Best 10 Network Cards For Gaming

                          The Best 10 network cards for gaming

 

 Want to enter the gaming/Esports scene?

You absolutely can if you have the skill and the correctly required components.

 

You need not only a good gaming desktop, but also a stable and fast internet connection. With the gamer skill, a stable connection to the servers, low ping with 0 latency is vital if you want to be a successful gamer.

 

If you don’t have such a strong internet connection, then you cannot even see the ‘F’ your chat members push!

And to solve this, you need a Wi-Fi network card. Wi-Fi network cards, may they be integrated or USB, are better than their wireless counterparts. They have a set of antennas ranging from a single powerful antenna to 3 or 4 antennas that provide a faster and more stable connection.

But, the selection of the best Wi-Fi Card for gaming in 2020 is a tough job for even the most seasoned gamers, but you don’t need to stress on it; we’ve got you covered.

From PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect), PCIe (PCI Express) to the USB based adapters, every type has its unique place in the Realm of Wi-Fi adapters.

But which one is the best for me, you ask– Well, that’s what we are here for.

 

Check out our buying guide to get a rough idea:

 

  1. The number of antennas:

Why are there so many antennas? Well, these sticks pick-up and transmit Wi-Fi signals. Think of each antenna as a different network; if your PC is connected to 3-4 Wi-Fi networks, each providing you their maximum downlink and uplink speeds, think how fast your connection would be. That’s precisely why you need to buy a Wi-Fi network card with at least two antennas to provide you with that lag-free connection. Anything over four antennas might be overkill if you don’t have a robust cooling system, as adding any additional components to your motherboard increases the load. If you don’t have a cooling system in place, then that might destroy your set-up.

 

  1. Speed and Bandwidth:

How fast do you want your network set-up and the virtual network to be? Your network speed is a result of several components working together. It has been observed that a card that your favorite gamer uses might not work for you.  You need to find a PCIe card that matches your speed needs, so please be on the lookout for how much speed and bandwidth this Wi-Fi Card supports.

 

  1. Slot Compatibility:

There are four different types of Wi-Fi Cards: the PCIe x 1; PCIe x 16; PCI; USB dock.

If you are planning on buying a USB Wi-Fi Card, you can skip this step. If not, you need to pop your CPU open and check which Adapter slots are available and supported by your motherboard. If you buy an adapter and your motherboard doesn’t support it, then all you did was waste your money and time.

 

  1. OS (operating system) support:

If you just want to insert the card into the slot and be done with it, you need to look for a Wi-Fi card supporting your operating system. If it doesn’t, you have to install drivers, and sometimes, the chances of these drivers to work are slim to none.

 

  1. Physical Size:

For the most part, this won’t matter unless you are tight on the space in your case. You should be the most interested in the height of the card as the height will determine if the card will fit in your case or not.

For hard-core seasoned gamers with full-sized setups, all you have to worry about is the empty card slot; that’s it.

 

  1. Cooling:

As mentioned earlier, the PCIe adapters will work harder than most things in your circuit. And if you buy a 4+ antenna PCIe card or any other powerful Wi-Fi card, then you are sure to encounter some heat. And if you have an effective cooling system in place, it makes a world’s difference in the card’s performance and overall your computer’s complete performance. We recommend setting up your network card directly beneath your heat exhaust if you use an aluminum cooling system. Having continuously cooled components and a well air-conditioned room is vital for gaming.

 

Now that you know what you should look for before buying your network card, let’s dive into the list of our top picks for the best Wi-Fi Card for gaming:

 

Product 1: Asus PCE-AC68 Dual-Band 3×3 Buy now

 

This dual-band wireless PCIe adapter is our top pick for you.  The ASUS PCE-AC68 is a supreme quality 802.11ac Wi-Fi PCIe adapter that ensures your set-up stays Ethernet cable-free.

With an integrated Broadcom TurboQAM hardware, the speeds you have never imagined are possible. If you plan on using the 2.4 GHz bandwidth, you can reap the benefits of speed up to 600Mbits/s, and if on 5 GHz bandwidths, you can attain speeds of 1.3Gbits/s.

 

 

Features:

  • 11ac industry-leading chipset
  • PCIe compatibility
  • 3Gbps Throughput
  • Flexible and sturdy antenna for maximum reception
  • Custom heat sink for faster and effortless cooling.

 

Pros:

  • Rapid cooling
  • Some of the best throughput for gaming servers
  • 150% more coverage

 

Cons:

  • Supports only PCIe x8 and x16 slots
  • A bit out there, when you consider the price

 

 

Product 2: TP-Link N150 Wireless PCI-Express adapter  Buy now

 

Made by one of the most recognized brands in the industry, the TP-Link N150 is a dual-band Wi-Fi adapter that can easily be installed into a PCIe slot. With the compatibility of any standard PCIe slot (x1 x2 x8 or x16), you don’t have to think twice before purchasing this item if you know your set-up supports PCIe.

