The Best Wireless Adapter for Gaming

Want fast wireless adapters for gaming to go superfast with the best wireless adapter for your budget? Had enough of game lag? Then check out our top picks that will give you warp speed gaming performance.

Gamers need the speed to stay connected to all the things that matter to them. If you want to stream, game play, and download all day and night then a powerful smart hub from a reputable broadband provider with fast internet is top of any gamers must have list, so is fast wireless adapters for gaming. Superfast fiber optic technology means no more battling for bandwidth in a busy home where users stream smooth high-definition media as well as enjoy online gaming with less lag and fewer hold-ups.

Best Choice

ASUS PCE-AC68 AC1900

Most Preferred

Amazing build quality and pretty easy to install


Has 3 antennas for better performance

Premium

TP-Link Archer AC1900

Great Performance

Comes with the PCI-E interface


Offers excellent performance with 3 antennas

Best Value

TP-Link Archer AC1300

Affordable option

Inexpensive and easy to install


Good performance overall


Cables are best. There’s no argument there, we all know if you’re trying to squeeze every ounce of speed out of your rig then you can’t beat being all wired up. The advantages of an Ethernet connection beyond the satisfying click of plugging the CAT 5e directly into the router, are obvious. Therefore, any other method of connection becomes a compromise between wireless interference and layered security.

But is using the best wireless adapters for gaming over a wireless network really that bad? Remember, even with the best wireless adapters for gaming, data transfer on a PC is a low bandwidth activity averaging out at 1 Mbps. However, LAG depends on the constant flow of data and the length of time between data communications. But that’s only for gaming. Video streaming, which is mostly downloads, is wholly different. It uses much more bandwidth, around 8 Mbps for 1080p, and 15 Mbps for 4K video. That’s why you need robust fast wireless adapters for gaming with Quality of Service (QoS) to prioritize gaming traffic, which will negate video services like YouTube and Netflix retarding gaming performance.

So, why would the avid gamer use a wireless connection? How about not drilling holes all over the place to run cables, especially when renting. Nobody wants every corner in the house to look like some nefarious mechanical octopus waiting for a passing snack!

Interference is the biggest issue with wireless. However, 802.11ac routers now offer the less congested 5 GHz frequency. Also, MU-MIMO and beamforming technology purports to direct the data stream towards the client.


The best wireless adapters for gaming come with Powerline networking technology, can deliver 2000 Mbps, Gigabit ports, and MIMO tech. With advances in both Wi-Fi and Powerline networking, concerns about interference and adapters transmitting across circuit breakers seems to be diminishing.


With fast internet broadband rollout wireless networking has been developing at pace. We can see clear evidence of this by the deployment of many wireless networks, such as wireless personal area networks (WPANs), local area networks (WLANs), metropolitan area networks (WMANs), and wide area networks (WANs).


However, wireless adapter networks have always suffered from a perceived lack of physical security because the underlying communications are carried out by electromagnetic radiations open for anyone to intercept. The drive to improve wireless network security has many technical challenges including compatibility with old wireless networks, the cost of updating these networks in the real market, and the issue of proprietary ownership of technical infrastructure which has altogether delayed rollout.


Routing protocols are an integral component of secure networks. Attacks on routing protocols can render such networks nonfunctional. If the hacker compromises the protocol, then the network is laid open to them. A routing protocol uses algorithms to determine the best networking paths for the data to run on. Routing protocols facilitate router communication and the policy the networking structures will use, be they hardware or software.


Users often believe that the faster the internet connection, the better the latency-ping. Ping is the distance between the server hosting the game and your PC, the greater the distance the more latency issues you’ll face. One of the easiest ways to reduce latency is to run Ethernet cables. Even though this is a simple fix, many people prefer using wireless connectivity as it reduces the number of wires and makes their space look tidier.

 

These days new computers come with wireless cards pre-installed so most people don’t consider purchasing a wireless adapter. However, there are many situations that require one.


Security issues with wireless connectivity

When internet adoption came to the fore all connections were from physical wiring. A little history lesson will help here. The internet was the creation of the US Military. The tech heads at the pentagon had for years been trying to devise a way military divisions could communicate with each other in a secure and safe way. Nothing is easier to pick up than radio transmissions. Anyone can do it by just tuning a radio receiver, hence the need for code. But codes can be broken with disastrous consequences. The solution came from looking at telephone wired communications.

