Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 27, 2022
5 or 6 years ago, looking for the "fastest" 802.11AC USB 3.0 WiFi 5 adapter out of the ones that kept showing up on the "Best" lists, I tested most of them on my personal machine, and found the one that was the "fastest" out of all of them. Having gone through that whole exercise, I was satisfied that I had the best WiFi connection that could be had for my desktop computer upstairs after that. The internet speed I was paying for at the time was 150 Mbps.
But recently I upgraded my service to 900 Mbps because of an offer that made it less expensive than the slower speed I'd previously had, and was too good to pass up.
But after the upgrade, I found my previously "fast" WiFi adapter wasn't able to get beyond 250 Mbps downloads when I ran speed tests (from 3 different speedtest websites). So, that was a bit of a surprise and disappointment... and with the newer 802.11AX WiFi 6 standards, with it's faster transfer rates now being available, I thought it might be worth it to try some of the newer USB 3.0 WiFi 6 adapters (even though I'm still running Windows 7 64-bit, and my computer can't recognize the AX mode, with AC still being the fastest mode it can recognize).
After spending a bit of time doing a bit of research, reading a few "Best WiFi 6 AX Adapter" articles, reading details for the individual adapters, etc. I found most of the available AX adapters don't have any drivers for Windows 7; they only work on Windows 10. But I did find 4 that said they would work with Windows 7.
So, after narrowing the list down, I ordered the one that looked the most aggressive, and the most promising of the fastest speeds, being a desktop model sporting 4 antennas and has a 3' cable to allow it to be moved around the desktop to achieve best reception.
During testing, I found that adapter would consistently ratchet up to about 200 Mbps, then drop down to around 10 Mbps and repeat this over and over again. It was a new unit, and while I suspected I'd gotten one that was faulty somehow, I chalked it up to it just didn't work properly in my system, opened a return request, and ordered another from my list of possibilities.
The next one I tested reached speeds of around 350 Mbps, and when it did drop speeds would go down to the 250 Mbps area and climb back up. Not as bad as the previous one, as it didn't drop by as far when it did drop down in speed, but as I was paying for 900 Mbps speeds, I wasn't very satisfied with this either, although it was 100 Mbps better than what I had been getting with my original adapter. So, I considered it a "possibility" as an upgrade, and I ordered another on my list to compare it to, which would hopefully be faster.
Well, the next one reached speeds of 450 Mbps, and I was thinking that might be the fastest I'd actually be able to get in my system from the real world testing I'd done, despite it's advertised speeds of 1300 Mbps, and my computer only being about 9 feet away from my wireless router on the floor directly below me.
But after a couple of days, the thought just kept nagging at me to just give "one more" adapter, the QGOO AX1800, a try.
Honestly, I wasn't too thrilled with the cosmetics of it, the two antennas, or the fact that it didn't come with a cradle and wasn't sure it would even fit into the one available USB 3.0 slot on the back of my machine, as thick as the body of it was on one side of the connector, without losing use of the slot next to it... but I ordered it up anyway since, ultimately, speed is what I was after, and if it did end up giving me the fastest data transfer rates, I could figure out the other things later.
On the very first tests, I was pleasantly surprised to find the QGOO AX1800 easily hitting 520 Mbps, and with additional testing finding it crossing over to near-700Mbps speeds, making it clearly the fastest of all of the WiFi 6 USB adapters I'd tested. I was surprised... in the most pleasant of ways, of course...
I still had a couple of the other adapters I'd tested that I hadn't sent back yet sitting on my desktop, as well as the original, previously "fastest" AC adapter I'd been using for the past few years, so, just to be sure nothing had changed in my system, and to confirm the results, I swapped them out one by one, and tested and compared them all once again, and sure enough, they all tested the same as they had previously, while the QGOO AX1800 just ran away from every one of them with the kind of speed they had all lied about achieving...
...and while I was a bit disappointed to find that no AX adapter showed up as having "AX Mode" on my Windows 7 machine at all (does appear on my Win10 machine though), these speeds were still achieved by the QGOO AX1800 using the a/g/n/ac setting in the "Configure" section of the Properties screen (it's set to "auto" by default, which I just didn't trust, while testing anyway).
