13 Best WiFi Adapters for Gaming in 2019

Best Overall

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 WiFi USB Adapter
  • ­802.11ac
  • ­3x4 MIMO design
  • ­Speeds of up to AC1900
Premium Choice

ASUS 4x4 802.11AC PCE-AC88)

ASUS PCE-AC88 PCIe Adapter
  • External magnetic antenna base
  • Custom heatsink
  • NitroQAM (1024-QAM) technology
Great Value

OURLINK 600Mbps Dual Band

OURLINK Dual Band Dongle Adapter
  • 802.11ac technology
  • Beamforming+
  • SoftAp feature

If you are a serious hard-core online gamer having the best WiFi adapters become very important as they are essential for you to get the most out of your network. Having the best possible speed is all important as seamless HD video streaming and lag-free online gaming is the aim of having a wireless adapter. In our list of products, we have reviewed both PCI-E wireless cards as well as the USB adapter as both have their place in the wireless adapter realm.

We consider what you get in regards the antenna, how easy they are to deploy and what kind of range they offer. Have the best security is always important when considering Wi-Fi networks and we look at what type of security these WiFi adapters offer the user. Lastly, we consider the ones with the best compatibility with various operating systems their ease of use. We are sure that on our list is one that meets your requirements and fits your budget.

The Best WiFi Adapter for Gaming

Best Overall

1. NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 WiFi USB Adapter

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900


Simple to use and excellent speeds along with a superb bandwidth capacity are the hallmarks of the NETGEAR A7000-10000S Nighthawk AC1900 and any hard-core gamer or somebody who likes streaming movies will appreciate its features and capabilities. Obtain speeds of up to AC1900 with 600 Mbps on 2.4GHz and 1300Mbps on 5GHz and these dual-band networks are faster and allows more network connections than your standard product.

The 3x4 MIMO design allows you to download or upload data from the wireless network as it offers high bandwidth capacity. The Nighthawk AC1900 will work with any router and will offer faster 802.11ac speeds upgrading your laptop or desktop instantly providing great range and performance. It is compatible with both Windows 10 32/64 bit as well as Windows 8/7 and Mac OS X 10.8.3 or later.

You get faster access using the USB 3.0 with explicit Beamforming+ to boost not only speed but also range and reliability. The magnetic cradle allows for flexible placement of the receiver. The set-up is effortless with NETGEAR genie App so you can control and monitor by just using your smartphone or tablet or if you prefer there is an installation CD too.

802.11ac speeds of AC1900 with dual-band and the ability to download or upload large amounts of data quickly using the 3x4 MIMO design the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 WiFi USB Adapter is one of the best on the market and the magnetic cradle allows for flexible placement to get the best signal.

Key Features
  • ­802.11ac
  • ­3x4 MIMO design
  • ­Speeds of up to AC1900
  • ­USB 3.0 with explicit Beamforming+
  • ­Magnetic cradle
InterfaceUSB 3.0Max Wireless Speed1900 Mbps Frequency2.4 GHz - 5 GHzDimensions4.7 x 1.8 x 0.9 Inches
Premium Choice

2. ASUS PCE-AC88 PCIe Adapter

ASUS 4x4 802.11AC PCE-AC88)


Get up to 60% faster speeds with the ASUS PCE-AC88 AC3100 with its high-throughput dual-band 5GHz at 2100Mbps and 2.4GHz at 1000Mbps and NitroQAM (1024-QAM) technology. The custom heatsink will give you non-stop operation and dissipate heat effectively to allow for both stability and reliability to ensure lag-free gaming and streaming or running any bandwidth-intensive operations in heated environments.

This wireless dongle by ASUS, offers an external magnetic antenna base with will allow for flexible antenna placement which allows you to get the best coverage and the R-SMA antenna connectors are compatible with most aftermarket antennas, add to that the individual antennas can be directly attached to the PCIe card to allow for compact installation.

Get a lot more out of your Wi-Fi network than when using 3x3 adapters with the 4x4, four-transmit, four-receiver design of the antenna. This design will allow for greatly improved signal stability as well as clear, strong and fast connection and allows you to get the best out of your 4x4 router.

