What is the best wifi card? There are so many options to choose from, you can lose your mind sorting them out.
Connecting to a hardwired ethernet connection when able is always the recommended option.
Sometimes though, the extra cords can get in the way, and become a real hassle when making room available for your custom computer.
With the right adapter, you can reach network speeds that rivals even the best wired connections.
That is where our list comes in today, as we’ll be taking a look at some of the best PCI Wireless Adapters that are available for purchase.
Also, if you’re on a laptop or looking for very portable wifi options, we have a post looking at the best USB WiFi adapters for gaming. We break down the different options for you in an easy to read method
These wireless adapters connect to any PCI port within your custom build, and allows you to connect to wireless networks with ease. With that in mind, let’s take a look at top ten PCI adapters!
So What Is The Best PCIe WiFi Card?
- ASUS 4×4 802.11AC Wireless AC3100 PCIe Adapter
- ASUS WiFi PCI Express Adapter (PCE-AC56)
- TP-Link AC1300 Wireless Dual Band PCI-Express Adapter (Archer T6E)
- TP-Link AC1900 Archer T9E PCI Express Adapter
- Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Rev PCI Express Adapter
- TP-Link Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter
- Rosewill 802.11N, N900 PCI Express Wireless Adapter
- ASUS (PCE-N15) PCI Express Wireless Adapter Card
- Fenvi Desktop PC Dual Band WiFi PCI-E Adapter Card
- TP-Link N150 Wireless PCI Adapter
10. TP-Link N150 Wireless PCI Adapter
To top off our best PCI wireless network adapters list today, we are showcasing an adapter that is not only a great fit in any custom build, but affordable as well. This adapter is the TP-Link N150 Wireless PCI Adapter.
|Compatible with the most wireless connections|
|One Press Setup (QSS)|
|Can Cause interference with other WiFi devices|
|Overheats after long use|
9. Fenvi Desktop PC Dual Band WiFi PCI-E Adapter Card
Something that anybody wants out of their internet is more speed, and that is something that users will get with our next product, the Fenvi Desktop adapter.
|Dual-Band support for faster wireless internet|
|All OS support|
|Speeds can dip during downloads|
8. ASUS (PCE-N15) PCI Express Wireless Adapter Card
Our next adapter comes from the computer wizards at ASUS with their PCE-N15 wireless internet adapter. Much like any product you may come across from ASUS, this adapter is one that is sure to please many people.
|Up to 300Mbps speeds|
|Microsoft & Linux support|
|Can act as a virtual access point|
|Weak wireless range|
7. Rosewill 802.11N, N900 PCI Express Wireless Adapter
Rosewill may not have the name recognition as some others on our list, such as ASUS or TP-Link, but don’t let that fool you. The Rosewill N900 adapter is an adapter that can top even the best of adapters.
|Dual Band connectivity|
|Great long range connection|
|Advanced security support|
|Takes some tweaking to get working properly|
Our first entry, the TP-Link N150, while a great choice for those on a budget, was rather limited in features. That changes with our next TP-Link offering – the N900 – with their Dual Band PCI Express adapter.
|Up to 450 Mbps Speed|
|3 Antennas for good connections|
|Limited OS support|
We now come to the bottom half of our list today, and with it comes more powerful wireless adapters. Such is the case with our next product, the Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I Rev.
|Speeds up to 800Mbps|
|Strong antenna (even as a single antenna)|
|Uses a USB port as well|
The Gigabyte is capable of reaching speeds of up to 800Mbps, which allows for nearly seamless wireless internet (depending on your ISP). This means that you will be able to effortlessly game or watch videos, among other activities, with little to no lag from your network.
When you are downloading something online, the Gigabyte’s Bluetooth capabilities allows for a greater flow of data through your network. Keeping all that speed maintained is the powerful external antenna on the Gigabyte, which will help to prevent your connection from dipping and keeping it strong.
The only real drawback of the Gigabyte comes from the fact that to connect the adapter to your computer, you need the use of an extra USB port. While not a big issue, this can cause some problems to those building a custom computer with only a few USB ports to spare.
The Gigabyte, outside this one issue, is a nearly flawless adapter in every other regard. This makes the adapter a great choice for any computer user trying to get the most from their internet.
For the fourth spot, on our list of PCI Adapters today, we see TP-Link. This time, they attempt to blow the competition out of the water with another of their Archer models, the T9E.
|Dual Band (5Ghz at 1300Mbps) (2.4Ghz at 600Mbps)|
|High bandwidth data transfer|
|Backwards compatible wifi|
|Compatibility with Windows 10|
To start, this adapter is capable of lightning fast speeds. Capable of internet speeds of up to 1300Mbps across 5 Ghz band and 1300Mbps on the more signal friendly 2.4Ghz band.
With the adapter’s dual bands, the T9E is able to give users fast, uninterrupted internet while gaming online or during other activities.
If you happen to download a lot of stuff online, then you will like that the T9E offers higher bandwidth options, that reduces download times like never before. Even if you happen to be using an older wireless internet connection, you will still get the same great speeds out of the T9E, as the device is fully backwards compatible.
One major drawback that does come out of the T9E is for Windows 10 users which is why it drops to position 4 on ourlist.
