Not everyone is a fan of the mess of wires engulfing their CPU. To maintain the aesthetics of our gaming setup, many people try to keep it as less-wired as possible. However, you cannot remove the essential one. But then you get a lot of options with the gaming equipment, peripherals, and some PC components too. One of these components is the LAN wire. So, to remove the lane wire and still have seamless internet connectivity we have the WiFi Card for PC. This component can be attached to your CPU and give you high-quality internet connectivity without the need for LAN.
However, the sad part is that these devices are highly underrated. Most people don’t know about wifi cards. Only those who are totally invested in customizing their gaming PC to the best version would know about it. Most of us think that WiFi works only on laptops and there are only poor USB devices that can help you connect your gaming PC to wifi internet. However, there is one much efficient way to connect your gaming rig to the internet without a wired setup. You can connect your gaming PC to the internet using a Wifi card.
A wifi card, just like a graphics card and other driver cards for computers, is a hardware component. It can be used to connect your CPU to a Wifi router and the internet. The best part is as it connects your computer to the internet it allows you to get rid of the wired ethernet setup.
Also, just to make you clear of the misconception that wired ethernet setups give a better and low latency connection, the cards that we are discussing today are highly advanced and bleeding-edge technology. These cards are capable of transferring data through the internet at a commendable speed. You will find all types of wifi cards. From the ones that support a very mediocre speed of around 300 Mbps using the 2.4 GHz band. To those wifi cards that use the intel WiFi 6 chipset to deliver data transfer speed as high as ~3 Gbps (3000 Mbps).
Additionally, these Wifi cards give you surplus security as they come with protection brackets and encryption systems.
The procedure to install these wifi cards is also quite simple and you don’t need any expertise. All you have to do is follow the instructions as given and mount the wifi card on the motherboard. Once mounted, you will have to install the driver for it and bingo it is ready to use and you can now go surfing the internet and play online/ multiplayer games without the need of an ethernet cable.
Before we directly jump onto the part where we have picked the top 6 WiFi cards for PC, there are a few things that you must know. Make sure to read the article till the end to have a better insight into these hardware components. This will also give you clarity on which one is best suited for your gaming right under the allocated budget.
What is a Wifi card? | WiFi card for PC
For an easier understanding, we will take examples of some of the most common additional components that are part of the CPU. For Example, Bluetooth, Pendrive, etc … Now, ask yourself, what would you have done if you did not have a Bluetooth facility in your gaming PC? Most probably get a Bluetooth adaptor, plug it in, install the driver, and bang! You can now use Bluetooth. In a similar manner, you can also get a wifi adapter, plug it into USB and you will be able to connect with the wifi. But in that case, the data transfer speed (Internet speed) will be very low as the adaptors’ hardware is not that advanced. This is where the wifi card comes into play. The wifi card is also an adapter only, like the GPU, once attached with the motherboard it starts the function it is designed to perform.
So if your device does not support the wifi functionality, get a wifi card, mount it in your CPU and you will be able to connect to the internet wirelessly. Now, there are various shapes and sizes in which these cards are available in the market. The reason behind this diversity is their demand for different devices. So make sure to understand and research before you get one for your gaming rig.
You must also note that, at times, some devices come with preinstalled wifi cards. However, it is highly recommended that you get a new one (Can be an extra one) to enhance the performance or to meet your internet usage demands.
How do these Wireless cards work? | WiFi Card for your PC
Wireless cards are a complete setup in themselves. They are a pre-installed hardware setup that only requires mounting and adding a device driver(s) in the OS. Additionally, the mounting process of these cards is pretty simple too. All you have to do is mouth the device on the motherboard in the right slot allocated for it. To understand how a Wi-Fi card works it is important that you have a basic understanding of how the Internet works.
When you are using these cards, the data is not transferred through phone lines, DSL, or high-speed cable. Rather, the data is transferred through radio waves. This enables you to set a connection with another WiFi-enabled device. This is how you are able to connect with the portable router in your house which is further linked to a modem and that to the main internet cable.
Which is the right WiFi card for your PC? How to choose the right WiFi card for PC?
