A $40 Fix for Surface Pro 3 Slow WiFi


I recently wrote about the wireless speed issues with the Surface Pro 3 and several ways to trouble shoot, including making configuration changes, buying a new router, etc.

Without knowing when or if the Surface team will fix this, there is another option that you might want to consider. Purchase a third party USB 802.11ac wireless adapter. Nearly all the USB 802.11ac wireless adapters use the Realtek chip and examination of the base Realtek driver shows support for every manufacturer I could think of. I picked the Netgear version, available at Amazon for $40. There are other brands at other prices available on Amazon and elsewhere, but I can only write about what I personally used and that experience.


netgear usb ac

I took my Surface Pro 3 on a trip around town to places where the WiFi performance was unsatisfactory. I had disabled the onboard Marvell wireless in device manager and was using the Netgear AC600 specifically with the “standalone beta driver” from Netgear’s support site.

I did not experience the issues that I previously had with the onboard Marvell.

Yes, it is $40 folks shouldn’t need to spend, but given the current state of affairs with no sign of relief in sight from Microsoft, I’d rather travel around with the external USB adapter and know that I have options.

Let me know on Twitter @barbbowman if you’ve tried a different USB wireless adapter with your Surface Pro 3 with good results.