There seems to be some compatibility issues with the device. While these issues can be fixed, the extra time and effort that goes into making the adapter work properly with Windows 10 can be more than some people wish to deal with.
I have found that while the driver hasn’t been updated since 2015, there is a recent video on TP Link’s website that describes how to get through some common troubleshooting issues.
Amazon users have shown some frustrations with connections with Win10, while others have had no problem.
Given the unreliability of them, they’re not worthy of the top 3 despite being one of the faster cards on our list.
All in all, TP-Link proves once again that they know how to make quality PCI network adapters. Dominating nearly half of todays list, if TP-Link is in the brand name, you know you will be buying a quality product. If you’re savvy computerwise, given the price and the speed that the T8E offers – I still think it’s worth it.
Once again on our list, we see the brand of TP-Link pop up, this time with their powerful Archer T6E model.
|Prioritize data transfer for devices (hello gaming)|
|Heatsink prevents overheating|
|Pretty good range|
|TurboQAM to help boost connection speeds|
|For the price, none to think of|
The speeds that the T6E are able to reach are the fastest on our list yet, with two bands capable of 867Mbps and 400Mbps respectively. This will allow for seamless upload and download speeds across your network, as well as latency free gaming and video streaming.
One unique thing about the T6E is that it is backwards compatible with some older wireless connections, including 802.11 a/b/g/n. Despite being backwards compatibility, the does not seem to be compatible with Linux operating systems, which seems like a slight oversight for an otherwise versatile adapter.
What is not an oversight is the wide wireless range of the T6E. Even if your computer happens to be on the other side of the house from your adapter, you can be certain that you will not lose connection thanks to the wireless network adapters large and strong signal range.
If you use a Linux OS, you’ll have to look elsewhere. For everyone else, however, the TP-Link Archer T6E is capable of giving your computer the strong wireless internet that you have been looking for.
We are now in the top three portion of our list, and while the prices may be higher with our next three adapters, we also get more features. Such is the case with this adapter, the ASUS PCE-AC56.
|Dual Band (5Ghz at 867Mbps) (2.4Ghz at 400Mbps)|
|Backwards compatible wifi connections|
|Impressive wireless range|
|No Linux support|
This ASUS adapter comes with a few unique features that we have not seen yet on this list, including being able to adjust your wireless signal to prioritize data transferring. This allows you to focus your connection on downloading and uploading, helping you to finish these task in no time.
Two other unique features of this adapter is the ability to prevent overheating, thanks to the adapter’s heatsink, and the design of the adapter itself, which helps to eliminate any wireless deadzones. If this wasn’t enough to sell you on this adapter, the fact that, thanks to ASUS’ Broadcom TurboQAM technology, you are able to boost internet speeds even further, likely will.
All this comes with the fact that there is little to no downsides to speak of about the ASUS PCE-AC56, making the product near flawless, and a great way to kick off our top three products today.
While our number one pick for today, the ASUS PCE-AC88, may be a little daunting price wise for some, every penny spent on this adapter is worth it. This wireless adapter is the crown jewel other wireless cards aspire for (you know if wifi cards had feelings…)
|Fastest Dual Band Speeds|
|External antenna maximizes connection|
|Compatible with aftermarket antennas|
|Heatsink to maintain strong connection|
|Longest range wifi adapger available.|
|ASUS drivers could cause issues|
As you can see above, this is quite expensive for a PCI adapter, so it’s natural to feel some apprehension when you look at the PCE-AC88.
If you decide to take the plunge and buy this adapter, you will be treated to speeds like never before, with 2100Mbps and 1100MBps available from the adapter’s dual bands. This, along with an external, multiple antenna base, give you more coverage and speed than most other adapters available.
Should something happen to the external antennas, or should you just wish to replace them, you will be happy to know that doing so is simple, as the PCE-AC88 is compatible with most aftermarket antennas. If you are worried that all the power of the PCE-AC88 could cause overheating, worry no more, as the adapter has a custom heatsink, that disperses heat and keeps the device nice and cool.
The Asus AC88 is the best long range wifi adapter in the game.
I’m not sure if the picture does it justice, but this card does something that nothing else on this list is able to do.
Move the position of the antennae.
The absolute best way to receive the fastest speed possible from your router is through a line of sight.
Have you ever seen in movies or someone in real life looking for the best coverage with their phone?
What do they do?
They either raise their phone up in the air or go to the highest point they can.
You can do the same with this router, the cable attached to the antennas is around 3 feet – enabling you to raise the receiving portion of your wifi signal.
Ideally, we could buy even longer cables, but regretfully, that isn’t an option.
Moving this away from likely the ground and up as high as possible makes the AC88 able to receive a signal the farthest than any other wifi adapter in this list.
While this ASUS model may be expensive for some people’s taste, the cost is more than worth it for the sheer amount of power that the PCE-AC88 puts right at your fingertips.
As a final note, if you do purchase this wireless card, make sure to just plug it in and let the computer fetch the appropriate drivers. There have been many complaints about installing the provided drivers or downloading the driver from the ASUS site. If this is true, first plug it in and if everything works as it should do as my Grandmother says “best leave well enough alone”.
That concludes our list for today. With ten options at your disposal, you should be able to find the perfect PCI adapter for your custom build. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time.
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