With a bandwidth range of 2.400-2.4835 GHz, this IEEE 802.11b adapter will provide you a secure and stable connection. It is compatible with all encryptions: WPA, WPA2, WPA2-PSK.

 

 

Features:

  • Up to 150 Mbps speed
  • Supports QSS function with WPS compliance
  • Standards: IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b
  • Two dBi Omni antenna
  • Max transmit power 18 dBm (EIRP)
  • Supports WPA and WPA2 encryption

 

Pros:

  • Works very smooth with Windows
  • Very versatile with all PCIe slot support
  • Very affordable

 

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support Windows 10 and higher
  • Heats up fairly easily

 

 

Product 3: Rosewill Wireless N300 PCI-E Wi-Fi adapter Buy now

 

With a carefully curated and patented dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz chipset, this Wi-Fi card from Rosewill will give you an unparalleled gaming experience or a virtual network for other work you might have to do.

The PCIe N300 features two detachable premium quality antennas with the revolutionary beam-forming technology for your set-up.

And this card’s compatibility with all Windows OS versions from Vista to 10 is sure to fulfill every one of your networking needs.

 

Features:

  • Compliant with IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n Wi-Fi protocol standards.
  • Bandwidth of 2.4 GHz to 5.0 GHz
  • 300Mbps speeds for stable internet.
  • Compatible with Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10
  • Two superior gain five dBi antennas
  • 64 and 128-bit WEP, WPA, and WPA2 encryption support.

 

Pros:

  • Compact and reliable design
  • Dual-band bandwidth
  • Very affordable price point

 

Cons:

  • Mediocre performance
  • Can heat up easily

 

 

Product 4: TP-Link TL-WN881ND N300 PCl-E wireless Wi-Fi adapter Buy now

 

This T-WN881ND N3000 PCIe adapter from TP-Link features a wireless speed up to 300Mbps at the 2.4 GHz bandwidth, which is essential for gaming. With two detachable antennas, there is no way you can have WiFi blind spots in your house. You can easily replace these antennas with indoor antennas or directional antennas for a broader range of functionality.

With an easy to use design, just install the card, install the drivers from the provided CD, and you’re good to go.

 

Features:

  • Wireless Standards: IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g
  • 2T2R MIMO technology for a greater throughput
  • Easy set-up with WPS link
  • Compatible with 64-bit and 128-bit WPA, WPA2, WPA2-PSK encryption.
  • Supports Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Linux 2.6.24 – 4.1
  • Comes with a 2-year limited warranty and free 24/7 technical support.
  • 1 MHz Memory speed.

 

Pros:

  • Very affordable price
  • Great throughput
  • 2T2R MIMO integration
  • Supports Windows and Linux
  • Compatible with all encryption types

 

Cons:

  • Very fragile
  • Doesn’t support all PCIe slots
  • No dual-band capacity

 

 

Product 5: BrosTrend 1200Mbps Long Range USB Wi-Fi adapter Buy now

 

This USB based WiFi adapter connects to any USB port and instantly extends your WiFi range with speeds of 867 Mbps on 5 GHz Band or 300 Mbps on 2.4 GHz.

Perfect for gaming on 5 GHz and optimum for some standard video streaming and basic networking on 2.4 GHz. With a direct USB connector, you can connect this directly to your PC or use the USB cradle with 5 feet wire extension to avoid blind spots. Includes the cutting edge Realtek RTL8812BU or RTL8822BU (depending on your model), makes wireless network speed almost three times faster than that of Wireless-N.

Features:

  • Wireless standards: 802.11b, 802.11n, 802.11g
  • Dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz at 300 Mbps and 867 Mbps, respectively.
  • Two five dBi high gain WiFi antennas with a USB 3.0 cradle with a 5 feet wire extension.
  • Gold Plated USB port for a more stable and faster connection.
  • Universal compatibility
  • Doesn’t need drivers, but we recommend you download them from the official website for maximum speeds.

 

Pros:

  • Dual-band with incredible speeds
  • Detachable antennas, and extension cradle
  • Supports Mac OS
  • Compatible with USB 2.0 and 3.0
  • WPS compatible

 

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive
  • Doesn’t support Linux

 

 

Product 6: TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wireless Wi-Fi 2.4G/5G card Buy now

 

The Archer T6E from TP-Link has a comprehensive WiFi standard that offers three times faster connection and greater throughput than all other WiFi adapters.

It features dual-band connectivity with 2.4 GHz at 400 Mbps and 5.0 GHz at 867 Mbps, perfect for standard networking and Gaming. With a carefully curated heat sink for faster cooling and overall better stability and performance, this is sure to work for long hours of gaming and/or streaming.

 

Features:

  • WiFi standards: 802.11b, 802.11n, 802.11g
  • Dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz at 400 Mbps and 867 Mbps, respectively.
  • Two five dBi high gain WiFi antennas
  • Advanced heat sink
  • OS support: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
  • Easy to install driver CD included.

