While ZyXEL has a solid presence in the consumer market, the company's designs often reflect industrial roots. Its fastest AC1200 USB Wi-Fi adapter is the AC240, featuring a flip-up antenna and a USB extension cable to optimize signal strength.
- AC1200, up to 300 Mb/s on 2.4GHz and 867 Mb/s on 5GHz bands
- USB 3.0, backward compatible with USB 2.0
- Flip-up antenna
- Supports 802.11ac, 802.11n, 802.11g and 802.11a
What’s in the Box?
Included in the box are:
- ZyXEL AC240 USB Wi-Fi adapter
- Quick-start guide
- Software CD
- USB extension cable
ZyXEL's AC240 features a flip-up antenna to improve your connection to the router as much as possible. There is a single green status LED and a WPS button on the adapter.
The AC240 is one of two Wi-Fi adapters we tested with a flip-up antenna, Netgear's A6210 being the other. By getting the antenna away from the adapter, it theoretically decreases electrical interference.
There are reports that ZyXEL's AC240 is actually a re-branded Edimax AC1200 Wi-Fi adapter. While I cannot confirm this, it does look identical except that the Edimax uses a white chassis.
The included CD features a manual in PDF form. There is also a section for Utilities," though it only contains an installer for Acrobat Reader.
The upright antenna did not seem to offer a stronger signal when it was raised or lowered, though it did increase the likelihood of having the AC240 knocked out of a USB port.
1: USB 3.0 connector
2: WPS button
5: 5G PAx2 + 5G LNAx2
6: I-PEX cable
7: Dual-band PCB antenna and PIFA antenna
The Planar Inverted F-Antenna (PIFA) is common in the mobile phone market. If you look carefully, it looks like the letter "F," hence the name. This type of antenna is known for a slim profile and omnidirectional pattern.
ZyXEL's installation process is one of the longest; the driver alone was 100MB. What left me puzzled was that the Wi-Fi settings were still managed by Windows, and not a separate configuration utility. Despite the vanilla approach, ZyXEL's driver remained stable throughout testing. We used version 126.96.36.199 in our review.
The AC240 has a list price of $70. The street price is $56.04 on Amazon.com, and ZyXEL includes a two-year warranty.