing, an antenna is built into the router that handles the data transfer using radio signals. But that’s not all: In addition to the necessary WLAN access point, modern routers also have an integrated firewall and connections for other components such as external hard drives, televisions and receivers.
But the WLAN router also fulfills its purpose in terms of configuration and setup. Whereas in the past, individual devices had to be compatible with each other and laboriously configured, today’s home network can be set up in just a few minutes thanks to the wireless router.
WLAN router with DSL tariff
Almost every DSL tariff includes a router provided by the provider. This essential hardware component is often made available free of charge. With some providers, however, consumers have to pay for shipping costs or part of the purchase price. When concluding a DSL contract, it is therefore also worth paying attention to the hardware, as WLAN routers differ in terms of data transfer rates in addition to connections for telephones and Ethernet cables.
Tips for buying a router: Pay attention to radio technology and equipment!
If you want to buy a WLAN router, you can choose between many models from numerous manufacturers. First of all, care should be taken to only include WLAN routers that work according to the IEEE 802.11n and 802.11ac standards. 802.11n technology is no longer brand new, but it offers good data transfer rates for a low price. If you like it faster and more stable and want the security of being well equipped for years to come, you should choose a device of the 802.11ac standard. The most popular manufacturers of WLAN routers are Netgear and AVM with the Fritz Box.
There are hardly any limits when it comes to the equipment of the WLAN router. However, care should be taken to have several Gigabit Ethernet connections in order to have access via cable if necessary. A switch that turns the WLAN network on and off is just as useful as at least two USB sockets. With the latter, the standards USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 should be available.
Weak WiFi signal – what to do?
Thanks to today’s WLAN standards such as IEEE 802.11n and 802.11ac, wireless networks can compete with Ethernet cables in terms of data transmission rates, but problems quickly arise in everyday use. Thick walls weaken the signal on the end device and cause frustration when surfing. In addition, shared radio channels can cause interference and reduced Internet speed. However, a remedy can be found relatively easily: In addition to the optimal positioning of the WiFi router, there are additional devices such as WiFi repeaters and WiFi amplifiers, which ensure better reception, increase the WiFi range and realize some valuable Mbit / s more .