Upgrade your computer to the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard with the D-Link DWA-X1850 AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 USB Adapter. This handy USB dongle conveniently plugs into any USB 3.0 port on a computer (Windows 10 only). It is a fuss-free way to get all your old devices up to speed with Wi-Fi 6, which is offered by most routers bundled by telcos with their broadband packages. You’ll get up to 1.2Gbps of speed (on paper) with this dongle, though the actual performance is also dependent on your router.
- AX1800 speeds up to 600Mbps (2.4GHz) / 1200Mbps (5GHz)
- Realtek chipset (80MHz channel width)
- Supports WPA3 security protocol
- USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB 3.0) standard
At around 23g, you can barely feel the weight of the DWA-X1850. It is wider than a typical USB thumb drive, so it will probably take up the space of a neighbouring port. D-Link has included an extension cord that solves this problem, but you’ll have to deal with the extra length. The cable also makes it convenient to use this Wi-Fi dongle with a desktop PC, especially when connecting to a rear port. The bottom of the dongle has air vents for cooling, but it will get a bit warm during use.
Installing the DWA-X1850 is simple enough. But note that it only works with Windows 10 PCs. A window with the Setup file pops up when you plug in the dongle. You’ll need to run this file to install the driver, before restarting your PC to use the dongle. The DWA-X1850 is powered by a Realtek chipset that supports 80MHz channel width on the 5GHz band and is hence capped at a speed of 1.2Gbps. This is unlike newer Wi-Fi 6 notebooks that typically come with Intel’s AX200 chipset. This chipset supports 160MHz channel width, which, with a compatible router, can theoretically reach speeds of up to 2.4Gbps.
To test the DWA-X1850, I plugged it into a notebook that already has a built-in Wi-Fi 6 adapter (Intel AX200). Then I compared the download speeds between the D-Link and the Intel solution in an internal network test. The D-Link produced 456Mbps on average compared to 495Mbps for the Intel. At longer distances (in the furthest bedroom), the D-Link was also slower, clocking 148Mbps compared to 207Mbps for the Intel. However, the real-world performance was a wash between the two. Both achieved around 300Mbps for downloads when tested using Ookla’s Speedtest. In short, your router and internet service provider are more likely to affect your Wi-Fi 6 speed than the Wi-Fi 6 adapter.
The D-Link DWA-X1850 AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 USB Adapter is a hassle-free way to get Wi-Fi 6 connectivity on any Windows 10 computer with a USB port. It is available for S$79 at Shopee and Lazada. However, if you have a desktop computer with a spare PCIe slot (and are comfortable with DIY), I would recommend getting D-Link’s Wi-Fi 6 PCIe adapter instead. Not only is this PCIe adapter slightly cheaper, it uses the Intel AX200 chipset, and has Bluetooth, too.
Note: Review set provided by D-Link.