After all of the speed testing that I'd done over the past couple of weeks, I've kinda gotten into the habit of running speed tests before I do anything else, just to judge how the WiFi on my system is performing on that day, and although I'm paying for 900Mbps download speeds, my ISP is actually providing more than that, around 1020Mbps to ensure I'm getting what I'm paying for. So, while it's satisfying to see this card hitting over 520Mbps consistently, when it hits 680Mbps, it brings a smile to my face, and when it actually hits 800Mbps even for a peak during a speed test, as it does from time to time, it gives me peace of mind confirming that indeed I have found the fastest USB 3.0 WiFi 6 adapter out there.
It works great on Windows 7, and although they provided both a flashdrive and a mini-CD with the required drivers for it in the box it came in, the flash drive couldn't be detected on my machine (didn't even show up in Disk Manager), but the driver installed just fine from the mini-CD. The adapter wasn't recognized at all by Win7 initially, and required manual driver installation, so it's not "plug and play" on Windows 7 and requires the drivers to be manually installed to be recognized and to work.
It uses the RealTek 8322 driver, and the one I've got installed (after looking for a more updated one) is "Realtek 8832AU Wireless LAN WiFi 6 USB NIC 6/1/2021 5001.0.13.103" and it's giving me these speeds that I've noted, though I believe I was actually getting the same speeds with the one provided on the mini-CD to be honest, with this one simply having the Win10 drivers added to it, according to the documentation I found on it.
I also solved the problem of the disproportionate thickness on the one side of the body that would have caused me to lose the use of the USB port next to it (which is occupied and needed) by temporarily using one of the USB 3.0 cradles that came with one of the other USB 3.0 WiFi adapters I'd been testing, and as that one has to be sent back when I return that adapter, I ordered a separate cradle for it which is now on the way.
You can find these USB 3.0 cradles if you search for "USB 3.0 WiFi Adapter Extension Cable with Pedestal", and if the lightness of the cradle/pedestal/dock is of any kind of concern, just attach some large washers (easily obtainable at Home Depot, Lowes, or any other hardware store) or some quarters to their underside with tape, caulking, or glue (if you don't care if they're removable or not).
So, sorry for the length of the review here, but I think the background is important to justify why I give this QGOO AX1800 USB 3.0 WiFi 6 Adapter a 5-Star rating, and my highest recommendation... I don't believe you'll find a faster USB WiFi adapter out there for Windows 7, and I have no doubt that it will give those USB AX adapters that only work in Windows 10 & 11 a good battle for first place, as well...
If you're feeling "the need for speed", as I was, give the QGOO AX1800 a try, and I have no doubt you'll be just as impressed as I was...
All the Best...! ;-)
I picked up a 2nd one of these for another computer I have upstairs with Win10 64-bit installed. With that machine the solution I used to get around having it sticking out of one of the ports was to use a "Monoprice USB & Lightning Cable - 3 Feet - Black | USB 3.0 A Male to A Female Premium Extension Cable" ($4.99), which allows me to lay it on top of the computer. I've been using it that way for a couple of months now, which has been fine, though I recently found a Netgear A7000 USB 3.0 cradle I really like as it has a bit of weight to it, and ordered it up.
Also, I've found on occasion, my transfer rates have actually peaked at over 1000 Mbps in off hours (like 2-4am) on both machines.
One last thing I'll mention in hopes it may help someone who finds their initial speeds lagging at some point - I did have a couple of days recently where my speeds dropped on the Win7 machine and wouldn't get over 220 Mbps for some reason. I've gotten used to the faster speeds by now, so it was a bit concerning, and none of the articles I read had any solutions, really. So, after a couple of days I tried just uninstalling the driver (using IOBit Uninstaller) and then reinstalling it manually again, and BAM...!! the speed was right back as if it had always been there.
I have found when running speed tests, on occasion when the speed is down a bit, like 450 Mbps or so, simply going into the adapter properties and disabling the adapter, and then re enabling it again purges and refreshes the cache and brings the speed back as well, with a subsequent test being back up in the 600 - 800 Mbps range.
At this point, I consider 520 Mbps to be "normal" and on the "low" side of the speeds this adapter usually provides. If it hits 520 Mbps when I run a speed test, I feel that's fine and everything's working okay. But if it comes back lower than around 480 Mbps or so, I'll refresh the cache by disabling/re-enabling the adapter, and then run a test again, and I find the speed always comes back again... well, until recently... but uninstalling and reinstalling the driver fixed that just fine.