Get your old device up to speed on the Wi-Fi front with the Asus USB-AX55 Nano Wi-Fi 6 Adapter. Just plug this tiny dongle into a USB port of a computer to enjoy Wi-Fi 6 speeds of up to 1,200Mbps. It's portable, and works as advertised, but it isn't as fast as the integrated Wi-Fi chipset found in the latest notebooks. Handy for desktop PCs that lack Wi-Fi, and older laptops, though.
- AX1800 speeds up to 574Mbps (2.4GHz), 1201Mbps (5GHz)
- USB 2.0 interface
- Supports WPA3 security protocol, MU-MIMO, OFDMA
- 25.5mm x 16mm x 9mm, 4g
The USB-AX55 Nano is as small as its name suggests. It weighs just 4g, and is around the size of the USB dongle you'll find in wireless keyboards and mice. We have certainly come a long way (and two years) from D-Link's Wi-Fi 6 adapter (DWA-X1850), which was slightly larger than a typical USB thumb drive. The speeds, though, are similar (1,800Mbps in total for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels) between the Asus and the D-Link. Included in the package are the drivers on a CD — who even has a CD drive for their PCs nowadays? But to be fair, the alternative is to download the drivers, which might be a problem if you need a Wi-Fi dongle in the first place.
But assuming you can download the drivers — perhaps with a Wi-Fi 5 or older chipset — the USB-AX55 Nano works as you'd expect. It's plug-and-play once the drivers are installed. Like the D-Link DWA-X1850, the Asus uses a Realtek chipset. There's no support for 160MHz channel width. Hence, the maximum speed you can expect using a 5GHz channel on a Wi-Fi 6 router is 1,200Mbps. However, you do get the latest Wi-Fi 6 features, including support for the WPA3 security protocol. Note that the dongle feels warm to the touch while plugged into the USB port.
I compared the USB-AX55 Nano with a laptop's integrated Intel AX201 Wi-Fi 6 chipset. In a Wi-Fi speed test using two different notebook (one connected to the router via Gigabit Ethernet), the USB-AX55 Nano managed an average download speed of 280Mbps. That's decent, but the built-in Wi-Fi 6 chip was almost twice as fast at 560Mbps. Of course, your mileage will vary, depending on the router. But it's quite likely that a notebook's Wi-Fi 6 adapter will be faster than the Asus regardless of the router.
At S$69, the Asus USB-AX55 Nano Wi-Fi 6 Adapter is reasonably priced. It's slightly more expensive than the D-Link DWA-X1850 (S$49 now), but the Asus is much smaller, and more portable. It may not be as fast as the built-in Wi-Fi 6 adapter in newer notebooks, but it's a handy gadget for devices with an older Wi-Fi adapter, or lack Wi-Fi entirely. It's available now on Lazada, and Shopee.
Note: Review set provided by Asus.
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