Hard-core gamers that need the most stable and reliable Wi-Fi network they can get will love the ASUS 4x4 802.11AC Wireless-AC3100 PCIe Adapters. Attach your antenna directly to the PCIe card for compact installation and get the most out of your connection with the dual-band, 4x4 design adapter. One of the best on the market for 2017.

Key Features
  • External magnetic antenna base
  • Custom heatsink
  • NitroQAM (1024-QAM) technology
  • Dual Band 5GHz and 2.4GHz
  • 4x4 design
InterfacePCI ExpressMax Wireless Speed2100 Mbps Frequency2.4GHz - 5GHz Dimensions8.3 x 2.2 x 10.9 Inches
Great Value

OURLINK 600Mbps Dual Band


Reduce interference and get the best connection you can with Beamforming+ what will boost not only your speed and range but also the reliability of your Wi-Fi network so you can experience lag-free online gamers and seamless video streaming. Offering best speeds of up to 600Mbps provided by the dual-bands, 5GHz at 433Mbps and 2.4 GHz at 150Mbps.

Get improved connections to more network devices in your home, as the 802.11AC technology and the 5dBi omnidirectional dual-band antenna will not only increase the coverage you get but also will ensure the stability of your network.

The OURLINK 600Mbps mini Dual Band Dongle offers the ability to create a hotspot with the SoftAp feature which is one of the best ways to share your Wi-Fi network. Setup is a breeze, just install the driver from the included CD and then use the built-in utility offered by your operating system to connect to the network and you are ready to start enjoying seamless online gamers.

With easy set-up, you will be playing your favorite online games and streaming your HD video in no time with the OURLINK 600Mbps mini Dual Band Dongle Adapter. With the 5dBi omnidirectional dual-band antenna and 802.11AC technology, Beamforming+ and SoftAp features you get the best adapters and great value for money.

Key Features
  • 802.11ac technology
  • Beamforming+
  • SoftAp feature
  • Easy setup
  • 5dBi omnidirectional dual-band antenna
InterfaceUSB 3.0Max Wireless Speed1200 MbpsFrequency2.4GHz - 5GHz Dimensions5.4 x 4.4 x 0.8 Inches

4. Trendnet TEW-809UB Wireless USB Receiver

Trendnet AC1900 Receiver


Are you looking to upgrade your desktop computer or laptop to AC speeds on dual-band with 5GHz at 1300 Mbps for lag-free online gameplay and HD video streaming and 600 Mbps at 2.4GHz on WiFi n for you to surf the net or use Facebook, then you need look no further than the Trendnet AC1900 High Dual Band Wireless USB Receiver.

The Trendnet will support 802.11a/b/g/n and ac networking standards and features Beamforming technology which will increase your signal strength by directing your signal towards the device enabling a stable and fast connection.

This great high-power radio has detachable antennas that will greatly increase your network coverage and allow you to quickly connect to any high performance wireless AC network easily. Installation is simple, plug it into your system using the included USB cable and install the drivers, it will work on both Windows and Mac PC's.

The LED indicator notifies you when it is on and working. After plugging in the device to your system with the included USB cable, install the drivers and it should be ready to go on either Windows or Mac PCs. An LED indicator will notify you when the device is on and functioning.

Supporting 802.11a/b/g/n and ac networking standards using Beamforming technology this adapter will offer you 1300Mbps at 5GHz and 600Mbps at 2.4GHz to allow you to surf the net, play lag-free online games or stream HD video seamlessly. Compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems. LED indicator lets you know when your adapter is on and functioning.

Key Features
  • ­802.11a/b/g/n and ac networking standards
  • ­Beamforming technology
  • ­USB cable
  • ­5GHz at 1300 Mbps
  • ­600 Mbps at 2.4GHz
InterfaceWirelessMax Wireless Speed1300 MbpsFrequency2.4GHz - 5GHz Dimensions7 x 3 x 9 Inches

5. ASUS USB-AC68 Dual-Band AC1900 Wi-Fi Adapter

ASUS USB-AC68 Dual-Band AC1900


Powerful, fast and reliable, that is what every hard-core gamer looks for in an adapter and that is what you get with the ASUS USB-AC68 Dual-Band AC1900.The 3x4 MIMO design with dual 3-position external antennas as well as dual internal antennas and the ASUS AiRador Beamforming provides the best coverage for both desktops and laptops.

