There is one thing that all gamers hate and that’s lag. A good quality wireless adapter for gaming reduces the chances of your game lagging and putting you at a severe disadvantage in an online game (Source).
Sure, the actual wired connection will always be better than a wireless solution, but it isn’t practical most of the time.
Your standard router and built-in wireless adapter may do a serviceable job while downloading and streaming, they may struggle to provide you quality Internet speeds during video games.
High pings, high latency, and of course, lag is going to ruin your online game. Especially when you’re playing with your friends, a subpar wireless adapter for gaming may hinder your team’s progress.
Thankfully, the best wireless adapters for gaming are not expensive at all. As a matter of fact, they are quite affordable and easy to use. If you are a frequent gamer, investing in a quality wireless adapter is almost as important as building your own PC.
What are Wireless Adapters for Gaming?
Table of Contents
- 1 What are Wireless Adapters for Gaming?
- 2 Best Wireless Adapters For Gaming 2019
- 3 1. ASUS USB-AC68 Dual-Band – Best Overall
- 4 2. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 – Powerful Wireless Adapter for Gaming
- 5 3. ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 – Best PCIe Wireless Gaming Adapter
- 6 4. TP-LINK Archer T4U V2 – The Best Small Wireless Adapter for Gaming
- 7 5. TP-Link Archer T9UH AC1900 – A Reliable Wireless Adapter for Gaming
- 8 Features of the Best Wireless Adapters for Gaming
- 9 Most Common Issues People Have with Wireless Adapters for Gaming?
- 10 Things to Note While Buying a Wireless Adapter for Gaming
- 11 Our Final Review
People who play online games need to have connections which are strong, consistent and fast. Otherwise, the gamer will have connection issues, lag, and overall bad gaming experience.
Whether you want to improve your computers Wi-Fi connection strength or make it so your computer can connect to Wi-Fi, you will need to get a nice wireless adapter for gaming.
Best Wireless Adapters For Gaming 2019
|ASUS USB-AC68 Dual-Band|
|Netgear Nighthawk AC1900|
|ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900|
|TP-LINK Archer T4U V2|
|TP-Link Archer T9UH AC1900|
1. ASUS USB-AC68 Dual-Band – Best OverallThe ASUS USB-AC68 is one of the best wireless adapters for gaming simply because it provides everything a gamer can possibly need in one simple package. While the prices a little bit higher than the standard wireless adapters, the ASUS USB-AC68 more than makes up for it with robust features and great reliability.
The first thing you’ll notice about the ASUS USB-AC68 is its design. It comes with a unique folding design that allows you to deploy dual antennas without much effort. It also has USB 3.0 connection, comes with a cradle that allows you to plug it in, and has dual bands for good range and performance.
If you’re looking for a portable wireless gaming adapter for laptops or gaming on the go, the ASUS USB-AC68 provides the best value for your dollars.
It is a remarkably well-made product that works well while gaming. However, there is a slight performance related hiccup when it comes to 2.4 GHz frequency, the wireless gaming adapter is not amazing on it.
Don’t take us wrong, it works well but we expected a lot more from the ASUS USB-AC68. Regardless, the 5 GHz frequency works perfectly fine and if you are gaming, we highly recommend that you stick to it.
2. Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 – Powerful Wireless Adapter for GamingNetgear makes some of the best wireless equipment around and the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is no exception. The unit has a triangular pattern on it and the 4 antennas are shrouded by a shiny yet solid black surface.
The design is certainly very unique and striking but that is not why the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 made it on the list, is because of its amazing performance.
This wireless gaming adapter is capable of providing an impressive 1.9 Gb maximum speed due to its dual-band nature. It also ships with beamforming technology as well as four internal antennas to provide exceptional speed and reliability during gaming sessions.
The Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is a very capable wireless adapter for gaming that can provide a stable and long-range connection. The foldable design of the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 makes it a great travel companion without sacrificing any connectivity. All you need to do is simply flip it open and start using it by plugging it in.
