Best WiFi Cards for Gaming 2021 – Compared & Reviewed
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Making use of the best wifi card for gaming will allow your PC to have access to a stable, reliable, and secure wireless connection to the internet, which you could only otherwise get by using an ethernet cable.
As ethernet cables aren’t always the most practical way of establishing a secure and stable connection to the internet, especially if your internet router is in a different room to your PC, using a quality wifi adapter will make all the difference.
To help you find the right wifi card for your needs, in this guide, we will review the six top products that we’ve come across. When picking the products for our final selection, we considered their:
- WiFi Generation
- Transfer of Internet Speed
- Standard & Frequencies
Let’s take a look at what we found.
The sole goal of this article is to provide you with a list of the best wifi cards for gaming that you can pick from. Upon concluding our research, we picked out the top products while considering their generation, transfer of internet speed, standard and frequencies, and the number of antennas available.
Once we had our list of the top ten products, we then narrowed down our selection to the final six, which we closely reviewed and compared below.
We wrote this article while remaining 100% transparent and unbiased in our product picks as well as their reviews. The products we picked are based on facts, knowledge, experience, community feedback, and our personal opinion on the topic.
To pick the products that we’ll review in this guide today, we considered each wifi card’s:
With each generation of wifi, wireless wifi adapters have become better and better at delivering the best internet speeds possible without any interruptions while keeping your devices safe and secure.
Upon concluding some research done on the topic, we believe that you shouldn’t go for any wifi adapter cards that are below the 5th generation as those can’t deliver the same level of speed as 5th or 6th generation, some aspects of the security aren’t as optimal, and strength of connection can also be troublesome.
As a result, in this guide, we only included wifi adapters that either featured a wifi 5 or wifi 6 technology.
While most gamers don’t have tremendously fast internet, there are plenty out there who do. As a result, we made sure to include a vast range of wifi cards to accommodate the needs of everyone, regardless of how fast your internet speed may be.
Standard & Frequencies
The standard and frequency technology that a wifi card is equipped with will have a direct impact on the internet speed it can deliver from your router to your PC.
While 5 GHz is now quite prominent and even most budget-friendly wireless wifi cards feature it, we decided to include wifi adapters that can operate in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
Antennas are a crucial part of any wifi adapter. They will determine the strength of the signal between your router and PC, coverage area, and more. As a result, we made sure that every single one of our picks has at least two high-quality antennas that can do just that.
|TP-Link||WiFi 6||2,400 Mbps||AX3000||2.4 + 5 GHz||2|
Upon concluding our research, we figured that the TP-Link Archer TX3000E is the best, at least in our opinion, wifi card for gaming. It is not only equipped with the latest WiFi technology but can also operate under a number of frequencies to provide a consistent and reliable internet connection.
The price at the time of writing was $62.99.
The Archer TX3000E by TP-Link was our best find. This wifi card is capable of transmitting speeds from your router directly into your computer of up to 2,400 Mbps. Do note that this can vary depending on your internet and the frequency you decide to use.
This wifi card can operate in two frequencies, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This means that it doesn’t matter what kind of internet connection you have, this wifi card will make sure that you get the best possible connection at all times. In order to use the card on your PC though, it must be running, at the very minimum, a 64-bit OS.
Thanks to the WiFi 6 generation, you can rely on this wifi card to provide you with an unparalleled level of performance, low latency, speed, and reliability, which is super essential in gaming.
Furthermore, on top of the wifi card, you’ll get a magnetized base with two multi-directional and high-performance antennas, which can broaden the coverage area of your signal quite a lot. So, if your router is quite far away from your PC, this wifi card will make sure to feed your PC with the best possible connection.
One of the downsides is that you’ll need a tiny bit of space on your gaming desk to accommodate the antennas but that is quite literally it.
|TP-Link||WiFi 5||867 Mbps||AC1200||2.4 + 5 GHz||2|
If you’re on the lookout for the best budget wifi card, in our opinion, the TP-Link Archer T5E is one of the best products that you should take into consideration.
The price at the time of writing was $34.99.
The Archer T5E by TP-Link is one of the more simpler-looking wifi cards. Unlike some of our top and more expensive picks, this particular product doesn’t come with a standalone stand with antennas but rather, the two antennas are attached directly to the wifi card. They will simply stick out at the back of your PC as opposed to taking space on your desk – quite a decent advantage if you ask me.
Despite the fact that this model features the 5th generation of WiFi, it can still deliver a quality connection through either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequencies at a maximum speed of 867 Mbps. Do note that the 867 Mbps speed can only be achieved when on 5 GHz. If you decide to use 2.4 GHz, you will only be able to achieve an internet speed of 300 Mbps, which is still more than enough for most gamers out there, including me.