So you are planning to build a Gaming PC for yourself and you don’t have a mess of wire bothering you. So what you do is build a PC that can eliminate as much wire as possible from the peripherals and components. One of these components is the ethernet cable. But to remove it you need a good alternative, and that is where the WiFi card for Gaming PC comes in. Now, you know that you have to install a wifi card, but how do you know which one is the right one for you? So, here are some points you need to keep in mind before buying a WiFi card
- Decide a Budget that you can allocate to this component
- Do your homework and pick out the ones that fit your need in the allocated budget
(* To pick the suitable ones for you, refer to the list given below in this write-up)
- Make sure to check the technical specifications and research about it is will serve the purpose for you
- Check out for the signal strength and range of your Wifi card
- Make sure that you don’t confuse between a USB adaptor and this mainboard mounted component
- Do not think the priciest the better, even if you are ready to invest a fortune on the card for the perfect output, do not simply go for the costliest one. (Do your homework.)
Other than these, here are some more points that you should consider. Also, we have explained why you should consider these points
It is necessary that the WIFi card that you are about to choose for your Gaming setup is consistent and performs as desired with your Router. Many a time, having the best Wifi card can also trouble you if the router is not up to the mark or unable to meet/deliver the signal strength demand of your card. So do cross-check that both of them work in sync. Also, you should not go for the USB adaptors, if you have a fiber-based fast internet connection. If you have a more compatible WiFi setup you will get a better average speed, and this is something that you must ensure.
According to us, the best option is to get a dual-band. This allows you to be worry-free as your device is now compatible to work on both the 2 GHz band and 5 GHz band and also make a switch between these bands whenever required. Now, you must be thinking about what these 2 different bands do and why a dual-band setup is important?
The 5 GHz band allows you to have a low latency lag-free gaming experience while the 2 GHz band allows you to download data at a higher rate, hence is ideal for downloading, streaming, or uploading content.
As mentioned earlier, the signal strength of your WiFi card is an important factor that must be taken into consideration before you buy it. The data exchange between your wifi card and router happens through radio waves and hence the strength of the wave emitted from both the devices exchanging information needs to be good.
You must make sure that the signal strength of your wifi router is a bit better than the average and that it is not placed to farm from your gaming setup. Also, the placement of the desktop is quite suffocated in general. So, if you have placed your CPU under the table then you should prefer a router with antennas that has a better signal emitting and receiving strength.
The installation of a Wifi card
Now, you know that having a good signal strength is an important aspect of a wireless connection. You should understand how critical the installation part of the Wifi card is. Even a minute mistake can give you a long time of trouble. Hence, here are some point related to the installation of the WiFi card that must be taken into account before you finalize the wifi card for your PC
- Check the model of the card
There are numerous wifi cards available in the market and they come in different models too. So, if a company is making a dual-band wifi card, they will make various models of the card which will have minute differences from each other. Make sure that you know the model of the wifi card you are purchasing and you know all the aspects of that particular model.
- Power off & Plugs out
It is basic etiquette. If you are installing hardware on your CPU make sure that the device is turned off and the power cable is detached from the plug point. A lot is happening inside that CPU box. And if you are installing the card without turning the CPU off. Then, it is highly possible that either you will receive a high voltage sock, or blow your wifi card right away.
- Locate the right spot
I don’t think I need to give you a lecture on how to open your case. Most probably, you will be able to access the insides of your CPU. Now, locate the right spot for the placement and mounting of the Wifi card. If you think this is not your cup of tea don’t hesitate in reaching out to an expert. However, if you think you can do it then go ahead and open your remote card. This is a critical process and can take time and precision.
- Mounting your wifi card
Now that you have made the space for mounting the Wifi card, go ahead. But before you proceed to mount it, make sure you have placed it correctly. Now you can fit the card using a screw and then plug in the wire in the slot on the motherboard allocated for the wifi card.
- Pack Up
Close the casing of your CPU, plug it in, install the driver, and BOOM! You can now use good wifi on your PC.
Now that you know the critical part about the WIfi cards, it’s time we suggest some good ones. Here is a list of the 6 best WiFi cards for PCs.