 

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Doesn’t heat up quickly due to the design
  • Supports all Windows versions
  • Great throughput

 

Cons:

  • Mediocre performance for the price point
  • Doesn’t support Linux or Mac OS

 

 

Product 7: Blueshadow USB Wi-Fi dual-band 2.4G/5G Wireless dongle Buy now

 

If you are a hands-on user and don’t want to get into all these installation gimmicks, this is the best WiFi adapter. Carefully made by BlueShadow, this mini USB WiFi adapter that might be smaller than your ring can shift between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, offering speeds up to 600Mbps quickly.

Even though it is tiny, it supports all Windows OS and MacOS and has a simple easy to install driver CD included.

Features:

  • WiFi standards: 802.11b, 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11ac
  • Bandwidth range: 2.412 GHz – 2.4835 GHz; 5.15 GHz to 5.825 GHz
  • Security encryption: 64-bit and 128-bit WPA, WPA2, WPS2.0, WAPI
  • Supports Windows XP/Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and MacOS X 10.4-10.12

 

Pros:

  • Easy to install USB interface
  • Very cheap
  • Extremely high performance
  • Very compact design

 

Cons:

  • Cannot be plugged in for a long time
  • Mediocre after 2-3 hours of continuous use

 

 

Product 8: TP-Link Archer t9E AC1900 Dual-band wireless PCIe Adapter Buy now

 

TP-Link Archer T9E is a very sturdy and powerful WiFi card for gamers. With a dual-band capacity to run between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz with exceptional speeds, this easy to install and compact card will help your game and stream for a long time without requiring a break. With three high gain detachable five dBi antennas and a massive heat sink, this is the perfect option for you if you don’t want to spend too much money on a WiFi card.

Features:

  • WiFi standards: 802.11b, 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11ac, 802.11a
  • WPA and WPA2 64-bit and 128-bit encryption compatible
  • Wireless configuration utility for ease of set up
  • Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10

 

Pros:

  • Massive heat sink for exceptional heat dissipation
  • Supports all PCIe slots
  • 3 High gain antennas

 

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive
  • Mediocre internet speeds

 

 

Product 9: FebSmart Wireless Dual Band N600 (2.4GHz 300Mbps or 5GHz 300Mbps) Wi-Fi adapter Buy now

 

This PCIe WiFi adapter from FebSmart supports a superior 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band bandwidth while maintaining a steady 300 Mbps speed.

The adapter comes with powerful six dBi high gain antennas that can be used as an indoor or directional antenna very quickly.

This is a cool product for you if you plan on playing games that don’t require too much of your speed while streaming.

Features:

  • Wifi standards: 802.11b, 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11ac, 802.11a
  • External antenna power is around 2X3 dBi
  • Low profile bracket that supports all PCIe slots
  • Easy to install CD drivers
  • Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10

Pros:

  • Very compact
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to set up

 

Cons:

  • No Heat sink
  • Mediocre speed at 5 GHz

 

 

Product 10: Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE 802.11AC Dual Band AC1900 Buy now

 

This cutting edge WiFi adapter from Rosewill will take your gaming experience to a whole different level. With the front runner 802.11ac, this WiFi adapter can throttle your speeds up to 1300 Mbps at the 5 GHz band and 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band.

With the added encryption compatibility of WPA, WPA2, WPA-PSK, and WPA2-PSK at both 64 and 128 bits, the RNX-AC19000PCE ensures a secure and stable connection.

Features:

  • Front in-line 802.11ac chipset
  • Dual-band with 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz band support
  • Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
  • Flexible and sturdy antenna for maximum reception at 3dBi high-gain
  • Custom aluminum heat sink for faster and effortless cooling.

 

Pros:

  • Efficient beamforming
  • Efficient cooling
  • Unparalleled speeds on both bands
  • Easy to set up

 

Cons:

  • Slightly pricey
  • Bulky design

 

FAQs:

 

  1. Do all WiFi cards have BlueTooth compatibility?

No, very few provide an added Bluetooth connectivity.

 

  1. Are the drivers hard to install/time-consuming to install?

Depends, if you have a set-up with low RAM or maybe sometimes your OS is a bit heavy on your memory, then installing such drivers can be a pain. But if you have a good and powerful set-up ready, installing them should be a piece of cake.

 

  1. Is Heat-Sink necessary for a Wi-Fi network card?

Yes, if you are planning on using a network card for gaming, you probably will use it for hours on end, and as these components work very hard, they heat up, and to improve their functionality, you need a heat-sink.

 

Conclusion:

 

Whether it be super-fast speed or a fast cooling, you are sure to find a WiFi card that suits your needs if you look into the list.

May you be a casual gamer facing some latency and ping issues while playing or a full-blown streamer with some championships under your belt. You need a good quality 802.11 Adapter if you don’t want to smash your monitor in out of sheer frustration.

And we hope we helped you buy nudging you in the correct direction through this article.

Whichever product you choose to buy, make sure to follow our buying guide if you don’t wanna end up spending your money on crap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sumit Kumar Administrator
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