With the invention of computers, it was realized that you could use closed telecommunication infrastructures to send coded signals down the copper wires. The code to unlock the communication would be sent to the receiver computer first. Then the coded message would be sent. Every message had a unique key to decode the transmission therefore in the event of transmission interception, the sypher would be missing, rendering the transmission unreadable. Here we have two levels of security, the closed network and the sypher. It works really well, even to this day. If The Man wants to get hold of your communications, he’ll find it almost impossible to do so. That’s why hackers and government agencies try to get targeted communications before they are sent and encoded. Remember your password, use it or lose it!

Universities followed suit and took up the technology to send and receive academic data. It was much safer and quicker than posting some students precious doctorate across the world. Then followed banking and other such businesses.

As soon as everyone got used to this new form of communication, wireless came along to throw it all back into confusion. Wireless did help the office space to look normal again and allowed for mobility, but it came at a cost.

With wireless connectivity, some security concerns resurfaced and were far more complex than before. Some threats are universal like denial of service, while others are specific to wireless, for instance rogue access and passive capturing. The good news is, solutions exist that can secure your fast internet environment just as well as with connected workspaces. Let’s take a look at what those concerns are, and their solutions.

Denial of Service

Denial of service is a simple attack that limits access to services on a wired or wireless network. This hack is accomplished by rerouting huge amounts of traffic to a targeted site. The high volume rates overwhelms the site and disrupts its service. The same objectives can be achieved by disrupting the signal on the network. It is done by causing enough interference on one channel to interrupt the service.

Rogue Access

Another attack method is the use of a rogue access point within range of the targeted wireless network. The objective here is to fool people into using one of these false access points to gain entry to the server. The hacker then gains all the security permissions from the user and enters the real network with this data.

Passive Capturing

Passive capturing is like eavesdropping on a network. The hacker listens to data traffic in transit and captures that information. Hackers will attempt to break into your existing security settings by analyzing network traffic, or they will monitor non secured data to exploit weaknesses.

Securing wireless networks

The best approach to wireless security is to a solution that offers high levels of flexibility and can adapt to changing threats. This will help you determine how to manage access to your wireless network and determine how to deal with threats.

Below we have put together a ‘best practices’ for networking environments as well as specific solutions designed to address wireless security threats.

  • Firewalls

A good quality firewall is essential in establishing a strong security footprint. Firewalls prevent unidentified access and offer secure network availability for all users. Firewalls are the backbone in all secure networking environments, wireless and wired.

  • Intrusion Detection

Running software that deals with the prevention and detection of intruders will provide your network with the intelligence to flag and halt attacks like viruses, worms, malware, and other such nasties.

  • Content Filtering

Content filtering allows you to deal with closed network threats. Monitoring your employees is not popular among staff. No one likes a snooper, however monitoring software prevents your employees from accessing dangerous malware via the Internet that once active could disrupt your network.

  • Authentication

Authentication is crucial in securing your network. Authentication means password protection, and in some well documented cases (we’re talking the CIA), it means simply having a password! Key fobs and biometric authentication ensure that only those with proper authority to access your secure data can do so, keeping your wireless network safe and idiot proof.

  • Data Encryption

Business relies on analytics. That means collecting, analyzing and sharing crucial data about your business and your customers. Data encryption is used to secure wireless networks, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and Secure Socket Layers (SSL), are two of the best ways to avoid data hijacking and the intrusive habits of big brother.

  • VPN

VPN’s are so crucial in today's digital environment that it’s worth having a closer look at them.

Businesses working across terrestrial borders on open and secure networks depend on data encryption to keep things running efficiently. The demand for a fast, secure and reliable way to share information across computer networks is paramount.

This is especially true when traveling. Salespeople need secure reliable ways to connect to their business's network from remote locations.

The most popular software employed to accomplish shutout is a VPN. A VPN is a private network that uses a public network to connect nodes (users) together.

Basically, by using an encrypted layered tunneling protocol the user of the VPN enters a closed network, think intranet but running within the internet, like layers of an onion. It's part of the whole but wholly separate from it. This allows the user to sale unnoticed past geo-restrictions and censorship, especially handy if you want to use Facebook in China (The Great Chinese Firewall), not so great if you have a VPN. So, by using a VPN anyone intercepting the encrypted data can't read it.