There is also a cradle that makes it easier for you to plug it in your machine. The cradle connects to the PC with a USB 3.0 cable so there is no loss of power or range while using it.
3. ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 – Best PCIe Wireless Gaming AdapterThe ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 is a PCIe wireless gaming adapter that you can plug directly in the motherboard of your PC. If you simply want to have a semi-permanent wireless gaming adapter inside your PC, this is the best way to go.
This wireless adapter for gaming provides a great design that allows service prioritization for data. It is uniquely designed to provide high power coverage and reduce dead zones. So no matter where your PC is, you’ll have a stable and fast Internet connection for online gaming. There is also dual-band frequencies for up to 1.3 Gbps transfer rates.
Designwise, the ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 comes with a PCIe card that connects to the 4 antennas that you can place anywhere on your desktop. The 4 antennas allow the ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 to maintain a stable connection throughout usage.
There is even a custom made heatsink that doesn’t let the PCIe card warm-up and degrade in performance. Overall, the ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 is the best PCIe wireless adapter for gaming.
4. TP-LINK Archer T4U V2 – The Best Small Wireless Adapter for GamingIf you’re looking for a small wireless adapter for gaming, the TP-LINK Archer T4U V2 might be the one made just for you. It is a small wireless gaming adapter that directly plugs into any USB port on your PC. It also provides you with lightning fast speeds thanks to its dual-band nature.
Designwise, the TP-LINK Archer T4U V2 is slightly bigger than a standard USB storage stick. It doesn’t take much space and comes with a cap that you can put on the USB 3.0 plug.
The wireless gaming adapter provides 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band connections for stable gaming as well as video streaming. It is also capable of working alongside any Wi-Fi router you have at your home, so compatibility issues are nonexistent.
One of the best things about the TP-LINK Archer T4U V2 is the two-year warranty it provides to the customers. There are also omnidirectional antennas that provide exceptional reach and give a better working range.
The company also provides you with a USB extension cable so that you can plug the TP-LINK Archer T4U V2 in and move it around for better connectivity. Overall, the TP-LINK Archer T4U V2 is one of the best small wireless adapters for gaming and can easily be transported with either your laptop or desktop for a quality online gaming experience.
5. TP-Link Archer T9UH AC1900 – A Reliable Wireless Adapter for GamingThe last wireless gaming adapter on the list is the TP-Link Archer T9UH AC1900. It is a 2.5 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band wireless adapter for gaming that provides flexible connectivity as well as reliable speeds for stable connections.
One of the best things about this wireless adapter is its superior range thanks to the high gain antennas mounted on the unit. While the TP-Link Archer T9UH AC1900 is not exactly portable, its foldable design makes it easier to carry around. The all-black design looks remarkable and provides superior speeds thanks to USB 3.0 connectivity.
There is also beamforming technology that is capable of delivering an efficient and targeted wireless connection. There is also a cradle that is attached to high-speed USB 3.0 extension cable that plugs directly into your PC. The length of the cable is respectable and it allows you to maneuver the TP-Link Archer T9UH AC1900 around according to your needs.
The TP-Link Archer T9UH AC1900 is capable of providing uninterrupted signals for all your streaming and gaming needs.
Features of the Best Wireless Adapters for Gaming
If you are serious about getting one of the best wireless adapters for gaming, you need to do a little bit of background research. That way, you can start gaming without ever having ping or lag problems. Here are the features we consistently find in the best wireless adapters for gaming.
PCIe or USB 3.0 Adapters
If you want a wireless adapter for gaming which can keep your ping low, the type of the adapter itself is the first thing to look at. For the best possible connections speeds, PCIe wireless adapters are the best choice. The only thing to keep in mind is that PCIe wireless adapters are little harder to install.
Those who purchase a USB wireless adapter can still get a strong connection which is good enough for online gaming. For best results though, make sure that it is a USB 3.0 adapter. This will help you have the fastest and most reliable connection possible.
Strong & Long-Range Signal Strength
Before you get a wireless adapter for gaming, consider where your router is. This is important since routers can only send out a strong signal so far.
