Looking for the best online gaming experience without sacrificing wireless connectivity? The best online games require a stable high-speed internet connection for preventing lags and interruptions. In this article, we will be talking about the best rated high-speed Wi-Fi adapters that are tailor-made for gaming.
If you are into gaming, you can’t do without Wi-Fi adaptors. With a large number of USB options available from several reputed manufacturers- you have nothing to worry about even if your motherboard doesn’t have a PCIe Wi-Fi card or built-in Wi-Fi. The latest adapters also have MU-MIMO (Multiple User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output) features useful are useful if you are looking for seamless connectivity across several rooms.
We are here to help you search for the most suitable Wi-Fi adapter based on your requirements. Read this review to decide the best gadget for a consistent internet connection along with the buyer’s guide for additional information.
Top Wi-Fi Adapters for Gaming Review
In short, Wi-Fi adapters are devices that connect the user computer(or other devices) to the internet without the use of wires. If you want to learn more, with all the technical terms associated- here is the detailed review of the best adapters available for gaming.
#1 – ASUS PCE-AC88 – Best in Performance
Most avid gamers will suggest having a plugged cable internet connection for the best gaming experience. The main issue that often arises with Wi-Fi adapters are lagging issues. These issues generally arise due to poor signal strength, multiple users resulting in reduced internet speeds. Another significant factor is the different configuration in the router and internet provider.
These problems are non-existent in the case of the PCE-AC88 Wireless Card made by Asus. Probably the most powerful commercially available Wi-Fi adapter- the device is a true AC3100 rated Wi-Fi device. In general cases, Wave 2 802.11ac routers employ a distinct 4×4 configuration for transmitting radio signals while the adapters use only a 2×2 configuration.
It’s divided into two parts. The ASUS PCE-AC88 adapter has a PCI-e express slot card and a separate antenna base. This makes it the first Wi-Fi adapter to employ a 4×4 signal transmission stream. Unlike theoretical claims made by other manufacturers, the adapter can actually operate at a real-world speed 300 MB/s in 2.4 GHz bandwidth frequency and at a whopping 900 MB/s at 5 GHz—just the perfect adapter for high-speed online gaming.
- First, Wi-Fi 4×4 transmission configuration for extremely high speeds.
- Superior signal strength with a separate antenna base.
- AC3100 Wi-Fi Connectivity Speed up to 2100 MB/s(tested) at 5 GHz.
- Compatible with 64-bit Windows 10 and Windows 7.
- No individual software.
- There are, at times, connectivity issues in the 5 GHz network with Windows 10.
#2- TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 – Best Budget PCI-e Wi-Fi Adapter
TP-Link is a household name renowned for making quality networking devices without burning a hole in the pocket. With the TP-Link TL-WDN4800- the company has managed to provide a solid PCI-e Wi-Fi adapter that works better than many pricier alternatives. Experts have reviewed this PCI-e adapter to be the best option for gamers looking for a cheap Wi-Fi adapter that can deliver the goods consistently.
The adapter supports dual-band- both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bandwidth frequencies are covered. The theoretical maximum speed is 450 MB/s throughput under ideal circumstances. The adapter card fits comfortably in the empty PCI-e Slot of your CPU. The installation process is fairly simple.
Along with the wireless adapter card, the manufacturer provides a CD and Quick Installation Guide. The adapter is compatible with Wi-Fi standard 802.11 A, B, G, or N. The adapter is supportive of WPA encryption methods for better cybersecurity. It also supports IEEE 802.1 X. One of the best options if you are on a budget- the adapter has three adjustable antennas for improving the signal strength. The build quality is sturdy and compact.
- A budget-friendly option among high-speed Wi-Fi PCI-e adapters.
- Compatible with Wi-fi 802.11 N and both 64/128 WPA/WPA-2 encryption.
- Compatible with both 32/64 bit Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 as well as Linux and Ubuntu.
- Easy to install compact study design.
- Speeds up to 450MB/S on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Bandwidth.
- Doesn’t support the MIMO technology.
- Not Compatible with Windows 10.
#3- NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 (AC7000) – Best USB Wi-Fi Adapter
If you are looking for the best Wi-Fi adapter, look no further than the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900. Popular among gamers as a silent stealth expert consistently transmitting data at high speeds- the NightHawk is one of the latest in-line offerings from the house of Netgear- renowned for providing optimal gaming connectivity solutions worldwide.
The Nighthawk operates as a class AC 1900 Wi-Fi device. It can operate smoothly on the IEEE 802.11 N/AC networks and is also backward compatible with the previous A, B, and G networks. The nighthawk is capable of operating in dual bandwidth frequencies with speeds reaching up to 600 MB/s on 2.4 GHz and 1300 MB/S on 5 GHz(theoretical)
The Netgear company provides the Netgenie app for hassle-free installation. The Nighthawk is provided with a magnetic cradle- so that you can place it comfortably while you work. Another added bonus- it is compatible with both Windows and MAC OS. The device houses four internal hidden antennas so that you can get better signal strength and connection. Among the downsides- you might find some issues with the design style(the build quality is no doubt excellent).
- High Speed- can achieve speeds of up to 1300 MB/S on the 5 GHz frequency bandwidth.
- Superior sturdy built with a magnetic cradle
- Compatible with all 802.11 N/AC/A/B/G networks
- USB 3.0 Connectivity and Beamforming technology
- Compatible with both 32 and 64 bit Windows (7/8/10) and Mac OS
- Design flaws- may not fit in every port.