Before VPN’s came along, we had ISDN. If you worked in any medium sized company, you would probably be familiar with the integrated services digital network.

These types of private wide-area networks (WAN) were leased from telecommunication companies and were reliable as well as secure. However, leases were expensive, the costs rising in line with the distance covered between the offices.

Today, with also most universal broadband take-up and coverage, Internet service providers (ISPs) continue to develop fast internet and more reliable services at lower costs than leased lines. Therefore, businesses have now replaced leased lines with new technologies like VPNs that use Internet connections without compromising security. Communications across digital networks started with intranets, which are closed private internal networks with no way of communication with the world wide web, designed for use only by company employees. Intranets enabled peers around the world to work together through technologies such as desktop sharing. By adding a VPN, a business can extend all its intranet resources with employees working from remote offices or their homes. Now the network is secure but outside the private office leased line.

Is it worth buying a wireless adapter?

There are certain advantages in purchasing the best wireless adapter for gaming. The pre-installed wireless card that comes with most computers is often a generation or two behind market leaders. Therefore, while it may be conveniently housed in your device, integrated Wi-Fi adapters can often become dated very quickly. The best wireless adapters for gaming USB Wi-Fi adapters can change this dynamic. Such is their quality and reliability nowadays; they can even boost data file transfer speeds.


Types of Wireless Adapters for Gaming

There are two primary kinds of wireless adapters; a gaming Wifi card and a gaming USB WiFi adapter both can be dual band wireless adapters. The simple difference between these two kinds of adapters is that one is a card that you install in your computer, and the other is a USB Wi-Fi adapter that you insert into one of your devices USB ports in order to augment its WiFi capabilities. The best USB Wi-Fi adapters are really good.


A PCI wireless adapter card connects to your computer’s PCI bus. This component is contained within the computer, meaning your machine must be opened up and tinkered with. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. In a notebook computer, these adapters tend to be about the size and shape of a credit card. The adapter houses a small antenna to capture the wireless signal, and the adapter itself can be inserted via a slot on the side of your laptop. Everyone’s computer is different, so which is best largely depends on what kind of hardware you’re running.


The best USB Wi-Fi adapters come in all sizes. Some can be as small as a Lego block and others with antennas, as large as a router. If portability is important to you, the smaller ones work well, however the larger versions come with neat features like beamforming technology for diverting interference.


You need to make sure the adapters speed matches your needs. 300Mbps is plenty for most tasks, however you can get ones that go up to 1300Mbps.


Proximity to the router is always a big determining factor. Depending on where your router sits, you might have trouble connecting. Some of the best Wi-Fi adapters will still work up to 100 yards away.



1

ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 PCI-E Adapter (PCE-AC68)


The best wireless adapter for gaming and one of the best dual band wireless adapters on the list is the ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 PCI-E Adapter. The AC1900 is one of the most popular dual band wireless adapters. There are many things about this wireless adapter for gaming that attracts buyers. From fast speed and the PCI-Express interface to a relatively affordable price tag. The device features stylish and robust build quality and has a total of 3 antennas which will make sure you get the best out of it.


This wireless adapter comes with amazing build quality. The PCI-E device itself is shiny red, and in addition to that, it’s pretty easy to install with almost no need for additional cables. The antennas can either be attached directly to the wireless card or can be installed on a small dock with the provided extension cable, whichever you prefer. Competitive pricing makes it one of the best options in the marketplace. Despite the extension cables not being very long, you will be more than satisfied with the performance as well as everything else that goes into this amazing wireless adapter.

2

TP-Link AC1300 Archer T6E


The best wireless adapter for gaming that is the TP-Link AC1300 Archer T6E is similar to the T9E (mentioned below) just not as fast. The AC1300 Archer T6E is a good option for those looking for something reliable but less expensive. This wireless PCI Express adapter would suit a gamer whose internet isn’t lightning fast and wants a mid-range wireless adapter. When considering performance, the AC1300 Archer T6E is an excellent choice as long as your internet speed is not faster than anything the device can handle. The good news is that the performance is as good as it gets, and everything works as it should. Installation remains a breeze, and consistency in latency or speed is not an issue. The device also ensures that there is no data loss, guaranteeing a lag-free gaming experience that makes it the best wireless adapter.