The USB 3.0 cradle offers you extra options of antenna placement offering optimal coverage for desktops and the foldable external antennas make it portable and provides great reception for laptops.

Get up to 300% better speeds compared to previous adapters as it boots your network with the dual band adapters by 600Mbps on a 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band to get a combined rate of up to 1900Mbps which will enable you to cope with high band-with networking tasks effortlessly and lag-free.

The AiRador Beamforming feature will provide high power amplification and ASUS RF fine-tuning which with strengthen your connectivity giving your great stability, extended coverage and will increase your dynamic data speed.Setup is no problem, just plug in your USB 3.0, allow for updates and you are good to go.

Portable, fast, powerful and reliable the ASUS USB-AC68 Dual-Band AC1900 USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Adapter offers 3x4 MIMO design, AiRador Beamforming and dual-band 2.4 and 5GHz along with ASUS RF fine-tuning to ensure you get the best wireless coverage along with great lag-free gaming and seamless HD video streaming.

Key Features
  • AiRador Beamforming feature
  • Foldable external antennas
  • ­Dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
  • ­3-position external antennas
  • ­USB 3.0 cradle
InterfaceUSB 3.0 Max Wireless Speed1300 MbpsFrequency2.4GHz - 5GHzDimensions1.2 x 0.7 x 4.5 Inches

TP-Link AC1300 Archer T6E


Just plug the TP-Link AC1300 into an available PCI-E slot and you get up to 1300Mbps speed on dual 5GHz at 867Mbps or 2.4GHz 400Mbps bands for the ultimate connection that is stable, reliable and fast and perfect for both online gameplay and video streaming. The TP-Link offers you exceptional range with its 2x external antennas that not only offer improved range but also great stability on your network.

The 802.11ac dual band is three times faster than the 802.11n standard so high-intensity network usage is no problem at all. In addition, it is backward compatible with 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.22g and 802.11n standards. The TP-Link will support Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and 7 as well as XP 32/64bit.

Offering a two-year warranty as well as 24/7 support, this high-speed adapter is the perfect way to upgrade your wireless network setup and enjoy seamless video streaming, lag-free online gameplay, and smooth web surfing at all times.

Easy to install PCI-E Wireless Network Card that offers you exceptional speeds, 802.11 dual bands for high-intensity networking and two external antennas for great range. It is easy to install and is perfect for the online gamer who needs strong, reliable and fast connections at all times.

Key Features
  • 5GHz at 867Mbps
  • ­2.4GHz 400Mbps
  • ­802.11ac dual-band
  • ­2x external antennas
  • ­Easy to install
InterfacePCI Express Max Wireless Speed1300 MbpsFrequency2.4 GHz - 5 GHzDimensions4.76 x 4.74 x 0.85 Inches

7. Linksys WUSB6300 Dual-Band Wireless USB 3.0 Dongle

Linksys Dual-Band AC1200


Fast, secure and easy to use with Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 USB 3.0 has everything you need and more and is one of the best wireless adapters around. Travelling, take your WiFi with you and enjoy your gaming no matter where you find yourself. The Linksys is compatible with all wireless AC 802.11ac routers as well as access points, and extenders such as Belkin and others.

It offers dual-band speeds of up to 867Mbps on a wireless-AC 5GHz band for seamless HD video streaming or online gaming, or for normal use such as surfing the web you get a wireless-N 2.4 GHz band at 300Mbps.

The best security is always important when using wireless networks and the Linksys supports up to 128-bit encryption such as WEP, WPA, and WPA2, as well as WPS or WiFi Protected Setup button to effortlessly connect with a router or access point. The set-up is a breeze with the CD setup wizard and the Linksys is compatible with Windows 8 and 7 as well as Vista SP1/SP2 and XP SP3.

