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I have gone through 3 WiFi adapters in 3 months, and the last two have had the same exact slowness issue. The original adapter had great speeds (50+mbps), but ended up dying on me and not recognizing any networks. It was a cheap refurb, so I wasn't surprised. I replaced it with a Trendnet TEW-805UB. The connection on this worked fine, but I could never get more than 4-5mbps with it. I tried most of what I could think of (repositioning to the front of my PC, multiple USB ports, an external USB hub, etc. Updated drivers, rolled back drivers, etc.) I decided that the adapter may be having issues, so I purchased a Wavlink AC600. Same exact issue! I tried the same troubleshooting steps, to no avail. I want to note that in the same exact area my adapter (desktop) is in, I get adequate speeds with any other device (iphone is 80mbps+, laptop is 40-50mbps as well). So it is not a signal issue. Also, the download speed has issues but my upload speed is adequate. Usually 10-15mbps.
My router is an ASUS RT-AC87U and this all happens on the 2.4 ghz band. I have the 5 ghz band disabled because it was unreliable, which is a known issue with this model.
I'm using Windows 10 on a custom built machine. The motherboard is an ASUS Sabertooth Z77