Has your Wi-Fi ever stopped working in the middle of the most intense gaming session? Well, we have been there too and it is very painful. So, it is always better to have a backup that might protect such a situation from ever happening and you can safely continue to continue with your gaming sessions. You need one of the best wireless USB adapter for gaming that serves to be an important component for every gamer out there.
If you haven’t used one yet, it is never too late to get started. A wireless network adapter of the Wi-Fi adapter is a device that is installed in your computer system or laptops with the help of a USB port. It keeps you connected to the internet at all times even if your in-built connection fails and makes you disconnected. There are so many such adapters in the market that you might get confused and end up with an overpriced product.
So, we have curated a list that might do justice to you. It did take us days to finally test and try out the adapters and bring to you a list of the 7 best wireless network adapter for gaming with detailed review and a prompt buying guide to help you with the selection. Here it goes.
1. ASUS PCE-AC88 Dual-Band AC3100 WiFi PCIe Adapter – Best Overall
Well, this ASUS Wireless Network Adapter is on the top of our list since it has all the features that you can vouch for to have the best connection for your gaming sessions.
The design looks incredible and much easier to set up as well. It features a dual-band 4×4 AC3100 Wi-Fi to your desktop PC or your laptop whichever you use for the gaming setup.
This device delivers over 60% faster speed than any other network connections you might have used earlier. You can easily get a speed of 2100Mbps (5GHz) and 1000Mbps (2.4GHz) based on the internet package you pay for. From streaming your gameplay smoothly over online platforms to enjoying low-latency gameplay, you can have it all.
Why is it Unique?
Apart from the fact that it looks incredibly classy and well built, this device provides the most incredible network speed to all your devices. Simply plug it in and your system will remain connected to the Wi-Fi even after there is a loss in connection to your local network. Well, to add more, this wireless adapter features an external magnetic antenna base that allows you to place it for maximum reach.
The four antennas provide maximum stability in connection and improve the Wi-Fi range at its maximum level. Moreover, it even has a customized heatsink that keeps the system cool in the time of higher usage while having bandwidth-intensive network tasks. Furthermore, the individual antennas can be attached directly to the PCIe Card for compact installation.
Even though this device has the best network connection, the only disappointing aspect is the 5Ghz connection range. It works to the full potential of the Internet plan you have been paying for and even provides a lot better speed than your local network connection.
If you are a professional gamer, this could work wonders for you and keep you safe from any interruption during long hours of gaming sessions. It surely can be a little pricey, but if you want the best, you might have to invest eventually.
Best Fit For
It is best for users who might not have budget constraints or hardcore gamers, who have high-end gaming sessions and streaming to work on that needs an adapter than can hand such conditions. Also, it is meant to last for longer-term and can be used for years to go by with no lags or high-latency whatsoever.
- Dual-band 4x4 AC3100 Wi-Fi with speeds up to 2100Mbps (5GHz band) and 1000Mbps 2. 4GHz band.
- External magnetic antenna base allows flexible antenna placement to maximize coverage. Note- support MU-MIMO technology
- Individual antennas can also attach directly to PCIe Card for compact installation. Modulation-1024qam.
- Custom heatsink effectively dissipates heat for improved stability and reliability. Os support-windows 10 86x64, Windows...
2. TP-Link AC600 USB WiFi Adapter – Best Affordable Wireless Network Adapter
If you are tight on the budget and are looking for something that you might be able to invest your money in, TP-Link has just got the right device for you.
The AC600 is an incredible and highly affordable Wi-Fi adapter that features a long-range signal and high-speed connection throughout your house. Simply plug it into your PC and you can experience the speed for yourself.
It supports both Windows and Mac OS, so you no longer have to worry about the system you are working on or playing games. Other than your general wireless connection, this adapter works 3 times faster and a lot more stable across multiple devices. This too supports dual-band Wi-Fi signals i.e. 2.4GHz and 5GHz. If you are unsure of the installation, you can check out the official site of the brand and learn more.