Lightning fast speeds, great security and easy to use and set-up this USB 3.0 Adapter has everything you need in an Adapter. Offering speeds of 867Mbps on the 5GHz band and 400Mbps on the 2.4GHz band as well as being compatible will all AC 802.11 routers.

Key Features
  • ­Compatible with all AC 802.11ac routers
  • ­128-bit encryption
  • ­WPS
  • ­Wireless-AC 5GHz band
  • ­Wireless-N 2.4 GHz band
InterfaceUSB 3.0Max Wireless Speed1200 MbpsFrequency2.4 GHz - 5 GHzDimensions6.1 x 5.3 x 2.4 Inches

D-Link Systems AC1900 Ultra


Get the best speeds on a USB wireless adapter of up to 1900 Mbps on your desktop or laptop with flexible dual-band comprising of 1300Mbps on 5GHz band and 600Mbps on your 2.4GHz band. The Advanced AC Smart Beam will focus your wireless signal towards your router Smart Beam router and your DWA-192, and this will give you a better quality connection and enhanced performance for seamless video streaming and lag-free online gameplay.

Use the WPS button to set-up a fast and secure connection in no time at all. Features backward compatibility with legacy 802.11n/g/ac networks. USB 3.0 is ten times faster than the standard USB 2.0 and offers three times the range of your standard dongle.

It will work with all brands of routers even the older routers and range extenders with no problems. Then there is the unique design of the D-Link Systems AC1900 Ultra Wi-Fi USB 3.0 which is cool and will catch the attention of your friends.

One of the best offering that gives you up to 1900Mbps on dual bands, advanced AC Smart Beam to focus your signal and unique design. Backwards compatible with legacy 802.11n/g/a networks and will work with any brand of router and range extenders, even the older ones. Offers three times the range of standard adapters.

Key Features
  • ­1300Mbps on 5GHz band
  • ­600Mbps on 2.4GHz band
  • ­Advanced AC Smart Beam
  • ­backward compatibility with legacy 802.11n/g/a networks
  • ­Unique design
InterfaceUSB 3.0Max Wireless Speed1900 MbpsFrequency2.4 GHz - 5 GHzDimensions3.1 x 3 x 3.1 Inches

9. BrosTrend AC3 Long Range Internet Receiver

BrosTrend 1200Mbps


Best speed, superior range and great flexibility that is what you get with the BrosTrend. The exceptional range of this adaptor is offered through two pieces of 5dBi high gain antennas and a USB 3.0 cradle that has an extension cable of 5 feet so you can find just the right spot for the best reception.

You get 867Mbps on the 5GHz band and 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band which gives you ultimate speed to steam 4K ultra HD video, game lag-free, listen to music or use Facebook. The USB 3.0 port with Gold Plated is 10 times faster than your standard 2.0 port and it is backward compatible with the 2.0 should you need it.

It will work with any routers up to, and including, the 802.11ac router and is compatible with Windows from 10 to 8 as well as XP. It will also work with Linux, Mint, Ubuntu and Ubuntu Studio. It supports Raspbian and Raspberry Pi 3B. It works with a variety of operating system including MAC OS X.

Fast, flexible, reliable and compatible with all the best routers and most operating systems the BrosTrend Long Range USB WiFi Adapter is 10x faster than your standard 2.0 USB and gives you a very wide range. The 5 foot USB extension cable allows you to position your 5dBI high gain antennas where they will get the best signal.

Key Features
  • ­2x 5dBi high gain antennas
  • ­USB extension cable of 5 feet
  • ­USB 3.0 port with Gold Plated
  • ­Compatible with all routers
  • ­Dual-Band 5GHZ and 2.4GHz
InterfaceUSB 3.0Max Wireless Speed1200 MbpsFrequency2.4 GHz - 5 GHzDimensions3.8 x 0.8 x 1.2 Inches



You have game, and you like to play and you need best, fastest and most reliable product to be able to play lag-free when online gaming. The TP-LINK AC1300 will give you 1300 (867 + 400) Mbps speed with 802.11AC. The dual-band connections of the TP-LINK will make sure that you can not only play your favorite game but also stream your favorite Netflix movie lag-free.

