There’s no need to mention that gaming is something that is becoming more and more common as the time passes by. However, much like music or technology, gaming has seen a drastic evolution as well. The overall term “gaming” has changed into something so vast, and dynamic that it is now present in everyone’s life in one way or another.
While the story based games are still found and revered across the world, online multiplayer games are the ones that are taking a lead considering the competitive nature of them, as well as the fact that many of them like the ever so popular Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and the newly launched Overwatch have become an e-sports.
With that said, a common myth is that with faster internet connection, you get better latency/ping, and for those who are wondering what ping is, it’s the distance of the server hosting the game from your PC, and the higher the distance, the more latency issues you’ll face.
There are some certain steps you need to take in order to reduce the latency as much as possible, such as making sure that whatever machine you’re using for gaming is basically connected through an Ethernet cable.
However, in many cases, people normally prefer the wireless more, because it’s just less amount of clutter for them, and while wireless is always better, the most common issue it goes through is the latency being higher than what you normally face if you are using a wired connection, and that can create some issues.
In order to resolve that, most gamers spend money on wireless adapters that are built specifically for gaming. Now the market of these adapters starts from as low as $7, and goes way beyond hundreds, and that’s the reason people are often left confused if they should even consider a wireless adapter.
Today, we are going to take a look at some of the best wireless adapters that are available in the market, and while almost all of them can be used for your normal, daily tasks as well as some proper gaming without having spiking ping issues.
Before we begin, keep in mind that there are a total of 5 different standards, and in order to avoid any confusions, we are putting the wireless adapters in their respective standards. Also keep in mind that these wireless adapters come in 3 forms listed below.
- 2 (mostly on laptops)
In addition to that, you should also have some basic information about the wireless adapters, and why they aren’t really preferred in the gaming industry. The reason behind that is simple, most online games, competitive or otherwise, require a really, really stable connection, and in situations like this one, wireless connections can be a bit unstable, and cause some inconsistencies, as well as packet data losses.
That’s why a lot of people actually prefer having wired connections. However, we have made sure that all of the tested adapters are actually as good as they get, and have absolutely no inconsistencies or whatsoever, ultimately making your experience better.
So, without wasting anymore time, let’s take a look at some of the best wireless adapter for gaming the market has to offer.
Top 12 Best Wifi Adapters for gaming in 2018
For those who don’t know, AC1900 is dual band configuration, on this configuration, the 2.4 gigahertz band can provide you with a maximum speed of 600 Mbps, as for the 5.0 gigahertz band, it will provide you with a 1,300 Mbps, making it one of the most sought out configuration in the market, especially when the dual band is concerned.
With that said, we have a total of 4 wireless adapters fitting the AC1900 standard, and without further ado, let’s take a look on them.
1. ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 PCI-E Adapter (PCE-AC68)
The Best Wifi adapter for gaming
Asus has been providing us with some really, really fine products over the past couple of years. Their component division, as well as the peripheral division is one of the best we have seen, and even in networking, they have created some kick ass wireless routers.
Today, we are looking at their dual band PCI-E adapter that is relatively low priced, comes in a rather stylish looking build quality, and has a total of 3 antennas that will actually make sure that you get the best out of both worlds.
Now when it comes to Asus, despite our right to judge them harder than other companies, it’s pretty evident that the products that are being provided by Asus are a lot better than what other competition is providing.
This wireless adapter comes with a pretty amazing build quality, the PCI-E device itself is shiny red, something like G.Skill’s red, and in addition to that, you’d be glad to know that despite the PCI-E nature of this device, it’s pretty easy to install with almost no need of additional cables or whatsoever.
The antennas can either be attached directly to the wireless card, or can actually be installed on a small dock with the provided extension cable, whatever you prefer. Another good thing about this adapter is that the price is very, very competitive, making it one of the best options out in the market.
Last but not the least, another really amazing thing about this wireless adapter is the performance it offers, in all honesty, this is one of the fastest wireless adapters that you can buy, no doubts in that.
Overall, we are more than satisfied with the performance as well as everything else that goes into this amazing wireless adapter, however, one small thing that we would like to point out is that the extension cables are rather short.
2. TP-Link AC1900 Wireless Dual Band PCI-Express Adapter Archer T9E
There’s no denying that TP-Link is a brand that knows their stuff, especially when networking products are coming into the mix, today, we are going to take a look at the TP-Link Archer T9E, and as the name can tell, it’s from their Archer lineup, and they have already given us some of the best wireless routers from that series.
Now the wireless adapter is fairly priced, and thanks to the dual band standard, is made for people who prefer amazing performance on both bands. 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 components and go unnoticed.