Top 6 WiFi cards for your PC at a Glance:
- TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi Card
- FebSmart Wireless Dual Band N600 WiFi Card
- ASUS PCE-AC56 Dual-Band 2×2 AC1300 WiFi Card
- TP-Link AC1300 PCIe WiFi Card
- TP-Link AC1200 PCIe WiFi Card (With Bluetooth V 4.2)
- Gigabyte GC-Wbax200 2×2 802.11Ax Dual Band WiFi + Bluetooth 5 PCIe Expansion Card
TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi Card
When it comes to the wireless accessory market TP-Link is one of the most prominent and trustable names among the users. So, without a doubt, you can say that it is a leading name among the brands that produce components and equipment related to wireless networking.
Given the above fact, there is no doubt that this WiFi card is the most recommended one. It has the latest and remarkable intel power Wi-Fi 6 technology. Now, this piece of tech is a masterpiece by intel. It is the best wireless technology currently available in the market. With this, you can enjoy high-speed internet at very low latency and stable connectivity at the same time. This card is also equipped with the OFDMA & MU-MIMO technologies.
However, you must thank the makers of this tech. This Intel technology is so advanced that it can give you stable connectivity even in the business of the networks. This wifi card can deliver you an amazing 2.4 GBPS speed on the 5 GHz band while 574 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. Additionally, it also supports 32/64bit driver installation via website or disc on windows 10.
One of the biggest factors for this wifi card being at the helm of our suggestion lineup is the availability of OFDMA technology. This is a revolutionary tech, especially for the gamers community as it is focused on reducing the lag and decreasing the response time between the device and server. With tech like this, you can play an ultra interactive VR-ready game without any latency issue if you have fast internet connectivity.
Additionally, the antennas in this Wifi card are also a thing to appreciate. The TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi Card has 2 high-performance antennas. The two antennas in this wifi card are multidirectional which gives you amazing border coverage. Also, they have a magnetized base. This enables you to take your wifi signal reception capability to another level.
This wifi card also gives you enhanced browsing security. So, you don’t have to worry about malware attacks and hacking woes while browsing. The WPA3 advanced encryption capability of the TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi Card is something that provides you this security. Additionally, you get access to Bluetooth 5.0 for seamless and instant Bluetooth device connectivity.
FebSmart Wireless Dual Band N600 WiFi Card
We know that after spending a good amount not everyone is able to spend fortunes on a wifi card. But, you don’t have to worry, there are several budget-friendly options available in our top 6 WiFi cards for PC lineup too. The FebSmart Wireless Dual Band WiFi Card is developed to provide high-speed internet connectivity cost-effectively.
This Wifi card provides you ‘802.11 n’ high-speed wifi connectivity. One of the benefits of this card is that it utilizes the PCI express PCI-E X1 of your motherboard to provide you the desired connectivity. The PCI express PCI-E X1 slot is any dayGHz a better choice over USB to connect a networking device to the CPU. The wifi card provides internet connectivity using 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz dual bands at a speed of 300 Mbps on both bands. This is a sufficient output for playing MMO games at a stable latency/ping and for HD quality video streaming.
Moreover, this card utilizes a Qualcomm Atheros network chipset as the base. Thus there is no space for suspicion about the performance of this network card. You also get better wireless network dependability with the 6dBi detachable external antenna that this device features. This also results in an improved signal reception performance. The two different brackets i.e. the standard profile bracket and the internal low-profile bracket enables you to mount it on the standard and mini-sized CPUs respectively.
The installation of this device is quite simple too. It is a simple plug-and-play wifi card. On top of this easy-to-install plug-and-play feature, there is something more that this device makes much easier. So, if you are forgetting the issue that people face with drivers, let me bring it easy-to-install to your notice. Many times, after you have done all the installation process, the driver will give you loads and tonnes of compatibility problems. This FebSmart WiFi Card has a driver which shows high compatibility across multiple platforms and different OS. However, if you are using windows vista, this is not the card you should pick as it does not support this OS.
Last but not the least, the security feature that comes with this wifi card is also something that you must not. With a superior built-in encryption system, it ensures that your data is safe from phishing, hacking, and being stolen.