The USB 3.0 port which offers the best speeds at up to 10 times more speed than your 2.0 USB. Use the WPS to connect to Wi-Fi or setup and join a network as well as encrypting your Wi-Fi network. The top wifi adapter for PC of this year. You can also switch between the dual 5GHx and 2.4GHx to allow for better connections and to reduce congestion.

The omnidirectional antennas will allow you to increase your range and allows you to place your adapters in the area you need it to improve your connection using the USB 3.0 extension cable which is included. SoftAP will allow you to share your access with others by creating a hotspot.

The TP-LINK AC1300 works with Windows and Mac as well as Linux so you can use it for any PC or laptop in your home. The WPS feature will only work on Windows and Max OS X.

Play your favorite FPS game lag-free with the TP-LINK AC1300 Wireless Wi-Fi USB 3.0 Adapter. Its omnidirectional antennae and USB 3.0 extension cable allow you to place your adapter where you need it. Fast, reliable connection is what you get along with a host of great features such as WPS and SoftAP.

Key Features
  • Dual band connections
  • WPS feature
  • SoftAP
  • 10x more speed
  • Omni-directional antennae
InterfaceUSB 3.0Max Wireless Speed1900 Mbps Frequency2.4GHz - 5GHz Dimensions3.6 x 1.2 x 0.6 Inches



Ultra-fast, powerful and one of the best for HD video streaming and online gaming the TP-LINK AC1300 Wireless Dual Band is also perfect for taking with you when you travel so you will never be without your network. Three times faster than your wireless n speeds it is compatible with all 802.11ac.

It offers dual bands 5GHz and 2.4GHz which are crystal clear and offer 867Mbps and 400Mbps speeds respectively offering a combined 1300Mbps, this allows for lag-free online gamers and seamless video streaming as well as any other high-intensity network tasks you need to perform.

The TP-LINK AC1300 is designed with high gain external antennas to ensure that you always have great transmission speeds and improved reception while the USB cable allows for quick and flexible deployment. The USB 3.0 will offer you up to 10 times more speed than the USB 2.0 did. The WPS button offers exception and easy wireless security encryption keeping your network safe at all times.

Fast, powerful and best to travel with this is the ultimate USB 3.0 for the serious hard-core online gamer or anybody who loves to stream HD video lag-free. Exceptional security encryption and quick and easy deployment of the antenna is perfect for those that travel and want to take their WiFi with them.

Key Features
  • ­802.11ac
  • ­2.4 GHz band at 400Mbps
  • ­5GHz band at 867Mbps
  • ­High gain external antennas
  • ­USB 3.0
InterfaceUSB 3.0 Max Wireless Speed1300 MbpsFrequency2.4 GHz - 5 GHzDimensions3.7 x 1.3 x 0.6 Inches

12. Alfa Dual-Band AC1200 Wireless USB 3.0 Wi-Fi Adaptor

Alfa Long-Range Dual-Band AC1200


No matter if you game on your desktop, laptop or netbook the Alfa Dual-Band AC1200 is perfect for you. Just slide it into your USB port to get a reliable, speedy and strong connection perfect for streaming videos, online gamers and of course surfing the net.

This wireless adaptor for PC has removable 5 dBi dual-band dipole rubber duck antennas are powerful and the RP-SMA female antenna port will allow you to upgrade your antenna giving you more signal and a wider range. Data transfer speed of N 300Mbps and AC 867Mbps and supports 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g as well as 802.11ac.

It includes a 2 dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Keep your wireless network secure with WEP 64-bit, WEP 128-bit, WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK.Frequent flyers and people who travel a lot and need to take their connectivity with them everywhere, then Alfa Dual-Band AC1200 Wireless USB 3.0 Wi-Fi is perfect, it is lightweight and offers an ultra-small form factor.

