Can you use a USB WiFi dongle for better WiFi even if you already have a WiFi card?

dekw04

Solid State Member
Messages
11
Location
USA
Hi everyone.

My laptop has a built-in WiFi card (Realtek RTL8822BE 802.11ac PCIe Adapter).

Can I use a USB WiFi dongle to improve my laptop's WiFi reception or is it pointless since my laptop already has a WiFi card built in?

I believe my laptop has an up-to-date WiFi card built into it, but I've seen some USB WiFi dongles and many of them come with a pretty substantial antenna on them like the one:

2019-03-23_214824_zps9jjoa5ea.png Photo by dekw04photos | Photobucket

If I used a USB WiFi dongle like the one in the link above, would it even work since my laptop already has a built-in WiFi card? For instance, would any WiFi drivers required to run the USB WiFi dongle interfere with the WiFi drivers that run my laptop's built-in WiFi card?

I know these are a lot of questions to answer, but I thought it made sense to put them all in one place and I didn't find answers to these questions anywhere else.

The essence of my question though is this: Would it be beneficial for me to get a USB WiFi dongle like the one shown in the link above in order to improve my laptop's WiFi reception even though my laptop already has a built-in WiFi card?

Thank you.
 

Trotter

Grandfather of Techist, , ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Staff member
Messages
33,049
Location
The South
It depends.

If your laptop can only handle the older wifi types (a, b, g) then a newer dongle could allow you to access the newer and faster wifi types (such as ac, n). Also, a dongle with multiple antennae could allow you better throughput via MIMO (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIMO).
 
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