This USB stick can give your laptop a massive Wi-Fi speed boost

Netgear's latest Nighthawk is ideal for gamers, content creators and speed demons of every kind

Netgear AXE3000 USB Wi-Fi 6E adapter
(Image credit: Netgear)

If you've bought one of the best laptops or one of the best gaming laptops and it doesn't have the very latest Wi-Fi spec, have no fear: Netgear is here. Its new AXE3000 USB Wi-FI adapter is the industry's first USB 3.0 adapter with WiFi 6E, offering a plug and play upgrade that delivers a serious speed boost. 

The key benefit here is the ability to use the new 6GHz band, which is specifically for WiFi 6E-enabled devices: that very uncongested bit of airspace enables you to get much faster and more stable wireless connections, which is going to be music to the ears of PC gamers and anyone who streams or transfers very high quality video. 

Netgear A8000 / AXE 3000: how fast is it?

How does 1.2Gbps sound? As ever with wireless speeds that's a maximum, it requires the most recent, best wireless routers and you'll need to be running Windows 11 to connect to the 6GHz frequency band, but even with more modest hardware it's likely to be much, much faster than the Wi-Fi that currently lives in your laptop. The adapter runs on the 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz bands for maximum compatibility, and it automatically detects the best band to connect to in order to deliver the fastest performance.

According to Netgear the connection speeds are up to 600Mbps on the familiar 2.4Hz band, 1,2Gbps on 5GHz and 1,2Gbps on 6GHz.

In addition to speed the adapter also offers the most up to date wireless security in the form of WPA3 security, and of course it's backwards compatible so you can still connect to the coffee shop that hasn't thought about its router since it plugged it in years ago.

The Nighthawk AXE3000 WiFi 6E USB 3.0 Adapter (A8000) is available now for a recommended price of £89.99.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).