- Difficult to use with laptops
#4 – ASUS USB-AC68 – Best Portable USB Adaptor
The primary issue with the previous entry was the design flaws that made it problematic for use with laptops. The ASUS USB AC-68 is the best friend for a gaming laptop and gamers alike. Unlike the Netgear Nighthawk, the design is what makes this USB Wi-Fi Adapter stand out from the rest.
The ASUS AC-68 has a three-position external antenna plus dual internal ones. The combined efforts allow a superior network AC 1900 Wi-Fi speed that will surely keep even the best gaming aficionados happy. The antennas are foldable- offering the desired portability desired by laptop users.
In addition to the normal standards offered by usual AC1900 adapters, the AC-68 includes USB 3.0 cradle features to increase the desktop storage options. The Adapter also comes with a powerful 3×4 MIMO Design, Air Radar Beamforming Technology, ASUS RF Fine Tuning, and a load of other cool features. The reported theoretical throughput speed is 600 MB/S at 2.4 GHz and 1300 MB/S at 5 GHZ- combining to a total of 1900 MB/S. Choose this adapter if you have a knack for playing high resolution online games.
- 3×4 MIMO Coverage
- Dual 3 Position External Antennas and dual internal antennas- for superior network speeds and portability.
- USB 3.0 and ASUS Air Radar Beam Forming Technology.
- AC1900 Wi-Fi- 600 MB/S at 2.4 GHz and 1300 MB/S at 5 GHz.
- Short Cable for antenna extension.
- Tricky Installation Process.
#5 – LINKSYS MAX-STREAM AC1200 WUSB6400M – Best MIMO Wi-Fi USB Adapter
Honestly, the Linksys WUSB 6400 could have also taken place for the best portable USB Wi-Fi adapter- just because of its extremely compact shape. Looking no different than a bulky pen-drive, you would be surprised to know about the extraordinary capabilities hidden beneath this deceptively simple shape.
A standard AC1200 802.11 ac device- it handles blazing fast internet speed connections pretty well- with a maximum theoretical speed exceeding 1200 MB/S at the 5 GHz frequency bandwidth level. The added benefits include the next generation MU-MIMO technology and Beamforming. The speed is relatively less in the 2.4 GHz spectrum- however- the speeds are throughput and consistent- which makes a worthy buy if gaming is one of your priorities.
The WUSB 6400 also has features of USB 3.0 for faster data transfer. You can move around the room without any worries about lags, buffering, or network interference- as long a the device is connected to a laptop or PC. The Beamforming technology, along with the Omni-directional external antennae, ensures that.
- MU-MIMO and Beamforming Technology combine for a better signal and network strength.
- High speeds of up to 1.2 GB/S(theoretical) throughput at the 5 GHz bandwidth- ideal for gaming.
- Compatible with Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 10, and Mac OS.
- Compact Design for superior portability.
- Affordable pricing.
- Slower speeds at the 2.4 GHz frequency bandwidth.
- Not compatible with Gaming Consoles.
6. USB WiFi Adapter 1200Mbps TECHKEY USB 3.0 WiFi Dongle
Looking for something more portable and affordable? Why not try out the new WiFi USB adapter from TechKey? It’s ideal for gaming, especially if you are looking to move around places. No matter where you are in your home, you will love the internet speeds. The dual band 2.42 GHz and 5.8 GHz adapter offers as much as 100 yards of coverage. Whether you are in your bedroom, the lawn or the garage, you are sure to be connected.
No matter what type of WLAN router you may have, this USB adapter supports it. With speeds of up to 867 Mbps, you wouldn’t know you are using a USB adapter. Yes, it’s that fast.
- Quick set up. All you need to do is plugin, and you are good to go.
- Works with major OS including Windows and Mac.
- Gives you good speeds
- USB 3.0 port for faster access
- A powerful antenna to connect even to weaker signals
- May not work with Linux
The Best Wi-Fi Adaptor for Gaming Buying Guide
The ideal requirements for the best Wi-Fi adapter for gaming may vary from one person to another. There are a lot of parameters to be considered before making the final decision. If you are a person primarily using the laptop, PCI-e Card type Wi-Fi adapters are unnecessary for you.
Similarly, the budget will be playing a big role in the decision-making process. The Asus AC-88 might be out of bounds for a large number of people. Does it offer unmatched speeds? Sure. But do you buy it?- It is up to you.
The factor that should probably be given the highest priority is your internet connection plan, type, and speed. No matter what you do, the adapter can not provide you a speed exceeding the Internet speed offered by your internet provider. You should also check whether the adapter is capable of handling your connection speed- especially if you are using a fiber-optic internet connection.
The usual adapter transmission speeds are much faster than normal ADSL or cable lines. However, the gradually increasing fiber optic connections provide speeds unheard of just a few years ago. You should also put into consideration the Wireless technology used by your router and whether it is compatible with your adaptor or not. It makes no sense to buy a product that is not compatible. Most advanced routers are, however, backward-compatible- they work without any hassle in older technologies.
If you have a PC, then the ASUS AC-88 is the best option- if budget is not a deciding factor at all. The adapter also fits well from the aesthetic point of view of a gamer. Easy to install- enjoy the best of high-octane online gaming without any lag or interruptions of any sort. Easily the best Wi-Fi adapter for gaming PCs. Consider the TP-Link if you are looking for budget option PCI-e adapters.
People prefer the USB adapter mainly for use in a laptop and portability. The Asus AC-68 offers better portability and value for money, while the Netgear Nighthawk is better built for the long run. Both provide similar kinds of speed. The Linksys is another great option-, particularly for portability. However, speeds at the lower band frequency(2.4 GHz) is lower than the other two. All in one- the best purchase option should be Asus AC- 68.
The above opinions may greatly vary with your requirements and preferences. Decide the best one for yourself and purchase accordingly.