The speediest dual band models fall into the AC1200 standard as a reminder, AC1200 mentions to the 2.4GHz band’s 300 Mb/s maximum and the 5GHz band’s 867 Mb/s peak. In spite of the functionality advantage of wired network connections, many of us prefer the convenience of WiFi. And when our computing devices do not have WiFi controllers built-in.
Since they are compatible with the AC1200 standard, these dual-band devices can connect on the 2.4-GHz and 5GHz WiFi frequencies. They work with older WiFi standards as well by including 802.11n, 802.11g and even the original 802.11b and 802.11a.
After all, it is fine for makers to talk about rated transfer rates and range, but we want to know which products go the distance and for this type of device, we mean that literally in terms of throughput from range.
The quartet also characteristics USB 3.0 connectivity capable of 5 Gb/s transfer rates, though they are backward-compatible with USB 2.0 as well.
All four products, and in fact almost every comparable USB-attached Wi-Fi adapter, support the latest security protocols by including WPA, WPA2 and WEP. In order to fit 802.11ac’s peak functionality.
In spite the DWA-182’s age, we are fairly certain the hardware has undergone multiple updates. The version we are testing is labeled C1.
Accordingly, D-Link’s website, the A1 version was lighter at 16.7g, it came with a USB cradle, but was limited to the slower USB 2.0 interface and its 480 Mb/s transfer rate. C1 is little heavier at 20.5g, but benefits from USB 3.0 interface, capable of 5 Gb/s. That shifts the bottleneck over to to the WiFi controller, rather than USB.
The D-Link DWA-182 characteristics AC SmartBeam, which, rather than sending a signal not directional, works to send each device an individual signal to deliver the fastest connection possible. The A6210 specialties an extendable antenna, a docking station, a WPS button and Netgear’s Genie software.
That antenna is a double-edged sword in that it amends reception, but also makes the adapter more prone to getting knocked out of the USB port since it is pretty big. This is also the only adapter in our round-up with a desktop cradle.