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Lifewire / Imad Khan
Small and compact
Excellent speed and range
Includes driver disc
External antenna might be a drawback for some
The EDUP EP-AC1635 USB Wi-Fi Adapter packs a massive punch in a tiny form factor. Though the external antenna could be a dealbreaker for some, it performs very well and handled everything we threw at it.
Sometimes the wireless card on your cheap laptop just doesn’t cut it. Or maybe you work out in the field and need a Wi-Fi USB adapter to give you increased range. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of Wi-Fi USB adapters on the market that can give you a bit of a boost.
The EDUP EP-AC1635 Wi-Fi USB adapter is a solid option at a ridiculously good price. At less than $20, the EP-AC1635 can handle pretty much anything you throw at it.
This is a $13 Wi-Fi adapter, so don’t expect Apple levels of design flourishes. But the EDUP EP-AC1635 does look solid with its glossy finish and small stature. The plastic feels sturdy to the touch, and would likely hold up well if you accidentally stepped on it. It does have an external antenna, which could be a turn-off for some, but that antenna does come in handy when trying to get an increased wireless signal from farther away.
Getting the EP-AC1635 running is as simple as plug-and-play. Your Windows 10 computer should recognize the device immediately and get you connected to the internet. But if your computer doesn’t recognize the adapter, EDUP does include a small disc to install Realtek drivers. Granted, many computers nowadays don’t have disc drives, so its use can only go so far. Even then, it’s nice attention to detail.
We put the EDUP EP-AC1635 through three different speed tests to get an average of its performance utilizing Microsoft's Network Speed Test app, Ookla’s Speedtest.net, and Netflix’s Fast.com. On the 5GHz end, ping, download, and upload gave us 38ms, 197 Mbps, and 7 Mbps respectively. On the 2.4GHz side, tests yielded us a ping of 17ms, 45 Mbps for download, and 9 Mbps for upload.
As for range, the EDUP EP-AC1635 performed admirably. At 20’ away at 2.4GHz, we got download speeds of 40 Mbps using Microsoft’s Network Speed Test app. Going downstairs one floor in a New York City apartment complex with walls lined with brick and concrete, speeds did drop, but we were still able to maintain a download connection of 5 Mbps. For comparison, when using the internal wireless card found in the Microsoft Surface, we saw download speeds of 10 Mbps, so this USB adapter might not necessarily outperform the card that’s inside your laptop right now.
During our stress test, the EDUP EP-AC1635 performed incredibly well. At 5GHz, when trying to juggle two 4K streams, one from YouTube and one from Netflix, and also playing an online game of Rocket League, we never once saw a dip in performance. Pings in Rocket League were usually in the upper 20s, sometimes jumping into the 50s, but never higher. Those are insanely good numbers. For context, when using wired Ethernet, Rocket League usually yields pings of around 15ms.
During our stress test, the EDUP EP-AC1635 performed incredibly well.
At $13, the EDUP EP-AC1635 is a no-brainer. There are other USB Wi-Fi adapters that are more expensive and yield worse results. Is it the best USB Wi-Fi adapter on the market? Probably not, but one of the very few adapters that can pull in these numbers for less than $15.
At $13, the EDUP EP-AC1635 is a no-brainer.
This isn’t even a fair contest. The EDUP EP-AC1635 blows the Fenvi FV-N700 out of the water. Not only does it perform better on almost every metric, including the ever-critical wireless range test, but it’s also cheaper and better constructed. The only thing the Fenvi has going for it is that its antenna is internal, which could be important for some. But given how wide the gap is between these two Wi-Fi adapters, don’t waste your time with the Fenvi.
Pretty much perfect, if you don’t mind the antenna.
The EDUP EP-AC1635 is an excellent product at an amazingly good price. It’s hard to find any faults with the EP-AC1635. If you’re in the market for a small USB Wi-Fi adapter and don’t mind the external antenna, buy the EDUP EP-AC1635 right now. You won’t regret it.