It is the job of the wireless adapter to pick up on this signal. Make sure that the adapter you choose has enough range to connect to your Wi-Fi without sacrificing the speed you need for gaming.
More Maximum Speed than you Need
Wireless adapters for gaming only have a certain level of connection speed they can handle. Realistically, the maximum connection speed might not ever be taken advantage of if you get the right model.
Online gaming requires anywhere between 4 – 25 Mbps speeds to avoid high pings and lagging. For best results, make sure that the wireless adapter for gaming you choose is capable of more than this.
Designed for your Computer and Operating System
Certain wireless adapters for gaming are larger than others. There are models equipped with antennas, for example, which work great with desktop computers. There are also portable adapters which emphasize portability best for laptop users.
You should also consider the type of operating system you use. If your computer uses a macOS operating system, make sure the adapter supports it. The same goes for Windows users.
Easy Installation Process
As we have mentioned, a wireless adapter for gaming typically connects to your computer’s USB port or into PCIe slot. There may also need to be drivers that need to be installed separately before you can start connecting it to Wi-Fi.
Figure out what you will need to do in order to install the adapter so that you don’t purchase the wrong model, or find yourself with problems during the installation process.
Most Common Issues People Have with Wireless Adapters for Gaming?
- Not Enough Speed: Some people have an assumption that a wireless adapter for gaming will help them improve their ping speeds. The reality is that not all wireless adapters for gaming are better than a typical stock adapter. There are various features you need to find in order to get the highest possible speeds.
- Inconvenient Install: Wireless adapters for gaming usually come either as a PCIe card or with a USB port. If you get an adapter with needs to connect to your PCIe slot, the time and expertise required for installation may be a little too demanding for you to handle on your own.
- Takes up too Much Space: Although it can be inconvenient to install a wireless adapter for gaming into a PCIe slot, those who get a USB-powered adapter aren’t always better off. The size of the device itself can get in the way of other components. USB models also create more cord mess and clutter around your computer.
Things to Note While Buying a Wireless Adapter for Gaming
There are not a lot of things to keep in mind while purchasing a wireless adapter for gaming these days.
Sure, there are some factors that may affect the quality of gaming you can get out of it, but most modern wireless adapters are fully capable of providing a stable connection.
However, these are a few points that you need to consider before purchasing a wireless gaming adapter for PC:
Generally speaking a USB 3.0 connection is about 10 times faster than a USB 2.0 connection. So if you are going to invest in a wireless adapter, we highly recommend that you go for a USB 3.0 one for better future proofing.
Beamforming sends signals directly to the device and thus make the connection stronger and more reliable. However, a point to be noted here is that your wireless router should also support this technology to take full advantage of it.
If your wireless router has beamforming built-in, you’ll be better off getting a wireless gaming adapter that also supports it.
The very first decision you need to make is whether you actually need an external antenna with the wireless adapter for gaming or not. If your wireless router is in the same room as your PC, it doesn’t make much sense to invest in a high-powered and long-range wireless adapter for gaming.
So, only invest in a high-powered wireless gaming adapter if your router is placed far away from your gaming machines.
Type of Adapter
There are 2 different types of adapters; one comes with a standard USB connection while the other comes with a PCIe connectivity.
The PCIe wireless adapters for gaming need to be plugged into the PCIe slot on the motherboard and are generally harder to remove and transport. However, they may provide superior functionality because of their heatsink and higher power antennas.
Our Final Review
Each and every one of these great wireless adapters for gaming can provide a seamless and lag-free gaming experience to you. However, we have tried to include a wide variety of them so you can get the one that is perfect for your needs.
However, as gamers ourselves, we would highly recommend that you use an ethernet cable connection for all your gaming needs.
Even though the wireless technology is getting there, it is still not as reliable and fast as a wired connection. If you are gaming competitively, it would be better that you simply purchase a longer ethernet cable and plug it in.
Questions? Opinions? Suggestions? Feel free to talk to us in the comments below.