TRENDnet AC1900 High Power Dual Band USB Wireless Adapter

Top 10 Best Wi-Fi Adapters for Gaming

Best Wi-Fi Adapters for Gaming

By its definition, a wireless Wi-Fi adapter is a device that connects to a network, overriding whatever built-in wireless hardware that your gaming PC may or may not have in it.

Pretty much any laptop that you find on the market today will surely have a Wi-Fi adapter built into it. However, that is not the case with desktop PCs. You may be shocked to know that many of the best motherboards do not have a Wi-Fi card built into them. Those motherboards that do offer Wi-Fi usually have a cheaper version available without it.

For any gamers, a wireless adapter is a very important component for them. On the other hand, gaming newbies may not even realize that a wireless adapter may just be essential for their gaming setup.

For seamless HD video streaming and lag-free online gaming, having the best possible speed is very important. So, we chose both USB adapters and PCI-E wireless cards as both have their place in the Wi-Fi adapter realm.

Here in this guide, we picked the top 10 best Wi-Fi adapters for gaming for you to choose the one that fulfills your requirements and suits your gaming setup. So, let’s start.

List of Top 10 Best Wi-fi Adapters for Gaming

AWARDSMODELPRICE
Best overall USB Wi-Fi adapter Check Price
Best full-size adapter Check Price
Runner-up best PCIe Wi-Fi adapter Check Price
Runner-up best USB Wi-Fi adapter Check Price
Fastest USB W-Fi adapter Check Price
Best value Check Price
Best overall PCIe Wi-Fi adapter Check Price
Best budget-friendly PCIe Wi-Fi adapter Check Price
Runner-up best budget-friendly USB Wi-Fi adapter Check Price
Best budget-friendly USB Wi-Fi adapter Check Price

ASUS USB-AC68 AC1900 Dual-Band USB WiFi Adapter

ASUS USB AC68 AC1900 Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter

The very first product that we picked for our list is the ASUS AC68 AC1900 USB Wi-Fi Adapter. It is one of the latest USB network adapters by ASUS. It supports 1300 Mbps over 5GHz and 600 Mbps on 2.4GHz. Its antennas are built into this latest design to give gaming feel to the users, quite similar to the spaceship AC5300 router from ASUS. It features a USB 3.0 interface and the packaging also includes a desktop extender.

It is slightly larger than a standard USB flash drive when closed up. You have to remove the cap to reveal the USB 3.0 port. There is a V groove in the plastic housing which enables the cap to fit snugly, while also seating the adapter in the desktop extender.

It is certainly one of the best-looking Wi-Fi adapters that you can get from the market. The company has styled it just like their high-end gaming routers to have that gaming look to it. Be careful when handling the antennas, since they are connected by thin plastic, but the overall build quality is solid.

Its performance over 2.4GHz is on par with the current market standards and in some cases even better. On the other hand, its performance over 5GHz is second to its PCIe counterpart, which is quite impressive. It provides exceptional consistent performance.

You can either plug it directly into a USB port for convenience when traveling or it comes with a cradle for use at home.

Specifications

InterfaceUSB 3.0
Network StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Antenna2 x Internal
2 x External
Frequency5 GHz and 2.4 GHz
Due RateUp to 600 Mbps @2.4 GHz Up to 1300 Mbps @5 GHz
SupportWindows 7, 8, 8.1, 10
Mac OS 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11
Size115mm x 30mm x 17.5mm
Pros
  • It has two deployable antennas
  • It can be plugged directly into the USB port or the included cradle
  • Solid build quality
Cons
  • The antennas are connected with a thin plastic

TRENDnet AC1900 High Power Dual-Band USB Wireless Adapter

TRENDnet AC1900 High Power Dual Band USB Wireless Adapter

To bring wireless networking to your gaming PC or have an older laptop that is equipped with 802.11n and you want to upgrade it to 802.11ac capability, then the TRENDnet AC1900 High Power USB Wireless Adapter will certainly help you.