Why is it unique?
The most interesting aspect of this Wi-Fi adapter is the 5dBi High-gain antenna that can be easily adjusted or rotated for about 180 degrees to get the most of the signal strength.
Also, it ensures that you get a strong signal transmission and reception as well. You can easily get around 200Mbps speed on the 2.4Ghz band which is perfect for all the activities such as web surfing, watching videos online, etc. While the 5Ghz band provides 433 Mbps speed that you can use for streaming and playing high-end games online.
It even supports WPA/WPA2 encryptions standards so that you can protect your Wi-Fi connection from any intruders that might be looking to hack into your network. You can also access a pretty simple interface to set up the network.
Well, as a Windows user you may not need any software or drivers for installations, a simple plug and play would do to get started. If you have no Ethernet cable around, you can simply use this that will always keep you connected to your Wi-Fi with an uninterrupted connection to all your devices. This device handles the streaming and online gaming loads pretty well and ensures a stable connection around the house.
Best Fit For
It is pretty evident that this device is the most affordable and anyone with a very low budget can easily buy it without a second thought. Furthermore, it supports both Mac and Windows OS making it a lot more flexible and reaches a large user base that might work on both systems. Since you are looking specifically for gaming, there is nothing better.
- AC600 USB Wi-Fi adapter provides long range and lag free connection throughout the house, Upgrades Your PCs or Laptops...
- Dual band 2. 4 GHz and 5 GHz band provide flexible connectivity, giving your devices Access to the latest Dual-Band...
- 5dBi High-gain antenna greatly enhances the reception and transmission signal strength of the USB Adapter
- Supports Windows 10, 8. 1, 8, 7, XP, Mac OS X 10. 9-10. 14, Driver installation may be required, please go to TP-Link...
3. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter – Best High-Speed Wireless Network Adapter
The most important aspect that you might want to consider before choosing the right device for yourself is the one with the best speed. The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is one such adapter that provides everything making it one of the best wifi adapter for gaming.
It is super close to what you will find in the ASUS wireless adapter. This device is meant to provide you the faster access with the use of USB 3.0.
It is compatible with all the versions of macOS and Windows operating systems as well and hardly takes any time to install in any of the systems. You can expect the best and high speed online gaming, streaming, and a lot more from this device. Since the connection provided by this Netgear adapter is the dual-band you can connect to more Wi-Fi connections faster.
Why is it unique?
To give the best data transfer speed, the device uses USB 3.0 with a magnetic cradle for flexible placement. Also, the explicit beamforming+ helps to boost the speed, is a lot more reliable, and provides a better range of the Wi-Fi connection. It even has four internal antennas that improve the signal strength and the overall network connection.
This device features a 3×4 MIMO design that allows more bandwidth capability while downloading and uploading data from one wireless network to another. You can also find a WPS button that helps you to connect to a secure connection much faster with a single push of the button.
The device is highly reliable and with the use of Gigabit Ethernet, you can get a much faster speed than you might have usually worked with. It does provide an amazing gaming experience and you can also enjoy streaming with a lag-free connection. You might have to install some software and drivers for the installation that is not too difficult to carry out.
Best Fit For
Well, if you have a good budget to go with, this is the one you need. The build quality is brilliant and is perfect for your gaming sessions.
Although it is better to use the device plugged in with a cord rather than directly to the system since it is a bit bigger in size and the wire might be more on the safe side. Otherwise, the overall network connection is brilliant and worthwhile.
- AC1900 WIFI SPEEDS Up to 600Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1300Mbps on 5GHz
- DUAL BAND WIFI—Faster connections to more Wi Fi networks.System Requirements: Windows OS or Mac OS computer. Best...
- MULTIPLE OS SUPPORT—Compatible with Mac and Windows. The Windows standalone diver allows you to use a built in windows...
