Best Internal Wifi Adapter – Throughput testing was done using NetPerf software. A desktop with a Gigabit Ethernet port is used to send the data via a wired connection to the router. Three test runs were done on each wireless adapter at each of the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies, at three distances: close, far, and fringe, with the highest throughput of each parameter reported.
The router used is the ASUS RT-AX88U, our top gaming router. The throughput is tested at a “close” 8ft (2.4m) distance with a direct line of sight, and also at a “far” 30ft (9.1m) distance with an obstructing floor and wall in the way, as well as some metal ductwork intervening.
1.TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000
The second TP-Link WiFi card we’ve selected is the AX3000. This WiFi card has some really great performance considering the price and with some additional design choices TP-Link has made, it’s built to last.
Firstly looking at the speeds, we can see that it utilizes 802.11ac wireless standard architecture which is the latest tech, ensuring gigabit broadband speeds can be fully utilized. Moreover, with its dual-band nature, you will be able to connect to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, reaching speeds of up to 867Mbps for the latter. To guarantee you’re receiving these speeds, there are two external antennae at your disposal, increasing overall wireless range and keeping it stable, perfect for those who are using a PC that is multiple rooms away from their router.
There are nano adapters at the tiny end of the scale, and at the opposite end is the Trendnet TEW-809UB. This networking adapter tosses portability out the window, for faster AC1900 (N600, AC1300) speeds and serious antennas—four, to be exact, all positionable with a strength of 5 dBi each. There is only a driver provided, but no software. Instead, Windows is in control of the networking duties. The adapter does not support MU-MIMO but does support Beamforming.
In use, the Trendnet TEW-809UB is stable and fast. It puts its antennas to good use, beating every other adapter tested on our wireless fringe location testing—on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. This is a great solution if you’re using Wi-Fi in a challenging situation with a weak signal.
When it comes to the best gaming routers, there are few names as ubiquitous as the Netgear Nighthawk. Netgear has been producing excellent gaming routers for some time, and the Nighthawk AC1900 brings that same performance to a portable USB adapter.
This won’t necessarily get you a blazing fast connection in your local coffee shop, but at home, you can use the included magnetic desktop cradle to ensure your rig is getting the best possible connection from your router a couple of rooms away.
4.ASUS USB-AC68 AC1900
The Asus USB-AC68 adapter features a novel folding design that incorporates dual deployable antennas. It supports USB 3.0, as well as the AC1900 standard, Asus AiRadar Beamforming, and MU-MIMO via a 3×4 antenna design.
The results are a bit of a mixed bag as this Asus adapter lags in the 2.4 GHz tests at a distance. While the 5 GHz tests are much more reliable, it still wasn’t the fastest at either the close or far distance tested.
5.Edimax EW-7833UAC AC1750
The Edimax EW-7833UAC is the update to our previous budget adapter pick, the EW-7822UAC. While many mainstream adapters suffice with AC1200 specs, this one takes it a notch up with AC1750 speeds (N450, AC1300). Installation was straightforward, with Windows 10 managing the settings. While it is similar in size to other mainstream adapters, it cleverly features a small deployable piece that contains three antennas to increase range and throughput, along with support for both MU-MIMO and Beamforming technology.
The EW-7833UAC smoked the competition, with class-leading throughput on four of the six tests, which included both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. We came away particularly impressed on the close 5 GHz test of 298.9 Mbps, much faster than some other respectable adapters could muster.
The Linksys WUSB6300 gets termed “micro” by the Linksys folks. To be fair, it is quite small. It offers AC1200 speeds, which translates to about 860Mbps via 5 GHz, and 300Mbps on 2.4 GHz. Even with the tiny size, it supports the latest technology for wireless adapters, including MU-MIMO and Beamforming.
The WUSB6300 balances its small size against decent range and throughput. While the spec does limit the 2.4 GHz scores, the speeds on 5 GHz, even on the more extended distance tests, bring home the win for throughput on three of the six criteria for this increasingly competitive category of the adapter.
7.Ubit WiFi 6E
Ubit probably isn’t the first name you think of when considering Wi-Fi adapter cards. However, here we are recommending one in our best PCIe Wi-FI guide.
This Wi-Fi card not only offers good speeds and strong signal strength but also the reliability that comes with buying Ubit products. It also comes equipped with a simple antenna system, alongside strong BlueTooth connectivity too.
Best Internal Wifi Adapter – The best USB Wi-Fi adapter is about security. The security of knowing you have a networking backup should the worst happen and your gaming PC’s ethernet port or built-in Wi-Fi connection catastrophically falls over. So much of our life is spent online that when it’s suddenly absent it can feel like a limb’s missing, so it’s worth having a backup internet pipe available should the worst happen.
Obviously, in an ideal world, a wired connection will provide better stability and throughput—especially in combination with the best gaming router—but having cables strewn across the floor isn’t always an option. So, we’ve brought together a list of our favorite USB Wi-Fi adapters, to help you decide which one best suits your situation.