It can be installed in a matter of minutes and provide you with a speedy connection in most cases. This USB Wi-Fi adapter is especially great if you are planning to keep your PC in the same room as your router.

It supports up to 1300 Mbps over 5GHz and up to 600 Mbps over 2.4GHz. It also comes with 5dBi high gain antennas for increased range while the entire solution is powered by a USB 3.0 port. There are four high gain antennas included in the package along with a USB 3.0 cable.

The Adapter itself has four SMA connectors for the antennas and on the side, you will find the USB 3.0 input. It has a great build quality and it provides excellent stable performance. Its antennas use rigid SMA connectors and the USB connection is also solid with no movement. You can also wall mount this adapter which can be more suitable for many people.

For its design, it looks like a four-legged spider on steroids. As for the performance, it was very comparable with devices of its caliber. It is a relatively solid option for the people who need to add or upgrade their wireless components.

Specifications

InterfaceUSB 3.0
Network StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Antenna4 x High gain detachable dual-band antennas
Frequency5 GHz and 2.4 GHz
Due RateUp to 600 Mbps @2.4 GHz Up to 1300 Mbps @5 GHz
SupportWindows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Mac OS 10.6 – 10.13
Size85mm x 75mm x 20mm
Pros
  • It has very fast close-proximity throughput
  • It is quite easy to install
  • Great build quality
Cons
  • Some people may find it bulky

Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE PCI Express WiFi Adapter

Rosewill RNX AC1900PCE PCI Express WiFi Adapter

Although they are not well-known, Rosewill has manufactured an excellent product at a very competitive price which is the Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE PCI Express WiFi Adapter. It provides excellent performance in any modern gaming PC getting the speeds you need to be in control, thanks to its Dual-Band 802.11ac wireless signals. The company offers the mainline features you would expect from a company that is dedicated to internet peripheral designers, even though they are pretty unknown. It has a solid design with three antennas. It is a mid-range card budget-wise, but it offers top-notch speeds, solid design, and nice components.

This Wi-Fi adapter takes full advantage of the technologies like MU-MIMO and Beamforming tech, which means that you will have great wireless support. Even if this card was connected to 5 or 6 devices simultaneously, it will be able to handle it without being overworked and overheating. It is equipped with a decent heat sink. Cheaper Wi-Fi adapters tend to overheat after hours of usage and contribute to the overall rise in the PC, but not this one.

The biggest disadvantage here is that the years of wireless focused product development that you would find at a company like D-Link or Netgear, which isn’t there with Rosewill. It is a fantastic product and they did a great job with it, but there is no guarantee that they will offer long-term support as the other companies do. Apart from that, if you want great value with top-notch quality, it is a great option for you.

Specifications

InterfacePCI Express
Network StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Antenna3 x Antennas
Frequency5 GHz and 2.4 GHz
Due RateUp to 600 Mbps @2.4 GHz Up to 1300 Mbps @5 GHz
SupportWindows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Size1.50-inches x 8.10-inches x 5.80-inches
Pros
  • It has features like Beamforming and MU-MIMO
  • It is equipped with a high-quality onboard heat sink
  • It provides excellent performance
Cons
  • No guarantee of long-term support like the other companies

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter

Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi Fi USB Adapter

A USB Wi-Fi adapter can be beneficial or be a problem for your gaming PC. That is because some of them can be unreliable and spotty, while others can be solid products and be a great addition to your gaming PC. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter just happens to be one of those solid products. It is a large, clunky beast.

It comes with a vertical docking port for the laptop users, but the main focus here is the port’s magnetism which comes with bright yellow warning stickers plastered on it. To get rid of the need to use desk space, the dock is designed to be able to stick onto a magnetic surface. Be careful though, do not put it too close to any of the major computer components. Because if you do, you could deal with your PC with some serious, irreversible internal damage.

The adapter itself is a chunky beast, which is why most of the desktop users will be perfectly fine using just the adapter. However, laptop users will have to use the docking port, since it is impossible to use the adapter without it.

The adapter also unfolds its four beamforming antennas for best adjustability. Netgear has got your back if your signal needs that extra boost for better range and speed. It is an excellent option for a Wi-Fi adapter.

