TrendNet’s AC1200 wireless adapter offers quick and painless setup, making it easy to connect your desktop or laptop computer to your home network so you can start using the internet almost instantly. You simply plug in the adapter to your computer via a USB 2.0 or 3.0 port, press the Wi-Fi Protected Setup button, and an LED indicator light will flash green to let you know it’s connected. You don’t have to install any drivers or download any additional software.
This lightweight Wi-Fi device has two internal antennas. This dual-band setup easily allows you to connect to either a 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands, whichever best suits your needs.
TrendNet boasts that this wireless USB adapter can give you internet speeds up to 867 Mbps; however, it failed to do so in our experience with it. Admittedly, the maximum advertised speeds of a product like this are mostly theoretical because there are so many factors that can affect the performance, but in our testing it didn’t come close that advertised speed.
In our tests, we compared the speeds of this adapter versus a wired connection for the same tasks. We tested it on an AC network that had a data-transfer capacity of 150 Mbps and a top upload speed of 15 Mbps. During each individual test, the device was prioritized over all other traffic and no other devices were creating any traffic on the network.
In multiple tests, our wired connection effortlessly clocked an average download speed of 140 Mbps, whereas the AC1200 consistently only reached a high of 27 Mbps while running the same tests – far from its advertised mark. However, it netted nearly identical upload speeds in comparison with the wired connection, averaging 15 Mbps, which was the maximum limit of our network.
The wireless adapter is compatible with Windows 10, 8, 7 and XP operating systems, both 32-bit and 64-bit, as well as Mac OS X 10.4-10.8. It’s also backwards compatible with previous standards, including IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11a networks. It provides you with coverage up to 100 meters indoors, which should give you enough of connection to work with no matter how far from your router you are.
You can contact the company via email or phone 24/7 for limited, basic support. For more in-depth technical support, you’ll likely have to purchase per-incident support, which costs roughly $40 for one-time help up to about $100 per year for unlimited calls. The AC1200 comes with a three-year limited manufacturer warranty.
The TrendNet AC1200 dual-band wireless USB adapter is a decent option for connecting your computer to your internet connection without installing a wireless card or PCI adapter. It’s not necessarily the best adapter out there, and in our tests it didn’t pull the lightning-fast internet speeds it advertises. However, it’ll work in a pinch, and its simple setup makes it a viable option – especially for users that aren’t particularly tech savvy.