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This USB dongle costs a single penny, if you just want to participate in Black Friday

ASUS USB Wi-Fi dongle product image
(Image credit: ASUS)

If you don't have much money to blow on tech this year but want to feel included in Black Friday, you can pick up this ASUS USB Wi-Fi adapter for $0.01. Yes, that's a single penny. You'll have to brave the inconvenience of a mail-in rebate to get $10 off, but if you go through the hassle of wasting a few cents on paper and ink, finding a stamp in a drawer you haven't opened in three years, and dropping an envelope in the mailbox, you'll get a Black Friday deal for the least amount of money you could possibly pay for something.

I'll be clear: I'm not saying this is a good idea. it's not even a good USB Wi-Fi adapter for gaming. It's rated for 300Mbps and has five middling reviews. This isn't the USB adapter you want to run your Halo Infinite match on, unless dirt cheap PC components give you a thrill. 

Instead, you should do yourself a favor and take a look at any one of our favorite USB Wi-Fi adapters. Compare the $0.01 dongle with our budget pick that usually sells for about $50. It's USB 3.0 and is rated for 1300Mbps. Sure it's 5,000% more expensive, but that's the price you pay if you want a reliable internet connection. Buying the $0.01 USB wireless adapter is like buying a lottery ticket, and nobody wants to take a chance on inconsistent Wi-Fi.

There are much better ways to participate in Black Friday this year. We've found a ton of good PC gaming deals that are worth taking a look at. Surely you can find something more tantalizing than a USB adapter, though admittedly nothing in there costs a single penny.

If Wi-Fi is your problem, consider picking up a better router or Wi-Fi extender. USB adapters are useful, but they're never going to match a wired Ethernet connection in raw internet throughput. That's why we recommend a LAN connection for any sort of serious online gaming. 

ASUS USB-N13 C1 | 300Mbps | Gold-plated for some reason | Not worth it | $9.99

ASUS USB-N13 C1 | 300Mbps | Gold-plated for some reason | Not worth it | $9.99 $0.01 at Newegg with mail-in rebate
This USB Wi-Fi dongle is the cheapest thing we've found for Black Friday but it's not worth it for the quality and the mail-in rebate you have to do to get the savings. Treat yourself by buying anything else.

 Even if this USB adapter was a good deal, it's not worth fussing with a mail-in rebate. If there's one thing that kills a deal, it's a rebate that you have to physically send out and wait weeks or even months to come back. The time it takes for the whole process to complete is barely worth the $9.99.

But if you did go through all that trouble, you'd have a bona fide Black Friday story. You just can't get a story with a good, reasonably priced Wi-Fi adapter. So there's that.

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.