However, a wireless adapter won’t be good if it provides good performance, and the good news is that the performance number on this particular adapter were really well, the 3 external antennas helped in making sure that there are no drops or inconsistencies in the speed. In case you are wondering how this one performs in gaming, the only thing we have to say is that it does really, really well.
The gaming performance on this puppy happens to be amazing, pings staying consistent, and very stable with absolutely no issues whatsoever.
There’s no proper way to judge the adapter mainly because it will perform differently on different internet connections, but the fact that it performed really, really well only goes to show just how good the performance remained. It’s clearly one of the best out in the market.
3. ASUS USB-AC68 Dual-Band AC1900
For those who don’t want the PCI-express solution, Asus has a bird like wireless adapter for you guys that plugs right into the USB port of your computer and in addition to that, it also comes with a really handy docking station that you can use to extend the connection, and put the device somewhere else.
Now the build quality is something that we really like about this adapter, it’s small, compact, and looks really stylish with red accents on the black construction. It is a clear reminiscent of Asus’ ROG lineup, and that is something we certainly appreciate. The 2 antennas fold in and out of the USB itself, and setting it up is a breeze.
Now when it comes to the performance, we had some reservations mainly because this isn’t a PCI-express interface we’re talking about, however, the good thing is that the USB 3.0 interface helps it maintain the overall stability, and that coupled with a good internet connection provide a lot of speed, and stability.
Plus, the adapter has a really small form factor, so even if you are someone who is concerned with having a small amount of desk space, you shouldn’t worry because the adapter is almost the length of a finger.
We really don’t have any problems with this adapter, and even though it is something coming from Asus, despite our prying eyes, we didn’t manage to find a single problem, regardless of our gaming sessions, or normal workflow with this adapter.
4. D-Link Systems AC1900 Ultra Wi-Fi USB 3.0 Adapter (DWA-192)
The last wireless adapter in the AC1900 section is the D-Link Systems AC1900 Ultra Wi-Fi USB 3.0 Adapter, and for those who are finding the name to be a mouthful, you can also look it up as the DWA-192. This somewhat odd looking wireless adapter surprised us with the performance.
While the model doesn’t say it’s made for gaming, our testing revealed that it’ll give you a performance as good as what is provided with the Ethernet connections, and that alone is some sort of testament, providing you the finest performance possible.
Now when we say that this looks odd, we say that because the wireless adapter is basically a perfectly round shaped adapter, something that we haven’t seen before. It’s basically a ball shaped adapter with a USB 3.0 port on the back that you use to connect it to the device you’re willing to use it with and that’s it.
The general setting up and installation is really, really easy, and once it’s done, you can go ahead and disable your built-in chip, and even if you don’t do that, it shouldn’t be an issue at all.
However, we have some small gripes with the adapter, but the good thing is that it has nothing to do with the speed or the overall performance; as compared to some of the other offerings in the market, this wireless adapter is quite heavy, and in addition to that, it’s also pretty expensive to begin with. Something that may raise some concerns among the conscious buyers.
A lot of people think that the AC1300 is a single band standard, however, it’s not true, as a matter of fact, AC1300 is a dual band standard that supports both 2.4 and 5.0 gigahertz frequencies, but at lower speeds, it provides 400 Mbps on the 2.4 band, and around 900 Mbps on the 5.0 gigahertz band.
Due to the standard being not as common, we didn’t manage to find a lot of options to fill in this list.
5. Asus (USB-AC56) Dual-band Wireless-AC1300
The first one is the Asus USB-AC56 wireless adapter that uses the AC1300 standard, and one thing’s for sure, despite being a USB adapter with one antenna, it is one of the best looking USB devices we have seen; the diamond patterns look really nice, and that combined with the premium Asus quality makes everything even better.
Just like the usual Asus adapters, this one also comes with a dock that you can use if you don’t wish to use the antenna, and it would work just fine. The adapter looks stylish, is made out with high quality components, and has a lot to offer. It’s moderately priced, and uses a USB 3.0 interface, providing a faster, more reliable connectivity experience.
The speed and the latency issues didn’t come anywhere near the overall usability, and gaming went as smooth as it possibly can. We didn’t see any packet losses, something that is very common with wireless adapters, and that is something that actually ruin your online gaming experience. Overall, the Asus USB-AC56 performed like a champ, and provided us with the best possible performance it could.
Considering how this is a competitively priced wireless adapter, we don’t really find a lot of issues, especially on the performance side of things, so we assure you that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this adapter.
6. TP-Link AC1300 Archer T6E
Anyone who’s used the T9E from TP-Link should be familiar of this one as well, now a lot of people raised some concerns over the price of the T9E, and while the T9E proved to be an amazing wireless adapter, the T6E is based on the same formula, however, doesn’t offer speeds that are as fast. Now, if you’re okay with it, start reading to see how this one is also a treat to buy.