Unlike most of the wifi cards that we’ve reviewed, this one works with both 32 and 64-bit computers, meaning that whether you have the most expensive rig out there or an affordable gaming PC under 500 dollars, you can benefit from this wifi card in exact same way. Aside from that, this wifi card is also fully compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, and 7.
As far as the installation process goes, all you need to do is plug the adapter into an available PCI-E slot, and you’re ready to go.
|ASUS||WiFi 5||2100 Mbps||AC3100||2.4 + 5 GHz||4|
The ASUS PCE-AC88 is another fairly advanced and high-end wifi card for gaming that can reach speeds of up to 2,100 Mbps through 5 GHz using the four high-speed antennas.
The price at the time of writing was $103.99.
The PCE-AC88 by ASUS is another high-end gaming wifi card that is capable of reaching internet transmission speeds of up to 2,100 Mbps. Do note that this is possible only through 5 GHz and was you to use 2.4 GHz, you’ll only be able to reach speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps, which is still very decent.
This ASUS model does come with an external magnetic antenna base, which you can simply place on your desk to maximize the coverage (especially useful if your PC is far away from the router).
Unlike any of our other recommendations, this model has a total of four high-quality antennas, which work together to deliver uninterrupted access to the internet. One other unique-to-this-model feature is the custom heatsink, which can effectively dissipate heat without having to rely on your PCs fans to cool it down.
As far as compatibility is concerned, this product is compatible with any device that features an OS higher than Windows 7, including 8, 8.1, and 10. To install the wifi adapter, all you need to do is plug it into one of the available slots on your PC.
Other Great Gaming WiFi Cards
Didn’t find what you were looking for from our above recommendations? Below, you can find three other great wifi cards for gaming.
|Ubit||WiFi 6||2,400 Mbps||AX3000||2.4 + 5 GHz||2|
If you are seeking performance on a budget, then aside from our budget-friendly pick, the Ubit AX200 is another fantastic product that you should definitely take into consideration.
The price at the time of writing was $34.95.
Unlike any other budget-friendly product out there, this model by Ubit is equipped with the latest generation of wifi technology, WiFi 6 or also known as 802.11ax. Thanks to its unique characteristics in the likes of 1024QAM, TWT (Target Wake Time), spatial reuse, and OFDMA, this wifi adapter allows you uninterrupted access to the internet and fewer dropped connections from not only further away but also in denser environments that are generally known to reduce the transmission of wireless connection.
To further improve the strength of the signal and wireless internet speeds that you can enjoy, this wifi adapter for gaming makes use of two high-speed antennas.
As this gaming wifi adapter can operate in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, it can reach a range of internet speeds – the maximum being 2.4 Gbps or 2402 Mbps. Do note that this speed is only possible on 5 GHz. If you use 2.4 GHz, your internet transmission speed will only go up to 574 Mbps. Still a very decent speed for most gamers.
In terms of safety and security, despite its low price point, this product is equipped with advanced encryption technology, which allows for your high-speed wifi connection to be protected from hackers and malware.
The installation process for this wifi adapter is just as straightforward as it is for any of the other models, simply plug it into an available PCI-E slot and you’re ready to go.
|TP-Link||WiFi 5||1,.300 Mbps||AC1300||2.4 + 5 GHz||2|
If you’re looking for a wifi card that not only looks good but also performs well, the TP-Link Archer T6E might be a great choice for your gaming needs.
The price at the time of writing was $33.99.
The Archer T6E from TP-Link is equipped with one of the newest wifi generations (5 or also known as 802.11ac). This allows the adapter to reach speeds of up to 1,300 Mbps and thanks to the two antennas, this level of speed can be delivered directly to your PC from even further away.
Do note that to reach this speed, you need to be using the 5 GHz frequency. If you can only work with 2.4 GHz, then you can expect a top speed of around 400 Mbps, which is plenty for gaming, streaming, and watching HD video.
As with any device, this wifi card for gaming also produces heat. Luckily, this model comes with an advanced heat sink, which helps to dissipate any of the heat generated, meaning it won’t have to rely on your case’s internal cooling system to keep the high temperatures at bay.
In terms of design, this is a low profile wifi card, which measures 4.76″ (L) x 4.74″ (W) x 0.85″ (H), making it perfect for any gamers who have a smaller gaming case or have little to no available space in their gaming rig.
As far as compatibility is concerned, this product works extremely well with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and even Windows XP. In regards to OS, you can rely on this wifi card to get great internet speed regardless of whether you’re using a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system.