Specifications

InterfaceUSB 3.0
Network StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Antenna4 x internal antennas
Frequency5 GHz and 2.4 GHz
Due RateUp to 600 Mbps @2.4 GHz Up to 1300 Mbps @5 GHz
SupportWindows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Mac OS 10.8.3 or later
Size119.9mm x 46mm x 22mm: Adapter 125mm x 108.71mm x 31mm: Magnetic cradle
Pros
  • It provides a reliable connectivity
  • It has a great range
  • It provides users with high speeds
Cons
  • It’s a little bit larger

D-Link DWA-192 AC1900 Dual-Band USB Wi-Fi Adapter

D Link DWA 192 AC1900 Dual-Band USB Wi Fi Adapter

Nowadays, wireless routers constantly keep getting faster. Currently, the enthusiast-oriented models have an AC3200 designation. That means they are theoretically capable of achieving up to 1300 Mbps on each of the two 5GHz networks and up to 600 Mbps over the 2.4GHz band. When you add that up you get an aggregate of 3200 Mbps. Although those routers tout 3200 Mbps of throughput, this bandwidth is not dedicated to a single client. 1300 Mbps becomes the limit for a client that is connected to the router wirelessly because you can only connect to one of the three networks.

The D-Link DWA-192 AC1900 USB Wi-Fi Adapter is fairly substantial when compared to the typical USB Wi-Fi receivers that are the size of a USB memory stick.

It has a spherical form with a diameter of 80mm. It makes it hard to be portable. It’s not the most convenient shape to throw in a bag and you can’t even put it in your pocket either. There’s also a meter-long USB 3.0 cable that you have to consider too. It certainly is the more convenient option than an expansion card, but it is not the kind of thing you can easily carry around.

On the other hand, it provides excellent performance to make sure that the users get a stable and speedy connection to the router.

Specifications

InterfaceUSB 3.0
Network StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
AntennaIntegrated antenna
Frequency5 GHz and 2.4 GHz
Due RateUp to 600 Mbps @2.4 GHz Up to 1300 Mbps @5 GHz
SupportWindows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Size79.92mm x 79.92mm x 77mm
Pros
  • It has an easy USB-based connection
  • Great overall Wi-Fi speeds
  • It has a good range for connectivity
Cons
  • It is a fairly bulky adapter

Edimax EW-7833UAC AC1750 Dual-Band USB Wi-Fi Adapter

Edimax EW 7833UAC AC1750 Dual Band USB Wi Fi Adapter

To start with, Edimax isn’t a well-known brand in the networking realm. But their products are highly reviewed and are also extremely affordable. To get their hands on the latest and greatest hardware, consumers are always expected to pay a lot of extra cash. However, buying the second-best thing on the market can save you a significant amount of money and provide you a performance drop of around 5 to 10% only. And Edimax EW-7833UAC AC1750 USB Wi-Fi Adapter happens to be one of those products.

The company kept the design of this adapter quite simple to keep the costs as low as possible. It simply plugs into the USB port on your laptop or desktop computer. It may be a little wider and thicker than a standard flash drive, but it shouldn’t be a problem carrying it around in your pocket or laptop bag.

It is also equipped with a fold-out antenna. This technology is quite important to get a good reception. The fact that it is included means that you will be getting top-notch performance along with portability.

Specifications

InterfaceUSB 3.0
Network StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Antenna3 x antennas
Frequency5 GHz and 2.4 GHz
Due RateUp to 450 Mbps @2.4 GHz Up to 1300 Mbps @5 GHz
SupportWindows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 Mac OS 10.7 or above Linux
Size87.1mm x 27mm x 18mm
Pros
  • It is equipped with a fold-out antenna
  • It has fast connectivity
  • Very portable
Cons
  • When using it, its plastic gets quite warm

ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 Dual-Band 4×4 Wi-Fi PCIe Adapter

ASUS PCE AC88 AC3100 Dual Band 4x4 Wi Fi PCIe Adapter

Next up we have the ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 4×4 Wi-Fi PCIe Adapter which is top of the line when it comes to wireless NICs. It is equipped with a dual-band 4×4 design, which is capable of 2100 Mbps over the 5GHz band and 1000 Mbps over the 2.4GHz band, thanks to the NitroQAM technology. It also supports MU-MIMO and has a flexible antenna design which allows the users to place the four Wi-Fi antennas however they like.