The TP-Link AC1300 Archer T6E is built on the same great foundations as the T9E. While some may raise concerns about TP-Link basically watering down their old products, as long as you update the drivers through the device manager, you'll actually see a jump in download speed and a drop in ping and that makes it the best wireless adapter for gaming.

3

TP-Link AC1900 Wireless Dual Band PCI-Express Adapter Archer T9E


The AC1900 Wireless Dual Band PCI-Express Adapter Archer T9E is a much more capable version of the T6E and is perfect for anyone looking to upgrade their T6E, it is also one of the best dual band wireless adapters. TP-Link makes the best wireless adapters for gaming around although they can be a bit pricey. This wireless adapter is fairly well priced, and thanks to the dual-band standard, users can take full advantage of swapping channels to get optimum performance. It comes with the PCI-E interface, and while it is not as stylish as some of the other adapters, the black body helps it blend in with most of your PC’s components.


This model offers excellent performance and the benefits of 3 external antennas ensure that there are no drops or inconsistencies in speed. As far as gaming is concerned, users can rest assured they’ll get the speed they need. The gaming performance on this device is amazing. The ping stays consistent and stable with no issues whatsoever, that makes it one of the best wireless adapters for gaming.


Overall the T9E is a great choice if you are looking for an adapter that is reasonably priced whilst offering the performance required to enhance your gaming experience.

4

Trendnet TEW-809UB with Beamforming Technology


The Trendnet TEW-809UB USB wireless adapter looks like a giant four-legged robot spider, which is the exact opposite of a modern-day Nano adapter. But don’t be deceived by its odd-looking design as the device is just as capable when it comes to some serious in-house gaming data transfers, that makes it the best wireless adapter for gaming and one of the best USB Wi-Fi adapters.


The selling point of this adapter turns out to be the four positionable antennas which are all backed by strong signal strength of 5dBi beamforming technology. Due to its robust build, the TEW-809UB is very competitive router in terms of signal strength. As the device does not support MU-MIMO (Multiple users, multiple inputs, multiple output) formats, moving the adapter outside your router’s signal range will result in signal quality loss. When it comes to performance the device is capable of reaching speeds up to 569 Mbps in the 5GHz bandwidth and can secure a good throughput of 178 Mbps in the 2.4GHz band, that makes it the best wireless adapter.


The Trendnet TEW-809UB is probably best for PC gamers home setup as it is a little bulky for mobile use. If you are looking to connect this to a laptop or if you need to move around a lot, then the Trendnet TEW-809UB might not be the absolute best for you, but it still is one of the best wireless adapter for gaming.

5

Asus AC1900 USB-AC68 With Lightning Fast Speed


The Asus AC1900 AC68 is one of the best wireless adapter rigs around. for gaming as well as the most compatible for Windows users.


The Asus AC1900 AC68 looks similar to a flash drive but incorporates some amazing features. It has been designed with gamers in mind keeping in mind who are not comfortable with a PCI-express solution. The design of this wireless adapter for gaming is quite modern and features dual antennas that are foldable, making setting it up a breeze. It comes packed with a docking station that can be used to plug it in wherever you want without any space constraints.


Regarding performance, the device delivers the goods although it can lag on the 2.4 GHz bandwidth. With 5GHz, the device can fetch a rather impressive 600 Mbps. It connects through a USB 3.0 port which boosts the speed, allowing users lag-free gaming time.


The Asus AC1900 AC68 is a great option for users looking for an external wireless adapter for gaming that offers both speed and durability. Overall the device is a great option if you don’t mind the occasional lag on the 2.4GHz bandwidth, making it the best wireless adapter for gaming.

6

Alfa Long-Range Dual-Band AC1200 Wireless


The Alfa Long-Range Dual-Band AC1200 Wireless is a plug and play USB wireless adapter for gaming, and one of the best wireless adapters for gaming on the market. Many of you might have second thoughts about purchasing this as the company doesn’t sound very trendy. But the facts are they happen to be one of the oldest companies in the business who have provided the public with some really amazing products over the years.


The Alfa AC1200 is a rather stylish looking USB with two long antennae. The USB can be attached to a supplied dock, or to the computer itself. The modern looking design is robust and well made, making it one of the best USB Wi-Fi adapters.


Performance wise the device excels, all the more amazing when you take into consideration the price. Gaming will be a breeze as it can handle whatever comes its way. Another bonus with the Alfa AC1200 is its simple installation procedure.