ASUS PCE-AC56 Dual-Band 2×2 AC1300 WiFi Card
So this one is our pick for the premium segment. The ASUS PCE-AC56 Dual-Band AC1300 WiFi Card comes with a detachable antenna, antenna base, and a heat sink tech. We picked this one up as a product for the premium segment because of the brand it’s coming from. ASUS has been known to deliver some of the best quality computer hardware when it comes to the gaming category. Just like their Republic of Gamers (ROG), they have some incredible products in the computer internal and external peripherals too. One of these is the ASUS PCE-AC56 Dual-Band AC1300 WiFi Card, which plays the role of connecting your gaming rig to the internet wirelessly and with best in class performance.
The design of this wifi card is extensible and quite cool, which ensured the service prioritization for data. The IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac network standards are maintained. On top of this, the 802.11ac Wi-Fi upgrade works in an instant to provide your desktop with wireless internet connectivity. This allows you to get rid of the external wires needed for LAN connectivity.
This Wifi card delivers a very versatile design for high scalability and maximum flexibility. In addition to this, the high performance of the Wifi card doesn’t require much mentioning. The compatibility of this card is commendable. Since the maker is ASUS, there is no doubt that it will feature the best in class compatibility. It supports the 64 and 32-bit version operating systems including Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP ( not recommended for you, as Windows has pulled support from this version of the operating system.
The 802.11ac next-generation chipset which has been used in this wifi card supports ‘superfast internet connection which can work smoothly up to a speed of 867 Mbps. The security protocols that are supported include 128-bit WEP, 64-bit WEP, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, & WPS.
The installation procedure of this card is also very easy. All you need to do is mount it at the right spot and plug it in the right slot on your mainboard and use it. The drivers are easily available and you won’t face any issue finding them. Though this ASUS Wifi card is a bit expensive, the users justify the extra price in their review quoting the quality and performance.
TP-Link AC1300 PCIe WiFi Card
The second one from this brand and we don’t need to tell you why we included another Wifi card of the same brand. This one is another high-quality Wifi card from this brand. The TP-Link AC1300 PCIe WiFi Card comes in a low bracket design. It features a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Dual-band express PCI adapter. The AC1300 from TP-link also features an increased range and heat sink technology in the wifi card.
TP-Link Archer T6E maintains the highest and latest Wifi standards with the IEEE 802.11ac standard protocol for internet usage. It is also capable of working at least 3 times faster than the N category wireless internet devices. Moreover, when tested for speed and quality, this Wifi card for PC was able to provide a wireless internet speed of up to 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and around 400 Mbps on the 2.5 GHz band. This ensures fact that you are not going to face any issue while gaming or while gaming & streaming together. So, one can call that this one a good pick for streamers who want to deliver some quality in their live video.
The heat sink technology that is used in this Wifi card is quite advanced. This helps in keeping the wifi card cool by dissipating the heat. This is something that will certainly result in better performance, sustainability, and durability of the Wifi card. Additionally, if you are not aware, then you must know that better heat management of your wifi card/adapter increases the stability and speed of your wifi connection.
The two antennas of this wifi card provide nice coverage and consistency in the wireless signal strength. You get the option to align the antennas to get better connectivity if your router is placed far from the CPU. The combination of Dual aligned antennas with the wireless tech used in this wifi card gives you an extremely stable connection and extended speed.
The installation of the TP-Link AC1300 PCIe WiFi Card is easy and can be done in simple steps. All you have to do is read the manual, know the basics of mounting a Wifi card on the mainboard, and driver installation. The card supports all new age Microsoft Windows OS ( 10, 8, 8.1, 7 & XP) except Vista. This TP-Link Wifi card also has commendable security features to protect user data from different threats. It uses the WPA/WPA2 standard encryptions for providing better safety and security from various cybercrimes.
TP-Link AC1200 PCIe WiFi Card
No, we are not kidding! From expert opinion and our research, we are bound to include another TP-Link Wifi Card. From our research, we have concluded that TP-Link really serves a wide variety of audiences and hence they have products that deliver to whatever you need in the budget of your choice. The wifi card here, which is TP-Link AC1200 PCIe in one of the numerous products made by them. Why did we pick this one? Here is the answer
The TP-Link AC1200 PCIe is an old version of the Wifi card that we picked for the fourth position. Yes! AC1300 PCIe model. But the best part about this one is that despite being one generation old it still serves quite nicely to the users. The TP-Link AC1200 PCIe is a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band wifi card that delivers a desired high wifi speed. Additionally, the card supports Bluetooth version 4.2.