It has the same design as the AC68 adapter. Red PCB and the custom heat sink with ASUS branding. You will find four SMA connections on the rear. These happen to be the RP-SMA connectors that are quite common on many of the wireless adapters. To reduce the chances of crosstalk in a noisy PC environment, the company has shielded the backside of the card quite heavily because it’s going inside the PC case and on the motherboard.

It has a top-notch build quality and it has a flexible antenna design. It provides users with excellent performance. You will not be able to find many cons of this adapter. It may be one of the more expensive models that are available in the market, but it is still quite reasonably priced.

It is just an amazing device with hardly anything that a user would dislike about it. Which is exactly why we chose this adapter for our list?

Specifications

InterfacePCI Express
Network StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Antenna4 x R SMA antennas
Frequency5 GHz and 2.4 GHz
Due RateUp to 1000 Mbps @2.4 GHz Up to 2167 Mbps @5 GHz
SupportWindows 7, 10
Size103.3mm x 68.9mm x 21mm
Pros
  • It has a custom heat sink
  • It has four antennas
  • It supports MU-MIMO
Cons
  • A little bit expensive

TP-Link AC1300 Wi-Fi PCIe Adapter

TP Link AC1300 Wi Fi PCIe Adapter

It is a standard two antennae internal Wireless card, but TP-Link AC1300 Wi-Fi PCIe Adapter stands out from the competition is the quality of components at this price point. Although it has a lower speed with the modern 802.11ac format, still does extremely well when gaming. The speeds are not that slow, it is more than enough for downloading and playing pretty much any game.

Budget PCIe cards face problems like overheating, so as the other options, it has used a large amount of space for a high-quality heat sink. You can stream to multiple devices, instead of struggling through heavy loads and do large data transfers without facing any problems with the quality. Apart from that, it’s a simple PCIe card with enough power to game without any noticeable lag in most of the games. It may not be the best card that is available on the market, but at this price, you will be getting a piece of technology that is good enough for different Wi-Fi uses. Overall, it is a small card that does an excellent job.

Specifications

InterfacePCI Express
Network StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Antenna2 x dual-band detachable antennas
Frequency5 GHz and 2.4 GHz
Due RateUp to 400 Mbps @2.4 GHz Up to 867 Mbps @5 GHz
SupportWindows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Size120.8mm x 115.2mm x 21.5mm
Pros
  • It has a decent heat sink
  • It has dual-band detachable antennas
  • Delivers great performance for its price
Cons
  • It may be a little slow

EDUP Dual-Band USB Wi-Fi Adapter

EDUP Dual Band USB Wi Fi Adapter

You may have a laptop, but the wireless card of your laptop just isn’t enough for you. Maybe you need a wireless connection for your gaming PC or you simply need a Wi-Fi USB adapter to give you an increased range. You will be able to find plenty of Wi-Fi USB adapters that are available on the market which can give you that boost your gaming PC needs.

That is where the EDUP Dual-Band USB Wi-Fi Adapter comes in as it is a solid option at a great price. It can handle pretty much anything.

Since it is a budget option, so don’t expect a top-notch level of design. Still, it does look solid with its glossy finish and small stature. Although it is plastic, it feels sturdy to the touch and will most probably hold up well. It can be a deal-breaker for some people since it has an external antenna. To get an increased wireless signal from a distance, this antenna does help.

It is a simple plug-and-play setup. It will get you connected to the internet immediately.