Overall this device is perfect if you are looking for the best wireless adapter for gaming that is not only inexpensive and portable but also offers up speeds way above its price point, making it one of the best wireless adapters for gaming.

7

D-Link Wireless Dual Band AC1200 DWA-182


D-Link Wireless Dual Band AC1200 DWA-182 is a USB wireless adapter for gaming that is relatively cheap to buy and offers some respectable performance stats when it comes to dual-band adapters. Compared to the other best adapters for gaming on this list, the design of the D-Link AC1200 DWA-182 is basic and looks like a branded black USB stick. The procedure for setting this adapter up is pretty straightforward. The performance delivers high availability, scalability, and for maximum flexibility next generation Wi-Fi AC Technology. Superior wireless performance means no inconsistencies or packet data loss. Included is a wireless manager utility application that provides extensive information about the connection and while it’s not necessarily for everyone, it’s still a nice feature to have, making it one of the best USB Wi-Fi adapters.


One drawback is that if you don’t have a D-Link router, you won’t be connecting to anything, not to mention the fact that it’s a bit on the expensive side. However, if you have an existing D-Link router at home this device rates high in terms of performance and reliability, making it the best wireless adapter for gaming.

8

Asus (USB-AC56) Dual-band Wireless-AC1300


Asus USB-AC56 is a dual-band USB wireless adapter for gaming that is designed for both desktop and laptop use. This good looking single antenna wireless adapter uses the AC1300 standard. The diamond patterns on the device gives it a really nice look and feel, combined with premium Asus build quality makes for an engaging piece of kit.


Similar to other Asus adapters, it comes with a dock if you want to avoid using the antenna. The stylish adapter is made with high-quality components providing a faster, reliable connectivity experience through the USB 3.0 interface. Overall, the Asus USB-AC56 performs like a champ and provides the best possible performance in this price point. Asus USB-AC56 is a great option if you are looking for a powerful well-built USB adapter, making it the best wireless adapter for gaming.

9

Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 WUSB6300


The Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 has been on the market for some time now so has seen a drop in price, making it a good option for a USB Dual band adapter and one of the best wireless adapters for gaming. 


If you're looking to get best-in-class Wi-Fi performance through a USB 3 o port, whether on a desktop computer, a laptop or even a tablet that runs Windows this could be a good option. Keep in mind it is not a micro USB adapter but that is a sacrifice you have to make in order to get some best-in-class performance that performs way above the price point, making it the best wireless adapter for gaming.


The AC1200 will easily surpass your expectations and is more than enough to enhance your online gaming experience. Users have mentioned that they haven’t faced any issues whatsoever, and the installation of the device is as easy as it gets.


Overall, the Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 WUSB6300 is a good option if plan on doing any streaming or data intensive work on a device that doesn't have WiFi.

10

TP-Link Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter (TL-WDN4800)


The last device in this list is a PCI wireless adapter from TP-link which is cheaper than most other devices in its class. TP-Link is a company that has some of the best wireless routers, modems, and adapters around. So quality design and functionality is guaranteed.


As mentioned above, the TP-Link Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter (TL-WDN4800) uses a PCI-E interface. The device features three adjustable rear antennas that protrude from the back of your case. The performance of the device is excellent, and when put to the test, the stats were impressive. Installation of the device is quite standard. It comes with the driver although if you happen to be using Windows 8 or later then there is no need for installation as the TL-WDN4800 will set itself up.


Overall the TP-link TL-WDN4800 is worth considering as it is relatively cheaper than other PCI express adapters. It best suits gamers on a budget who are looking for a powerful solution to uninterrupted online gaming, making it one of the best wireless adapters for gaming.

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Conclusion

Our recommended list has been selected for the peripherals ability to deliver the best lag-free online gaming experience any adapter could bring. With the majority of today’s competitive games happening online, owning one of the best wireless adapters for gaming will surely be an added enhancement to your rig. Wireless adapters can not only boost your gaming experience but can also offer better internet browsing and faster streaming abilities. All the best wireless adapters for gaming mentioned above were the best in their class at the time of writing. There are always pros and cons to consider and performance can vary based on a user’s computer or laptop. Our final recommendation is if you're looking for a wireless adapter for gaming then the PCI express cards provide the best performance for the price you pay.



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