When we say that the T6E is based on the same formula, we mean that the similarities are to an extent that both devices look identical, and this is not complaining considering how we praised the T9E for the stealthier approach.
As for the performance number, won’t notice it until you have an internet that is faster than what this device is capable of handling, and if you don’t, the good news is that the performance is as good as it gets, and everything works just fine. The installation remains a breeze, and there are no hiccups, or consistency issues in latency, or the speed.
A common issue with wireless adapters is the loss of packet data randomly, but bear in mind that you won’t be facing any similar issues at all.
Overall, the TP-Link AC1300 Archer T6E is built on the same great foundation as the elder brother, and while some may raise concerns about TP-Link basically watering down their old products, we have no issues because while that caters to people with faster internet, this keeps everything well balanced and in the line, and doesn’t really mess up anywhere at all.
AC1200 is another dual band standard that provides you the speeds somewhat similar to the AC1300, but the 2.4 gigahertz band is relatively slower here. For comparison’s sake, the AC1300 provides you with 400 Mbps of speed on the 2.4 gigahertz band, and around 900 on the 5 gigahertz band.
The AC1200 takes down a notch by providing 300 Mbps on the 2.4 gigahertz, and the an approximate of 900 Mbps on the 5 gigahertz band. That, perhaps, is the only difference.
7. D-Link Wireless Dual Band AC1200 DWA-182
We are now looking at D-Link’s DWA-182, a USB interfaced wireless adapter that is relatively cheap to buy, and offers some respected performance when it comes to having a dual band adapter. While there’s nothing striking about the plain black USB stick with some brandings on the top, it’s the performance that matters, right?
The overall procedure of setting this adapter up is pretty straightforward, and if you have the appropriate, and basic knowhow of computers, you won’t be having any issues. The performance side of things remained relatively solid with no inconsistencies or packet data losses, meaning that you are getting the best possible performance.
One really good thing by D-Link is the inclusion of a wireless manager utility application that provides a lot of information about the connection than it is available, and while it is not necessary for everyone, it’s still an important and a nice feature to have.
With all the good things aside, the sad thing is that this wireless adapter brings some bad news to us as well, the weird thing is that if you don’t have a D-Link router, this adapter won’t be connecting at all, and in addition to that, as compared to some of the competition, this one costs a bit too high, and that will obviously push the potential buyers away.
Overall, if you can overlook the compatibility issues, as well the issues with the price, you’ve got yourself a fairly decent wireless adapter.
8. Alfa Long-Range Dual-Band AC1200 Wireless
Not a lot of people have heard about the Alfa Network, but they happen to be one of the oldest companies in the business who have provided us with some really amazing products to boot. Today, we are looking at the simply named Alfa Long-Range Dual-Band AC1200 Wireless, and while it may seem that this no-named piece of wireless adapter doesn’t provide a lot, the good news is that it does.
For starters, you get a rather stylish looking USB with 2 long antennas, the USB itself can be attached to a suppled dock, but if you don’t want that, attaching it with the computer itself is as simple as it gets. We really like the design quality, however, it would be pretty hard to judge a wireless adapter though the design, so let’s get into the performance side of things.
We saw surprisingly amazing performance through this wireless adapter, and the reason we are saying that the performance was amazing is because it doesn’t cost a lot, and in addition to that, we were not really properly aware of the company itself. However, everything went as promised, and the gaming, as well as our normal workload was handled by this little thing like a champ.
Installation was a walk in the park, however, one thing that really, really surprised us was of course the price tag. It is one of the cheapest wireless adapters available in the market, and it is providing an amazing price to performance ratio, something that is bound to make things interesting.
9. Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 WUSB6300
As we are heading towards the end of the list, we are getting to see cheaper, and cheaper products in terms of price to performance ratio, needless to say, these products are catering to the users who want the best of the both worlds without really spending a lot.
Say hello to the Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 WUSB6300, a relatively inexpensive, and ordinary looking wireless adapter that performs way above the price point, and manages to remain as stable as possible. Obviously, you wouldn’t think Linksys is capable of delivering something so good, at such a low price point, but it has happened, and happened rather well.
We spent about a week testing this little puppy, seeing if it actually performs according to our expectations, and the good thing is that it did, and not just that, it did pass the tests really well. In order to test all the wireless adapters, we ran an hour long match in Battlefield 1 to make sure that the demand of a consistent connection is as important as it gets, and to our surprise, there was no disappointment at all.
The connection was consistent, there were no packet data losses, and latency issues was not present. The good thing is that the installation of this wireless adapter is as simple as it gets, and in most cases, a simple plugging in will have the device show up in Windows.
Overall, it’s really hard to judge the Linksys Dual-Band AC1200 WUSB6300 mainly because it provides you a lot without really taking a toll on the price or some other factors to begin with.