Small yet powerful this is the USB 3.0 adapter that is designed traveler who loves their online gameplay. Rubber duck antennas and RP-SMA female antenna port for upgrading antenna allow for a wide, strong network with incredible data transfer speeds and it also offers great security.

Key Features
  • ­Removable 5 dBi dual-band dipole rubber duck antennas
  • ­RP-SMA female antenna port
  • ­Data transfer speed of N 300Mbps and AC 867Mbps
  • ­Supports up to 82.11ac
  • ­2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band
InterfaceUSB 3.0Max Wireless Speed1200 MbpsFrequency2.4 GHz - 5 GHzDimensions3.4 x 1 x 0.5 Inches

TP-Link AC1900 Archer T9E


When you are a gamer then every game matters to you and you need the best wireless network to enable you to get the best performance out of your online gaming and 4K video streaming. This PCI card is one of the best and easiest to install, just plug it into an open PCI-E slot and you are good to start your online battles with a AC1900 speed connection.

Designed with the gamer in mind, TP-Link AC1900 offers heat sink technology that will distribute the heat taking it away from your core components to greatly improve both reliability and performance. The 3x3 dual-band antenna and Beamforming allows for strong and reliable connections. Compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 as well as XP 32/64 bit.

The 5GHz band offers 1900Mbps offers lag-free online gameplay as well as seamless HD video streaming and the 2.4GHz is perfect to surf the net. Three external antenna will give you maximum connection range and stability.

The TP-Link AC1900 is feature packed and offers exceptional speeds for online gamers everywhere. Heat sink technology ensures your hard-working components are kept cool and dual bands offers a combined C1900 speed that allows for lag-free online gaming and seamless 4K ultra HD video streaming.

Key Features
  • Heat sink technology
  • Dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
  • ­3x3 dual band antenna
  • ­Beamforming
  • ­Easy installation adapters
InterfacePCI-EMax Wireless Speed1900 MbpsFrequency2.4 GHz - 5 GHzDimensions4.5 x 4.8 x 0.8 Inches

Buyers Guide Questions

The best adapters allow you to connect your computers to a good router in the fastest way possible. These wireless cards or wireless adapters are the best way to connect your computer if you require a cable free solution. The big concerns with this type of adapter as opposed to using an Ethernet cord is speed and disruption of services due to outside interference, however, if you are using the best adapter this is not too much of a problem.

Choosing the best adapter can seem a little daunting. You not only have to consider data speed and overall design, but also the best possible security your adapter can offer. Ideally, if you are going to be online gaming, especially multi-player gaming, you need something that can cope with heavy data transfer and intensive browsing. There are two main types of adapters, PCI-E Wireless Adapter and USB WiFi adapter and each has their own benefits.

PCI adapters or Peripheral Component Interconnect Express are installed on your gaming motherboard  using an expansion slot and it will aid in your computers internet connection. They accomplish this through expansion cards and replace the AGP and PCI connections which are outdated and slow. In most new laptops ( view our best budget gaming laptop review guide) and computers PCI Express cards come preinstalled. These PCI-E allow communication between your router and the motherboard as well as other hardware.

This means you get improved reading and writing through high-bandwidth interface to your drive and you may even find some of the new models with built-in SSD. There are four main sizes of PCI Express cards and they will fit into any PCI-E slot if the size of the slot is the same as the card or larger. The four different sizes are:

PCI-E 1: 25mm (18 pins)
PCI-E 4: 39mm (39 pins)
PCI-E 8: 56mm (49 pins)
PCI-E 16: 89mm (82 pins)

PCI-E 1 cards will fit into larger or smaller size slots as long as the slots are open-ended without a stopper at the end.

This type of adapter like the PCI-E cards, they allow your computer to connect to the internet and will support data rates of up to 1300 on a 5GHz band. They plug into your computers USB port and use wireless technology as a protocol for signaling. USB adapter speeds will vary depending on their FireWire.

This is a very common adapter and also the most popular, due to their ease of use and portability. You do not have to open up your computer to install them, and have head sinks to cool them, they simply plug in and, if your computer does not have drivers for them, download the drivers to install. Once this is done you are ready to connect to the internet and are able to game, surf the net or stream video.