Specifications

InterfaceUSB 2.0
Network StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Antenna1 x antenna
Frequency5 GHz and 2.4 GHz
Due RateUp to 150 Mbps @2.4 GHz Up to 433 Mbps @5 GHz
SupportWindows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Mac OS 10.6 – 10.15
Size3.9-inches x 1.1-inches x 5.5-inches
Pros
  • It provides good range and speed
  • Installation is quick
  • It is small and compact
Cons
  • It has an external antenna which might be a drawback for some people

TP-Link Dual-Band AC600 USB Wi-Fi Adapter

TP Link Dual Band AC600 USB Wi Fi Adapter

It is not a high-end Wi-Fi adapter, but TP-Link AC600 USB Wi-Fi Adapter sure is an interesting one. It promises to deliver excellent wireless range and speeds over the 2.4GHz band as well as 5GHz band while keeping an affordable price.

It is an excellent Wi-Fi adapter that provides great wireless coverage and solid connection speeds. The specifications and features that it is packing make it a great option for most people, especially because it has a budget-friendly price. If you need a USB Wi-Fi adapter that does not cost much but provides great performance, then this adapter is a great option for you.

Specifications

InterfaceUSB 2.0
Network StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Antenna1 x high gain Omni-directional antenna
Frequency5 GHz and 2.4 GHz
Due RateUp to 200 Mbps @2.4 GHz Up to 433 Mbps @5 GHz
SupportWindows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Mac OS 10.6 – 10.13
Size2.28-inches x 0.71-inches x 6.83-inches
Pros
  • It is equipped with a 5dBi high gain Omni-directional antenna
  • Can connect to wireless network broadcast both on 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands
  • Budget-friendly price
Cons
  • It may have trouble at longer distances

Conclusion

At the end of the day, choosing the best Wi-Fi adapter for yourself will come down to you. You should pick the one that suits your needs and requirements. To do that, we will help you out.

If you can sacrifice one of the USB ports and don’t want to use one of the PCI Express slots and want to get the best USB Wi-Fi adapter, then the ASUS USB-AC68 USB Wi-Fi Adapter is the one to go with. And the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter takes the runner-up best position.

If you have the router in the same room as your gaming PC, then for the fastest USB Wi-Fi adapter, the D-Link DWA-192 USB Wi-Fi Adapter is a great option for you. The TRENDnet AC1900 High Power USB Wireless Adapter takes up some space on your desk, if you don’t care about that then you can pick this one up.

Using the PCI Express slot for the Wi-Fi adapter instead of a USB port is something you want, then the ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 4×4 Wi-Fi PCIe Adapter will provide you with the best performance and features. While the Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE PCI Express Wi-Fi Adapter falls just short.

For the best bang for the buck, the Edimax EW-7833UAC AC1750 USB Wi-Fi Adapter is the one for you. On the other hand, the TP-Link AC600 USB Wi-Fi Adapter is the best budget-friendly option and the EDUP USB Wi-Fi Adapter takes the runner-up budget position.

Lastly, the TP-Link AC1300 Wi-Fi PCIe Adapter is the best budget-friendly PCIe Wi-Fi adapter.

FAQs

Wi-Fi Adapters are any good for gaming?

Many of the hard-core gamers will tell you that even the best Wi-Fi adapter is not the best adapter for gaming. However, that’s not necessarily true. You should consider some aspects when looking for the receiver that you are going to be using for gaming.

You should get a product that supports the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. Look for the best dual-band speeds. For example, an AC1200 USB wireless adapter will offer 300Mbps at 2.4GHz for general use and 867Mbps at 5GHz for gaming.

Difference between 2.4GHz vs 5GHz.

These numbers refer to the network standard that your device is operating on. It depends on the range of your devices and speed/bandwidth of your internet plan.

As we move away from the source of the signal, we all know that the connection starts getting worse.

5GHz is the newer standard and provides much faster speeds, but the range isn’t as good. On the other hand, 2.4GHz provides a better range, but slower speed.

Which one is a better, internal, or external adapter?

A PCIe Wi-Fi adapter card may take a whole PCIe slot. You should expect a lot more power and better speed with an internal card. However, internal cards are not mobile and you can take an external Wi-Fi adapter with you anywhere.

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