- 3x4 MIMO DESIGN—More bandwidth capacity when downloading and uploading data to and from the wireless network
4. TP-Link AC1300 USB WiFi Adapter (Archer T3U) – Best Portable Wireless Adapter
Lastly, there is no better way to end it than by mentioning the most portable and compact designed WiFi Adapter. The TP-Link AC1300 looks like a pen drive that can easily be plugged in and does not take up a lot of space as well.
The Archer T3U features a high-speed dual-band router with 867Mbps speed on the 5Ghz band and 400Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band.
It supports mostly all the versions of both Windows and Mac operating systems so that any user can set it up in their homes. Unfortunately, if you are using any of the versions beyond this, you might not be able to install the software in your system and use the adapter.
The USB 3.0 works over 10 times faster as compared to USB 2.0. The enhanced range travels all over the house with a high-speed connection at all times.
Why is it Unique?
This device features the MU-MIMO technology that supports multiple users, inputs, and outputs. Also, this technology helps to manage the congestion on the network where multiple users try to access it at the same time.
It is highly portable due to its size and you can also carry it anywhere with you being connected to your laptops. It is ideal for streaming your favorite shows, online gaming sessions, and downloading large files from the web with maximum speed.
It works brilliantly even on the old laptops that might not have the strongest wireless connection for a very long time. Also, as a buyer, you will love the most important aspect of the device that is its portability.
Whether you are using it on your PC or your laptop, it does not need a lot of space to fit and the design is even smaller than a pen drive. The LED indicator also works like a charm to keep you alert.
Best Fit For
If you have a small budget and have been looking for something that is easier to handle than the hefty large devices, this is the one that will fit in perfectly to your description. All the features will help you elevate the Wi-Fi range and also bring in more speed than what you signed for.
- AC1300 Dual Band WiFi Extender for PC, Desktop and Laptop; Archer T3U provides 2. 4G/5G strong high speed connection...
- Archer T3U also provides MU MIMO, which delivers Beamforming connection for lag free WiFi experience
- Usb 3. 0 provides 10x faster speed than USB 2. 0, along with mini and portable size that allows the user to carry the...
- World's #1 provider of consumer Wifi for 7 consecutive years ; According to IDC Q2 2018 Report
5. TRENDnet AC1900 High Power Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter – Best For 4K HD Streaming
We have so far had some of the most amazing wireless network adapters that are perfect for gaming. However, if you are a pro gamer, you might need something that can be used to stream your sessions online with the best speed.
TRENDnet AC1900 is just the one that is perfect for you. To start with, similar to other devices, this also supports both Windows and Mac operating systems.
It has a pretty incredible design that allows you to detach the antennas and use them when needed to increase the range of the network. With the help of the guide, you can easily install it and run it up in minutes. For the best performance, you can connect it to a wireless AC for 1300Mbps speed or with a 600 Mbps Wireless N network.
Why is it Unique?
The most unique aspect is that it has everything and more that you need from a wireless adapter. It features a dual-band connection where you can set up both 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz connections as per your need. Also, the beamforming increases the overall speed and also enhances real-time performance by sending strong signals.
With the help of detachable antennas, you can choose to increase the wireless coverage along with the use of high power radio. It even has its own set of LED indicators that gives you the status of the device as well as the signal. You can not only enjoy 4K streaming, gaming but also surfing, email, webchat, etc.
Well, the buyers love the device since it actually does increase your network range and covers each corner of the house. It isn’t too big as it may seem so and well built too. Even though the tech support might be of much help, you can always fix the issues with guides available on the web. Also, the stability speaks for itself in this device and provides the best speed.
Best Fit For
It is perfect for you if you are a hardcore gamer looking forward to streaming all your gaming sessions in 4K quality video resolution and also enjoy online gaming sessions without any interference. Moreover, this device not only increases the speed but also gives a great range all over the house.
- UPGRADE YOUR WIFI PERFORMANCE: Upgrade your computer up to 1300 Mbps WiFi AC or 600 Mbps WiFi N to surf, game, and...
- PRIOR TO INSTALLATION: Please ensure Windows is up to date, then follow the Quick Installation Guide to install the...