WiFi adapter for Gaming Desktop

If you are a very heavy gamer who needs something that can cope with very large data usage during extended gaming sessions then you need to consider getting a PCI-E wire-less card with its own heat sink such as the ASUS 4×4 802.11AC Wireless-AC3100 PCIe Adapter. PCI-E cards offer greater speed than their USB counterparts.

Many people will go for the USB connector for convenience as they are plug and play, and the PCI-E cards require you to install them into your PC attaching them to your motherboard. They are limited to the speeds that your motherboard can handle, but that is usually higher than what your USB can handle.

What is the best WiFi Adapter for Gaming?

The best wireless adapter for hard-core gaming on a single desktop will always be the PCI-E card. However they do have some limiting factors such as the ability to use them on multiple devices and they are limited to the speed of the motherboard, no matter how much speed they say they can produce. If however, you are looking for something more flexible so you can carry your wireless adapter around with you and game on different computers then the USB adapter would be the one you want.

The limiting factors on USB adapters, your adapter will be limited to the speed of your USB, however with the advent of 3.0 USB as well as the multi-directional antenna and Beamforming you get quite a decent WiFi signal using these products.

Ultimately the choice of which one is best would be yours depending on your own specific requirements. Read reviews on the internet, especially user reviews of the different types of adapters. Read our review of the best wireless adapter for gaming which includes both USB and PCI-E cards to give you a little more insight as to what each offer and then make your own decision.

What is a good WiFi Dongle for Gaming?

A good wireless adapter for gaming is the USB Wireless Adapter. It may not be the best, but they are convenient and you can use them on multiple devices and take them on your travels with you. They may suffer from being a little slower than the PCI-E wireless card, but in today’s world with USB 3.0 which is a lot faster than the USB 2.0, along with 802.11ac wireless you should have no problem gaming on this type of adapter.

Also if you are gaming on an older PC then your motherboard would not be able to handle the best speeds that a PCI-E card can offer in any case. Just remember that if you have more than one USB plugged in it may throttle the speed of your adapter.

Are USB WiFi Adapters good for Gaming?

A lot of hard-core gamers will tell you that even the best USB adapter is not the best adapter for gaming, however, that is not necessarily true. There are certain aspects you need to consider when looking for the receiver that you are going to be using for gaming and not just surfing the net or using Facebook. We look at what you should consider when considering which is the best USB wireless adapter.

WiFi Standards – For gaming purposes, you need a product that supports the 802.11ac standard. Also look for the best dual-band speeds, for example, an AC1200 USB wireless adapter will offer 300Mbps at 2.4GHz for general use and 867GHz speed at 5GHz which would be for gaming.

MU-MIMO – This stands for Multiple User, Multiple Input, and Multiple Output. 802.11n MIMO was limited to one user but with the advent of 802.11ac, it can be used by multiple users at the same time.

Beamforming – This is no longer limited to the router and adapter being from the same manufacturer and it will allow the router to focus data stream to the adapter. This will increase your signal strength and limit interference.

USB 2.0 vs 3.0 – The 3.0 USB will give you up to 10x as fast delivery as the USB 2.0 which is about 640Mbps or 5GB per second and maximizes your networking speeds.

Antenna types – Every product will have an antenna and they are essential to the ability of your USB wireless adapter to work. Some have an internal antenna, however, the larger external antenna will definitely increase your signal strength. Multi and omnidirectional antenna is best as they can direct signal in all directions and being able to place your antenna in the best areas will have an impact on your signal as well.

Software – Most will only include the driver for your operating system to use when installing. Some, however, do come with a full software suite but beware these may become more of a problem than a blessing as they could interfere with the integrated settings.

Adaptor types – USB wireless adapter come in different form factors of different sizes is very helpful to accommodate different needs. The small or nano wireless adapter, while slower than the other types of products, are great for when traveling or using a small notebook as they do not protrude very far. The larger wireless adapters can be used on a desktop and usually have high gain antennas and therefore offer faster connections.

