Windows 10: Using a USB 2.4 / 5.0 GHz WiFI Adapter Dongle on an Older Laptop

  1.    05 Jun 2017 #1

    Using a USB 2.4 / 5.0 GHz WiFI Adapter Dongle on an Older Laptop


    My laptop is older and doesn't recognize 802.11 ac (5 GHz signal). I know our router is putting out 5 GHz and 2.4 since our smartphones can join with either 2.4 or 5.0.

    There are many USB dongles on the market that all work in a similar manner. You plug the USB thumb drive in your computer and load their driver software which gives you a wifi adapter that will recognize 2.4 and 5.0.

    My question is: what happens to the original adapter? Does it remain on the computer in disabled mode? Is it uninstalled? Is it available if I find that the dongle doesn't work? Will I be able to uninstall/disable the dongle adapter and go back to where I was before I installed it.

    Anybody have experience with these or know the answer.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 6,899
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1709
       05 Jun 2017 #2

    Hi lagunasrfr

    You can uninstall the adapter on most laptops, a couple of screws on the bottom. Then two wires and two screws to remove. Would have to know your device to say for sure. You can also Google. A little more complex to restore.

    As well you can usually shut off wi-fi manually. Some older devices had a physical switch on front or side, newer devices have control along the F keys, maybe f11 or f12. Different icons, some look like a stick with waves on either side. Some devices disable in the BIOS. These are very easy to reset.

    I have a Dell and for a while I use a dongle. I killed with switch. Eventually I replaced wi-fi card.

    You will notice faster speeds with 5 but total distance from router is not as good as 2.4. You didn't mention is your 2.4 a G class device or N class device?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    05 Jun 2017 #3

    Don't know if you understand my question. There is no need to open laptop up or remove anything. This is strictly software related. Here is an example of a dongle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRG9QDV..._t4_B01MYQW7IR
    Review to see what I am talking about.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 6,899
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1709
       05 Jun 2017 #4

    Yes. That is what I understood.

    Guess my response could have been better. You can remove existing card if you wanted too. You can also shut off existing as I described.

    Then plug in, set up and go.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    05 Jun 2017 #5

    By "shut off existing" do you mean Control Panel/System/Device Manager/Network Adapters/"Current Adapter" and then disable it, leaving it on the system?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 6,899
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1709
       05 Jun 2017 #6

    By shutting off I meant finding the switch either on the front or side and sliding it to off. If you don't have a physical switch then there is a software switch within F keys and finally some devices allow you to shut off in BIOS.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 675
    Windows 10
       05 Jun 2017 #7

    I use an external USB3 2.4+5GHz dual band ac standard wireless dongle. Or the internal Wireless Card , or Ethernet.

    All you have to do is install the driver from the manufacturer/Windows updates. Then obviously use that one and switch off the internal one(s), F12 on mine though you could do it other ways like in the Device Manager, or Settings > Network & Internet > WiFi/Ethernet > Change adapter settings

    Use the Tiles view to ID which is which and disable/enable appropriately.

    Not necessary to uninstall any drivers, nor physically remove it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    05 Jun 2017 #8

    Thanks Ken and Helmut. Forgot about F key for wifi on/off.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    06 Jun 2017 #9

    Helmut said: View Post
    I use an external USB3 2.4+5GHz dual band ac standard wireless dongle. Or the internal Wireless Card , or Ethernet.

    All you have to do is install the driver from the manufacturer/Windows updates. Then obviously use that one and switch off the internal one(s), F12 on mine though you could do it other ways like in the Device Manager, or Settings > Network & Internet > WiFi/Ethernet > Change adapter settings

    Use the Tiles view to ID which is which and disable/enable appropriately.

    Not necessary to uninstall any drivers, nor physically remove it.
    The two WiFi adapters (built-in and USB) will both be available in a drop down box in the Windows network task bar section. You just select which adapter you want to connect to which network. Agreed there is no need to uninstall or remove any hardware.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    06 Jun 2017 #10

    Thanks all. You've given me a perfect understanding of how it woks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  •  

    Related Threads
    im looking to buy a great wifi card for my laptop, i have a Intel(R) Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 and it is horrible! and before that a ralink atheros card. with this intel card i have i cant even connect my bluetooth headset to it because it crackles...
    Few weeks back I upgraded my router to a dual band not realizing my laptop only worked with 2.4ghz g/n spec. Because I was having an issue with another network in my neighborhood causing connection to the internet to be spotty. I fixed the problem...
    I have a bootable USB stick with windows 10 home on it that I used to do a clean install on my main laptop. I was considering using it on an older laptop as well, but my concern is with the validation. The older laptop isn't new enough to have the...
    I have Windows 10 Home, fully updated. My next-door neighbor rents his cable modem from Time Warner, so there's an open network called TWC Wifi (and also a Cable Wifi). I have never manually connected to this network, and it doesn't show up in...
    I upgraded from 8.1 to 10.0 2-3 weeks ago. Wifi worked fine until a couple of days ago. Now the icon says "Not connected - No connections are available." But there are! I'm sending this from my Windows 8.1 notebook and it says there are 4 wifi's...
    Our Sites
    Site Links
    About Us
    Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

    Designer Media Ltd
    All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:35.
    Find Us