- INCREASE YOUR WIFI COVERAGE: A high power radio with detachable high gain antennas increase WiFi coverage. 2.4 GHz / 5...
- BEAMFORMING: Beamforming increases real-time performance by directing stronger wireless signals to each device's...
6. Linksys (WUSB6300) AC1200 Wireless Adapter – Best Mid-Range Wireless Adapter
Well, here we have another wireless network adapter that might surely not be with the lowest price range but falls under an affordable category. Linksys wireless USB 3.0 adapter fulfills every criteria and feature that you might be looking for to bring more stability and speed to your Wi-Fi connection.
To start with, the device looks more like a dongle and pretty compact allowing you to use it a lot easier. It is compatible with all the versions of Windows and comes with a proper guide to help you install the software to run the adapter.
Also, this device supports every AC 802.11ac wireless router along with access points and other extenders. You can enjoy video streaming and online gaming with maximum speed with no interruption.
Why is it Unique?
This device is unique in its own manner. Not only does it provide you the best access to gaming but also helps you to use the wifi connections when you lose the connection to your router. It supports dual-band where you can easily get a speed of up to 867 Mbps on wireless AC 5 GHz or else up to 300 Mbps speed on wireless N 2.4 GHz band.
For a more easy connection that does not require you to enter a password every time, you can simply give the WPS button a simple tap and connect to the Wi-Fi within seconds. You are even provided with an Android and iOS app where you get to use all the WiFi customization tools for real-time info.
The buyers were highly impressed with the Beamforming technology that provides advanced speed, range, and reliability. It is super easy to install and only needs a simple plug & play process that anyone can easily follow. From browsing the web to watching high definition videos online you can do it all.
Best Fit For
You might not be able to afford the highest price, but if you are able to take your budget a little higher, Linksys is the one that might be perfect for you. It is small in size and also very compact to use. You can easily establish the connection and also use the app in the same way.
- Supports Microsoft Windows 10, 7, 8, XP, Vista
- Lightning fast HD Video and Gaming
- Up to 867 Mbps speed on Wireless AC 5 GHz band or Up to 300 Mbps speed on Wireless N 2.4 GHz band
- Compatible with all Wireless AC 802.11ac routers, access points and extenders (Linksys, Belkin and others)
7. Techkey USB WiFi Adapter For PC – Best With Range
Techkey USB Adapter is one of the best wireless adapter for gaming that increases the speed of three folds that you usually get in your routers. It supports every version of the Windows system and the same goes for Mac OS.
In fact, the installation here might be the easiest of them all. Yes, you will need the drivers and the software but with the help of the guide, you can do it all within minutes.
The device comes with a USB stand with a wire that you can use to connect to your system or directly plug it into the USB port.
It all depends on the network connection you already have, memory, storage, and a lot of factors that determine the speed you will get after installing the device. This wireless adapter features two 5dBi external dual antennas that ensure extended WiFi connectivity.
Why is it Unique?
Techkey USB WiFi Adapter provides up to 1300Mbps wireless speed on the 5.8GHz WiFi band along with up to 450Mbps on the 2.42GHz WiFi band. Unlike other adapters, it does ensure stability in both its dual-band connections.
Also, the two antennas are detachable and are meant to provide maximum connectivity to your Wi-Fi network. Since the device supports USB 3.0, it works over 10 times faster than its previous version.
Mostly every buyer has loved the product not only because of the durability but also the exceptional range enhancing capabilities. It is also lightweight and highly durable and supports all the different routers the users might have installed in their homes. The installation process was pretty easy as well and hardly took much time.
Best Fit For
This device can be bought by users who need a network adapter to cover their entire house. You will never experience any drop in the signal at any point in time and will keep you connected with the maximum speed you can hope to get.
- Ultimate Wireless Range: Equipped with two 5dBi long range WiFi antennas, this WiFi dongle ensures extended WiFi...
- Excellent WI-FI Speed: Upgrade your PC to 802.11ac with the ultra-fast AC1750 wireless adapter speed, you can get up to...