The AC1200 PCIe uses an Archer T5E PCIe adapter that provides an internet speed of approx 867 Mbps at the 5 GHz band and of up to 300 Mbps at the 2.4 GHz band. This internet can be considered essential for those who are into vlogging, competitive gaming, live streaming, VR Operation, and much other internet-related stuff. Such a high internet speed (Obviously if you have a service provider that delivers this speed) is much needed for uploading/streaming 4k quality content that generally has a huge data size. Also, if you have a slow connection you will encounter a loss of data packets increasing your latency /ping, and hence live streaming and Online gaming would be very tough for you.
On the other hand, the Bluetooth V 4.2, allows you to stay connected wirelessly to your Bluetooth devices and experience ultimate wireless connectivity. So, yes this wifi card seems to be a whole complete package from many digital creators and especially for the audience involved in esports, online competitive gaming, and live streaming.
Other than all this, the TP-Link AC1200 PCIe WiFi Card has two antennas like most other wifi cards. The antennas that the above-mentioned WiFi Card utilizes can emit powerful and stable signals. This allows you to upgrade your existing WiFi connectivity. With these powerful antennas, you can also stream 4K content, enjoy buffer-free streaming and play a lag-free game online with low latency. And you can do all this at a distant corner of your bungalow without any worry. However, make sure you have a wifi router that compliments them at least a bit, if not in a top-notch manner.
The card, like its advanced version, has commendable security features. It uses the WPA/WPA2 standards protocols for encryption. This protects your computer and data from various cybercrimes. So you can enjoy your wireless internet without worrying about Hackers and malware.
The TP-Link AC1200 PCIe WiFi Card has a standard installation process and it must not bother you. You will get all the information related to the installation on the package itself. Also, it has good compatibility and supports most of the Microsoft Windows OS.
Before we move on to the details of the last wifi card that we have picked for our list, here are some of the noteworthy Wifi card mentions
- EDUP WiFi Card
- Cudy WE3000S AX3000 Wireless WiFi Card
- Ubit AX WiFi Card
- OKN WiFi 6 AX200 PCIE WiFi Card
Gigabyte GC-Wbax200 2×2 802.11Ax Dual Band WiFi + Bluetooth 5 PCIe Expansion Card
Though, this is the last pick of our Wifi card recommendation for PC but, you must not make the mistake of taking this one lightly over other options. Coming from one of the best hardware manufacturers, this one is loaded with some of the latest wireless techs. The Gigabyte GC-Wbax200 is a wifi card that comes with a Bluetooth 5 PCIe module and hence gives you seamless and wholesome wireless connectivity. It is a WiFi 6 dual-band adapter from Gigabyte. Like the other WiFi 6 cards, this one too is powered by the Intel AX200 chipset. This one here supports 802.11Abgn bandwidth, along with the acR2, and mu-MIMO TxRx technology. The GC-Wbax200 is capable of delivering a blazing internet speed of up to 3000 Mbps. The network card utilizes both the bands including 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
Coming to the Bluetooth feature of the Wifi card mentioned here, it supports a high-speed Bluetooth 5.0. This allows you to connect multiple devices to your Gaming PC using Bluetooth and Wifi at once, which clears the wire clutter from around your PC setup. The Bluetooth 5.0 is quite powerful when compared to its predecessor Bluetooth 4.2.
So, with this Wifi card, you get to enjoy anything that you want without worrying about the connection even for a second. The antenna used in this wifi card is AORUS Antenna that comes with a smart antenna feature.
This card topo has a basic and standard installation procedure and can be easily mounted on your CPU. For the drivers, you get a CD with the package and you can find the latest drivers online on the Intel website too.
Wrapping It Up!
Whoa! Quite a lot of information for you right? However, we have done our part and made sure that you get the right Wifi Card for your Gaming Rig. We hope that the specifications and the details that have been provided in this article did help you in understanding the different functionalities of a wifi card.
Feel free to ask your queries related to Wifi Cards in the comment box below. Keep reading for more such articles and updates.