To install the device, simply find an available slot and pop it through the backside of your gaming case. Once connected to the PCI-E slot, you can start gaming and really feel the strength of your internet connection.
|Cudy||WiFi 6||2,402 Mbps||AX3000||2.4 + 5 GHz||2|
And last but not least, we have the Cudy WE3000. This wifi card is another high-end choice that can deliver internet speeds of up to 2.4 Gbps.
The price at the time of writing was $35.90.
The WE3000 by Cudy boasts the latest wifi 6 technology, which allows this model to transfer speed from your router to your PC at a maximum speed of 2.4 Gbps or 2,402 Mbps. This is only possible thanks to the dual antennas and the supported 5 GHz frequency.
If your internet provider doesn’t support 5 GHz, then you can expect a top internet speed of up to 574 Mbps. Either way, both frequencies deliver a stable and secure connection to the internet. It is also worth mentioning here that thanks to the 1024-QAM and 160 MHz bandwidth, you can expect a wifi signal up to 3x stronger and faster compared to the standard AC Wi-Fi.
As far as compatibility goes, this model only works with the 64-bit version of Windows 10. To install it, simply find an available PCI-E slot, and plug it in through the back of the case of your PC.
For those wondering, this wifi card is a suitable partner for anyone looking to establish a solid connection so they can play video games, stream their gameplay, and even watch 4K video without interruption.
Shopping Tips for Picking the Best WiFi Cards for Gaming
During the search for the best wifi cards on the market, we figured that you should be aware of a few important things before buying your wifi card.
Consider the Data Transfer Speed and Bandwidth
The data transfer speed and the bandwidth of your wifi card are of huge importance, especially if you have quite a fast internet. One thing that you don’t want is to buy a wifi adapter that bottlenecks the actual internet speed your PC can get simply because of its minimal data speed transfer rate.
For example, if you have access to 1 GB internet speed, you don’t want a wifi card that can only transmit 300 Mbps from your gaming router to your gaming PC. This will make you lose out on those crucial 700 Mbps that can be of a huge benefit to you while gaming.
On the other hand, if your internet speeds aren’t the greatest, there is little to no point in investing a good chunk of money in an expensive wifi card unless you plan on upgrading your internet speed in the future.
Quality and Number of Antennas
The antennas of your wifi adapter are probably one of the most important features that you need to pay attention to. They’re the technology that will transmit the wireless connection from your wifi router to your PC.
Generally speaking, the more antennas you have the better, however, you should also pay attention to the quality of those antennas too. Some of the features to pay attention to is the strength of the signal, the distance of signal, bandwidth, and overall coverage.
You should take those into consideration, see how far your internet router is from your PC, and see whether the wifi card you’re looking at can help establish a solid connection between your PC and router.
Thermals and Cooling
Like all components, your wifi card also needs to be cooled down in order to preserve it and ensure that it is going to perform at its best at all times. The last thing you want is your internet connection to start lagging in the heat of the moment.
To avoid that, make sure to have a cast that has a decent cooling system and can accommodate a wifi adapter. This is because the wifi adapter takes space inside the case itself, and can not only produce some heat but also block the circulation of air within the case depending on where it is placed.
While the actual size of the wifi card doesn’t directly impact the level of performance it can provide, buying a wifi adapter that is a little too large for your gaming case can end up blocking other components from being plugged in properly or even cooling adequately.
So, it is important to consider the size of your case and the amount of space available around the area where you’ll plug in the adapter before you buy it.
Picking the Right WiFi Card for Your Needs
Not sure which wifi card to go for? Below, we outlined three scenarios alongside the best recommendations for each.
Scenario 1: You’re a gamer and take gaming very seriously. As a result, you can’t compromise on risking a poor internet connection and want to get your hands on the best wifi card out there.
In this scenario, we’d highly suggest that you take a look at the TP-Link Archer TX3000E.
Scenario 2: You’re a streamer and gamer and want to make sure that your streams can be streamed without any interruptions. Aside from that, you also want to make sure that your in-game ping and lag remain as little as possible.
For this case, we’d suggest you check out the ASUS PCE-AC88.
Scenario 3: You’re a gamer looking for a reliable wifi card on a budget without overtly compromising on the quality of signal and transmission of internet speed.
In this scenario, we’d suggest that you consider the TP-Link Archer T5E.
Installing a suitable wifi card for your gaming PC and internet speed can be of tremendous benefit to your online performance. With a wifi adapter, you no longer need to have your router right next to you or have a long Ethernet cable going through your entire home just so your PC can have access to the internet.
Above, we reviewed six of the best wifi cards for gaming that we came across during our market and community research. Aside from those, our initial selection consisted of ten products in total.