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Lifewire / Imad Khan
Handles multiple streams and gaming
External antenna might be a turn off for some
The Wise Tiger WT-AC9006 USB Wi-Fi Adapter is an excellent USB WiFi adapter that can handle pretty much anything you throw at it. While it’s range might not be adequate for some, it’s overall speed and performance more than makes up for it.
Sometimes it’s good to have a bit of a signal boost when there are 100 other laptops competing for wireless signal. Having an external USB WiFi adapter with a dedicated antenna can help give you a leg up when trying to download notes or browse Wikipedia in the middle of a giant university lecture hall.
That’s where the Wise Tiger WT-AC9006 comes in. This USB WiFi adapter could help give your used hand-me-down laptop a boost in wireless performance. It’s small enough to easily be able to throw in a backpack and sturdy enough that it won’t get crushed underneath your biology textbook.
Outside of class, it can handle anything you throw at it, from multiple online streams to gaming. The Wise Tiger WT-AC9006 is an excellent performer.
The Wise Tiger WT-AC9006 is a tiny USB WiFi adapter that has one external antenna sticking out the side. Other than the constantly blinking blue light, which can be annoying to some, it’s a relatively minimalist design that doesn’t look too bad when connected to the side of a cheap Dell laptop.
It won’t win any design awards, but it’s a WiFi adapter, and doesn't really doesn’t need to stand out.
Setting up the Wise Tiger WT-AC9006 is incredibly simple. Plugging it in should get users connected to the internet in seconds. Wise Tiger does include a CD with Realtek drivers in case things don’t work right out the box, but considering that most modern machines lack a CD drive, the usefulness of the included CD might be moot.
In the instance that Windows is unable to recognize the WT-AC9006, you’ll need to find an external CD drive and get that driver loaded, or load it onto a flash drive. This is a worst-case scenario and likely will not be a problem for most people as it should work right out the box.
We put the Wise Tiger WT-AC9006 up against three separate speed tests to get an overall average. We tested it on Microsoft’s Network Speed Test app, Ookla’s Speedtest.net, and Netflix’s Fast.com. On the 5GHz frequency, we saw an average ping of 36ms, a download of 195 Mbps, and an upload speed of 9 Mbps. Switching over to the 2.4GHz frequency, pings were at 36ms, with downloads at 49 Mbps, and uploads at 8 Mbps.
During our range test, the WT-AC9006 performed well. At 20’ it gave us a download of 34 Mbps on the Microsoft Network Speed Test app. When going one floor down in a New York City apartment complex, lined with old heavy brick and concrete, speeds dropped considerably. Downloads were at 2 Mbps, meaning that the WT-AC9006 might not be your solution for long-range internet access.
During our stress test, the Wise Tiger WT-AC9006 performed incredibly well. When throwing it into the ring against two 4K streams, one from YouTube and the other from Netflix, while also playing a game of Rocket League, it kept up admirably. Pings in Rocket League were a solid 20ms. For comparison, when playing with a wired Ethernet connection, pings usually sit at around 15ms.
During our stress test, the Wise Tiger WT-AC9006 performed incredibly well.
At $12, it’s hard to fault the Wise Tiger WT-AC9006. It’s such an affordable and well put-together product that it’s hard not to recommend it. It delivers far more per dollar than other USB WiFi adapters on the market.
It’s such an affordable and well put-together product that it’s hard not to recommend it.
You’ve probably noticed on Amazon that both the Wise Tiger WT-AC9006 and the EDUP EP-AC1635 (view on Amazon) are small, highly rated, and affordable WiFi adapters. Luckily we’ve tested both and can tell you which one to buy. The answer? Either. Both are essentially the exact same device, using the exact same Realtek chipset. Both come in exactly the same packaging, just with a different name on the front. Can’t decide between the two? Pick the one that’s cheapest.
Excellent performance, cheap price.
The Wise Tiger WT-AC9006 does what so few electronics can: giving consumers stellar performance at an unbeatable value. It’s hard to find fault with the WT-AC9006. It performs incredibly well in both speed and stress tests. It looks decent, is small and compact, and delivers everything most people need from a USB WiFi adapter. We couldn’t recommend it highly enough.