AC900 is another dual band standard that isn’t as common, but manages to exist anyway. This is perhaps the only standard where the speed on both bands is always equal regardless of the internet connection you are using. This standard provides an impressive 450 Mbps to both the 2.4 and the 5.0 gigahertz channel, keeping things nice and even.
10. TP-Link Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter (TL-WDN4800)
Considering how the AC900 standard isn’t as common, we only managed to find this little fella that impressed us enough to add it to our list. Say hello to the TP-Link Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter (TL-WDN4800). Now TP-Link is a company that needs no introduction, but if some slightly unaware people exist, then they should know that the company is responsible for bringing us some of the best wireless routers, modems, and adapters.
We’d only expect that the TP-Link Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter (TL-WDN4800) is no different; as the name suggests, it uses the PCI-E interface, something that is highly revered in our books, and far better than the USB interface. The device comes with 3 antennas that will be coming out from the back of your case.
A drive disc is provided but if you’re running Windows 8 or later, you won’t be needing any driver installation, something that is always preferred. As for the performance side of things, there’s good news, especially for gamers on budget. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t break your bank, and makes sure that you get the most amount of kills in any Counter Strike or Battlefield match, the TP-Link Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter (TL-WDN4800) is your pick.
Our testing showed absolutely no performance drops or whatsoever, the wireless adapter performed as it should, and several network tests showed absolutely no inconsistencies. Needless to say, we’re pretty pleased with what TP-Link is offering here, and considering the price you’re paying here, it’s actually, surprisingly well made.
While it is certainly the lowest standard we have here, this one also happens to be a dual band, however, with very limited speeds to offer. On the 2.4 gigahertz band, it’s offering 150 Mbps speed, however, on the 5.0 gigahertz band, it is offering a speed of 450 Mbps, however, bear in mind that for those looking to break speed barriers, this is certainly not the best pick.
11. TRENDnet Dual Band TEW-804UB
Kicking off the list, we have the TRENDnet Dual Band TEW-804UB, a smaller than thumb USB adapter that can easily hide in pretty much every nook and cranny of your place, so unless you’re thinking about removing it again and again, it’s not really a nice idea.
You get a simple, plastic body with not much to offer in terms of looks, but it’s the performance that matters, right? The performance side of things went surprisingly pretty well; in all honesty, we weren’t really expecting much from this wireless adapter, but the performance defied whatever expectations we have had because this wireless adapter performs as well as some of the other options available in the list.
We don’t really have any issues with this wireless adapter to begin with mainly because it barely costs anything, and still manages to give so much performance to begin with. This is something we love about the low-end products, they are so much better than what we have seen so far, making the TRENDnet Dual Band TEW-804UB one of the best options available in the market.
12. OURLINK 600Mbps AC600
The last product on our list is the OURLINK 600Mbps AC600, and perhaps the cheapest USB adapter that we are going to take a look at it. This particular USB adapter is the smallest we have seen, and all for good reasons, this is built for lightweight gaming, but still manages to work rather well. Without wasting anymore time, let’s take a look at some of the basic functionalities.
The wireless adapter is small, and manages to deliver a great amount of performances, however, bear in mind that this device is very, very small, and despite the size, it manages to perform really well.
The performance side of things was very, very surprisingly good with the adapter performing exceptionally well for the size, and having absolutely no droppings, and no packet data losses. In simpler words, for anyone looking for a smaller device, this one is rather perfect because it manages to make sure every single box is checked when it comes to delivering the greatest possible performance.
Our only complaint is that the signal strength is rather weak, and that’s understandable because the device is perhaps the smallest we have seen so far.
Well, that pretty much wraps it up for us. Needless to say, we are really, really impressed by almost all of the devices that we have had tested, but considering how it’s not really possible to pick multiple devices as our favourite, we had to stick to one device.
So, without wasting anymore time, let’s take a look at the editor’s choice; the winner is the ASUS Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 PCI-E Adapter (PCE-AC68). The wireless adapter is nearly perfect in every sense, and manages to outperform pretty much the entire list in a heartbeat.
The device is well built, looks great, has fast speeds, and offers a lot of good qualities that are normally missing from other wireless adapters.
Doing a roundup is something that is never easy, especially when you have to test hundreds of devices in order to find the one that performs the best one. The purpose of this list was to make sure that whatever devices we are testing are good enough to actually hold up against the constant demands and needs of the readers.
We took some steps in order to ease the confusion, and divided the products into their respective standards. Simply make sure that the wireless adapter you are looking for offers you enough performance, and if you have a super-fast internet connection, make sure to go for the AC1900 standard because it will be able to hold itself the best when it comes to handle really fast speeds. Other than that, choosing a wireless adapter isn’t really difficult if you have the proper information stored at one place.
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