Then you get the standard size which is the most common and the one you will often see, they are the size of the traditional USB flash drive. These balance throughput speed and signal strength and although not as small as the nano wireless adapter but still maintain their portability. Other accessories – These include things like a USB extension cable and a docking cradle. These are nice to have and will make your product more user-friendly.


The right wireless adapter can make or break your gaming experience. Choosing the right one is not easy but we have reviewed 13 of the best wireless adapter on the market, both USB and PCI-E cards and along with our buyers guide you should now be in a position to decide which one you need to meet your requirements.

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900

Top Pick

If you are a hard-core game-player and need best, superfast lag-free connections then the NETGEAR A7000 Nighthawk AC1900 Wireless WiFi USB 3.0 Adapter is the one you have been looking for. Offering an incredible combined 1900Mbps speeds with dual-band connection of 1300Mbps on 5GHz and 600Mbps on 2.4GHz. The 3.0 USB port will give you up to 10x more speed than a standard 2.0 USB and the WPS will allow you to connect to wireless networks quickly and easily at the push of a button.

With its Four high-gain internal antennas and explicit Beamforming boosts speed but also range and reliability. The NETGEAR Nighthawk offers you a Magnetic cradle so you can pick just the right area to place your adapter to get the best signal. If you like sharing then the NETGEAR genie App is great to share and stream music or videos and its easy to monitor and control. It is compatible with both Windows 10 32/64 bit as well as Windows 8/7 and Mac OS X 10.8.3 or later.

If you are worried about network security is a concern then worry no more. The NETGEAR A7000 Nighthawk AC1900 uses WPA or WPA2 to encrypt your network giving you peace of mind while at your computer desk. All of these great features and 3×4 MIMO design the NETGEAR A7000 Nighthawk AC1900 Wireless WiFi Adapter is our top choice from our list of best wireless adapters for gaming in 2019.

ASUS 4x4 802.11AC PCE-AC88)

Premium Choice

Looking for the absolute best connection speeds you can get to power your gaming desktop and let you play lag-free or stream HD video seamlessly then you need the ASUS 4×4 802.11AC Wireless-AC3100. This fantastic PCI-E card will offer you dual-band high-throughput signal at 2100Mbps on 5GHz and 1000Mbps at 24GHz and use NitroQAM (1024 QAM) technology.

Don’t worry about the high temperatures you are going to create with your hard-core gaming, the custom heatsink offered here, will ensure you get non-stop operation and dissipate the heat effectively allowing for both stability and reliability in your PCIe adapter. The 4×4, four-transmit, four-receiver design of the antenna will give you stable signal and clear strong wireless network and will get the absolute best out of your 4×4 router.

The magnetic antenna base offers flexibility in placement so you can get the best coverage along with the R-SMA antenna connectors are also compatible with most aftermarket antennas and individual antennas can be directly attached to the PCIe card to allow for compact installation. Great features, superb speed, and excellent flexibility make the ASUS 4×4 802.11AC Wireless-AC3100 PCIe Adapter our premium choice for the premium choice wireless adapter in 2019.

OURLINK 600Mbps Dual Band

Great Value

With Beamforming+ to ensure the signal gets to where you need it and reduces interference, boosting not only speed but range as well, and 5dBi omnidirectional dual-band antenna and you are getting a stable, reliable wireless network with great coverage.

You get 600Mbps which are provided by the dual-bands, 433Mbps at 5GHz and 150Mbps at 2.4GHz combined with 802.11AC technology you will have enough speed to play your online games without experiencing lag, or stream or record HD video seamlessly and enjoy your favorite TV programmes on Netflix.

The SoftAp feature allows you to share your wireless network by creating a hotspot and installing the OURLINK is a breeze with the included CD and built-in wireless utility and you are ready to go. You get all of these great features along with good speeds for a very reasonable price and that makes the OURLINK 600Mbps mini Dual Band Dongle Adapter our great value pick of all of the wireless adapters on our list of best wireless adapters for 2019. For more brilliant product reviews, by sure to check out HotRate here.