It is hard to find a device today that does not come with an internal Wi-Fi connectivity feature. The days of cable internet are rapidly going away but sadly, we cannot always say the same for PCs. Though it is hard to imagine a tangle of wires behind your desktop for internet connectivity today, it is still the reality for many of us. We somehow do not bother about built-in Wi-Fi receptors for PCs while checking the specification. Why would a system that is going to sit static on your desk most of the time need it anyway?
But as the wireless internet is becoming the trend now, ethernet cables are no longer the first option we turn to when high-speed internet is the primary requirement. Besides, the clutter of wire can be such mayhem when something goes wrong and you need to find out which wire to pull.
The clutter is not a pretty sight but then can you connect PC to WiFi without any wire? Yes, you can do that with a few simple tricks. We have listed some technical tips that even beginners can follow to set up high-speed internet. Read on to know more.
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Ways to Connect a Computer to WiFi Without Cable:
There are several ways of doing this and it takes the minimum effort. Here are four basics on how to connect a desktop to WiFi:
- USB WiFi Adaptor
This is perhaps the simplest of the options you will find if you are wondering how to connect a computer to WiFi without cable. These small devices are powerful enough to capture your Wi-Fi signals as soon as you plug them into the PC and install it.
- You can easily plug it into the USB 2.0 as well as USB 3.0 of your desktop. In older PCs, the USB 3.0 can pose certain issues at times, and USB 2.0 can be used without any hindrance regarding speed.
- One drawback that many users experience is the device goes offline when your system goes to sleep. However, you can find settings in Windows to prevent this easily.
- Another factor to note is the quality of the USB WiFi adapter. They tend to be a hit or a miss for many users. Make sure the adapter is rated high and is compatible with the speed that your router can support.
- The connectivity is not guaranteed by any USB adaptor that you choose. Hence, do not always go by the specifications on paper. Rather learn more about the first-hand experience of its users.
- Lastly, avoid cheaper options which are from shady brands so that at least there is some warranty for the service.
- PC WiFi Adaptors
Owing to the many disadvantages associated with a USB WiFi adapter, how to connect the desktop to WiFi without an adapter is another query among many users. The answer is- the PC WiFi Adaptors. They offer equivalent connectivity compared to the motherboards with built-in Wi-Fi. The connection is stable and even accessible over a longer distance and performs better than the USB Wi-Fi Adaptor.
- A major advantage of this device is that you can easily connect it elsewhere and still enjoy a stable internet and keep all the USB ports free on the device.
- Because of the distance, it can cover, setting up your PC anywhere in the room is possible.
The downsides of the device are there but are rather minor.
- The primary downside is the expense of the device which is significantly higher compared to the USB WiFi adaptor. However, this depends on the capacity and the specifications of the device.
- They have to be installed first to use which can be tricky for new users.
- Lastly, the configuration of the motherboard along with the available space affect whether you can install the device at all. This is a major drawback if your motherboard is an outdated one and or the device storage is fully loaded.
The PC WiFi adapter is a popular choice to connect the desktop to Wi-Fi among those who require uninterrupted internet service round the clock.
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- WiFi Enabled Motherboard
The next best thing to get uninterrupted internet connectivity on your device through Wi-Fi is installing a Wi-Fi enabled motherboard. Connecting computers to Wi-Fi is now made much easier with this innovation. Users who are considering an upgrade for their C anyway will specifically find this a useful option.
Most laptops today have such a motherboard which is why they can be easily connected to the wireless internet. You can do the same for your PC provided you are ready to pay the price. These motherboards are much more expensive compared to external hardware for the same purpose. But to ensure utmost stability with the internet connection this is the best way available.
These types of motherboards can directly search and find out all the discoverable networks around your PC and are hassle-free. However, the only technical drawback is that you need to re-format the PC to install this motherboard.
- WiFi Card
Perhaps the smallest but simplest choice is the WiFi card whose installation is quite similar to PCI-e adaptor (Check out our reviews on Best PCIe WiFi Cards) installation on the device. It is the best of both worlds as it is reliable and at the same time, compact and budget-friendly compared to the other options on this list.
The only concern is ensuring the card is compatible with the motherboard so that it can function smoothly on the PC. There is a PCI-e slot available in the cabinet where you can easily install this card. Simply open the slot cover and insert the card tightly. Once the hardware installation is done, you need to run the driver installation CD and install its respective drivers. After this restart the device to check all its functionalities. The process of connecting to the Wi-Fi will be indicated by the wizard once you are connected with the Wi-Fi driver.
The PCI-e slot is very delicate and pacing the card in the right slot should be carefully done, especially for a first-timer.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):
Yes. You can connect an old desktop to the Wi-Fi provided you install a device for wireless connectivity. This can be anything ranging from the USB Wi-Fi adaptor to the Wi-Fi card. The primary concern should be the compatibility of the device you are choosing with your PC.
There are no external antennas with the USB Wi-Fi adaptors hence they are less powerful. Moreover, they cannot be used from a long distance and often users complain about slower internet reception with these devices. However, there are exceptions where people get fast internet with this device, provided the adapter is of good quality and from a reliable brand.
Usually, the USB-A male Wi-Fi adapter can last for up to 1500 connect and disconnect cycles. On average, these devices last for a year smoothly before issues start occurring. However, a good quality option can last even longer than that.
As mentioned earlier, the brand and model of the USB Wi-Fi adaptor plays a key role in its performance. Below is a list of high-quality devices which you can choose for your desktop:
- Asus USB-AC68. Best USB Wi-Fi Adapter for Gaming
- TP-Link Archer T3U Plus. Best Budget USB Wi-Fi Adapter
- D-Link DWA-192
- TP-Link N150 USB Wi-Fi Adapter (TL-WN725N) Best Ultra Cheap USB Wi-Fi Adapter
- TP-Link Archer T4U Plus
- Netgear A6150 AC1200 Wi-Fi USB Adapter
- Netgear Nighthawk AC1900. Best USB Wi-Fi Adapter
- Net-Dyn AC1200
You can install a WiFi card on a non-Wi-Fi motherboard to make it Wi-Fi-enabled. This is the easiest way. If this is not a feasible option, external devices like the USB Wi-Fi adaptor and the PC Wi-Fi adaptors are also feasible choices to get a stable internet connection on your PC without any wires.
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There are plenty of solutions to how to connect computers to WiFi without cable but what works best for you depends specifically on the requirement you have. If your work is internet-intensive and you require high-speed uninterrupted services, then it is best to choose a WiFi enabled motherboard or the PCI-e WiFi adaptor without compromising the cost.
WiFi connectivity is now a necessity on all types of device including the desktop and hence, knowing all your options can come in handy in the long run. The above-mentioned methods of connecting the WiFi to your PC are some of the easiest and effortless choices you have. So now you can easily enjoy an active internet connection on your desktop without the hassle of wires. This way you can make your workspace appear more organized and professional and easy to manage. Furthermore, your internet speed will be increased manifold compared to the old ethernet internet when you have WiFi connectivity on every device.