- Simple Installation: With USB 3.0 port, this WiFi card is easy to connect to computers or other devices. It’s 10 times...
- Wi-Fi Hot Spot: If your computer is connected to a wired network, you can use the Soft AP feature to create hotspots....
It might now be easier to select from a limited number of options available to you from the list, but it is also important that you know more about how you can select by looking at the different factors from this buying guide. Here is everything you must know.
The most basic aspect that you need to follow before buying any wireless adapter is looking for an exceptional speed that meets your demand. You might have come across the numbers such as AC1900 or AC1300.
If you are not aware of this, the letters denote that you are using the 802.11ac networking standard that is most commonly used everywhere. Moreover, the number basically calls out the theoretical bandwidth of the adapter.
Well, the speed of the wireless adapter as claimed by the brands may not exactly be the same but does provide close to the number. The most devices you connect the speed will be divided among them. The more Mbps, the faster will be the transfer of files from one device to another.
A lot of routers these days do lack the range that you need to cover your entire house. With the help of these adapters, you might never lose the connection and enjoy the uninterrupted service all the time.
The antennas also affect the signal strength to a great extent. All the adapters above do follow a similar protocol and maintain the possible needed signal strength.
3. 2.4GHz or 5GHz or Both
When it comes to choosing between the right frequency both have their own pros and cons. You can either go for either of them based on what is your purpose or else there are wireless network adapters that support dual-band.
The major difference that you might follow in both these frequencies is based on Speed and Range.
For the 2.4Ghz band, you can get the exceptional range and easily connect devices across your home but the speed might not be the best in this. On a similar note, the 5GHz band provides exceptional speed and is confined to a smaller area.
So, if you choose an adapter that has both the frequencies, you can switch in between them based on what you are using it for.
4. USB 2.0 or USB 3.0
Another small comparison that a lot might take into consideration. To choose the best, it is pretty obvious you would want to go with the USB 3.0 adapter. The reason being it is about 10 times faster than the former.
However, it overall depends on the type of internet speed you have paid for and it will not go beyond that. But it is important in transferring data files from one device to another making it worthwhile.
Most of the adapters that we have mentioned are compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. It supports mostly all the versions and you can also check your version of the laptop or PC before buying the adapter.
If you have Mac OS, make sure to check if it does support the adapter you have bought since it needs the drivers and software for installation that may or may not be compatible. You can explore some more options for Best Network Adapter for Gaming here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Does a WiFi adapter give you WIFI?
A1. This might be the most common myth that a lot of users have been confused about. Well, a wireless adapter is not meant to provide you with an internet connection that you get via a router. Instead, it works as an external wireless connection overriding the built-in functions so that you get a more stable, faster, and stronger connection from your router.
Q2. How do I install a WiFi adapter?
A2. The process is somewhat similar for all the network adapters that you might look into. It can either be a direct plug-and-play device that requires very less or no installation at all. Or you might be provided with a setup guide that will help you with the process that requires the software or drivers necessary to run the hardware.
Q3. Can my PC connect to WiFi?
A3. The best use of a network adapter is when you can easily connect it to Wi-Fi using a wireless network adapter. Generally, PCs do not have an in-built Wi-Fi system and hence you cannot directly connect it to your router. Hence, these devices are an easy way to get connected to Wi-Fi with faster speed and range.
Hopefully, you might have selected the best wireless network adapter for gaming from among the choices we have reviewed. Well, it might seem difficult at first but with the help of the buying guide, things might get a lot easier than it looks.
Even if you are not technically sound, all the above points do explain everything in an easier manner with basic ideas of what you need. Either you can list your purpose and the features you need or simply follow the aspects given above.
For gaming, every user will need a device that is faster and has the best range. In fact, stability is what you might need the most so that the connection does not land while you are streaming the sessions or simply playing online for hours.
If at all you are stuck somewhere, and unable to pick one out, you can let us know in the comment section below and we will get back to you.
Last update on 2021-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API