You’re playing Call of Duty, and there’s one opponent left. Eager to claim victory, you leap from your tower and rush the enemy base. Your eyes gleam with steely determination as your opponent whips around to face you. You both take aim and fire a shot at exactly the same time. Then… boom! Your shot hits first, thanks to the low ping provided by your dedicated PCIe WiFi card (and your mad skills, of course).

The best WiFi card can make or break your gaming experience. This is especially true today, when the most popular titles rely on a lightning-fast and reliable connection to the game’s servers. Fortunately, the latest WiFi 6 (and slightly older 802.11ac) PCIe network cards are affordable and easy to install in any gaming rig. Combined with the right router, you’ll never have to worry about a poor connection again.

This article takes you through the 10 best WiFi cards on the market and offers a look at how to make the most of this crucial component. Let’s check ‘em out.

Zoom In: The 10 Best WiFi Cards of 2020

Starting with our top pick, let’s run through the most popular WiFi cards in 2020.

1. ASUS PCE-AC88

ASUS PCE-AC88

The best WiFi card overall

Manufacturer: ASUS | Generation: WiFi 5 | Standard: AC3100 | Max Speed: 2100 Mbps | Frequencies: 2.4 + 5 GHz | Antennas: 4 | OS Support: Windows 7+ | Price: 💰💰💰

You’ve spent a bunch of money getting your gaming rig ready for battle. But it doesn’t matter how powerful your PC is if your internet can’t keep up. Your machine needs that finishing touch – and the ASUS PCE-AC88 is the creme de la creme.

This PCIe card is jam-packed with top-tier tech for unmatched speed and reliability. It boasts 4 antennas that simultaneously transmit and receive dual 2.4 & 5 GHz frequencies, providing speeds up to 2100 Mbps (5G) or 1,000 Mbps (2.4G).

But that’s not all. Remove the antennas and attach them to the magnetic hub (included), and you can position them anywhere inside or outside your PC case for maximum signal quality. As for reliability? The card’s custom-designed heatsink ensures cool & uninterrupted performance, even in the most arduous circumstances. 

Naturally, this all comes at a cost. The ASUS PCE-AC88 isn’t the cheapest WiFi card on our list, but it’s well worth it for hardcore gamers. You won’t find a better option, period.

  • USERS LIKE
  • 4 antennas w/ optional hub
  • Blazing-fast download & upload speeds
  • Easy setup & driver installation (CD or online)
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Poor local speeds
  • Antenna hub has a short wire
  • Large design doesn’t fit all PCs

2. TP-Link Archer T6E

TP-Link Archer T6E

The best WiFi card for PC (XP+)

Manufacturer: TP-Link | Generation: WiFi 5 | Standard: AC1300 | Max Speed: 867 Mbps | Frequencies: 2.4 + 5 GHz | Antennas: 2 | OS Support: Windows XP+ | Price: 💰💰

If you’re looking for the best WiFi card at an affordable price, the TP-Link Archer T6E is your best bet.

This model features exceptional components designed to deliver maximum range and overall performance. You get dual-band speeds that are 3x faster than the previous ‘N’ generation. You also get 2 omnidirectional antennas complete with the latest MIMO wireless technology. And in terms of performance, the Archer T6E boasts a unique heatsink that distributes heat away from core circuitry and out of the PC case. The result is better, faster, and more reliable coverage over a longer lifespan.

Though the Archer T6E hits the price target, this WiFi card is showing its age. It was released roughly 5 years ago, and its AC1300 speeds can’t match some of the higher-end models on our list. But it’s the #1 best-selling WiFi card for a reason, and we highly recommend it to budget-conscious gamers.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Reliable connection
  • Small profile w/ great speed
  • 24/7 technical support w/ purchase
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Works best 1-2 walls away
  • Speed drops over long distances
  • Frustrating setup w/ driver support issues

3. TP-Link Archer TX3000E

TP-Link Archer TX3000E

The best WiFi 6 card for gaming

Manufacturer: TP-Link | Generation: WiFi 6 | Standard: AX3000 | Max Speed: 2,400 Mbps | Frequencies: 2.4 + 5 GHz | Antennas: 2 | OS Support: Windows 10 & Linux | Price: 💰💰

Wait a minute. Didn’t we just see a WiFi card from TP-Link?

Very observant, young grasshopper. But the TP-Link Archer TX3000E is unlike anything you’ve seen before.

The Archer TX boasts WiFi 6 certification, meaning it uses the latest standard based on IEEE 802.11ax. In other words, you gain access to speeds up to 2.4 Gbps on the 5G frequency, as well as greater network stability overall. Awesome, right?

Moreover, this particular model boasts dual multi-directional and high-performance antennas for even greater range and reliability, as well as OFDMA for low latency while gaming. And that’s on top of Bluetooth 5.0, which offers an additional way to connect!

This model is bulkier than comparable cards, as the technology is still emerging. But for those willing to jump on the bandwagon early, the Archer hits the mark. 

  • USERS LIKE
  • Lightning-quick speeds
  • WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
  • OFDMA and MU-MIMO reduce latency
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Bulky
  • Still new to the market
  • Not compatible w/ older versions of Windows

4. Cudy WE1200

Cudy WE1200

The best cheap WiFi card

Manufacturer: Cudy | Generation: WiFi 5 | Standard: AC1200| Max Speed: 867 Mbps | Frequencies: 2.4 + 5 GHz | Antennas: 2 | OS Support: Windows 8+ | Price: 💰

Next, we present you with the Cudy WE1200, an ultra-affordable dual-band wireless card that has everything you need for top-tier gaming.

This unit includes 2 high gain antennas that pick up the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies and deliver speeds up to 867 Mbps. It also boasts built-in WPA/WPA2 encryption, providing peace of mind and additional home security – particularly important for those using smart home devices. As for the setup process? Accessing the drivers couldn’t be easier. Find them on the installation disc (included with purchase) or at Cudy’s website. Just be sure to grab the correct drivers, or you may encounter some issues.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Extremely affordable
  • Adequate speed for most users
  • Reliable (and secure) connection
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Lower max speed
  • Lesser-known brand
  • Requires Cudy drivers to function properly

5. Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE

Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE

The best PCIe WiFi card for PC

Manufacturer: Rosewill | Generation: WiFi 5 | Standard:  AC1900 | Max Speed: 1,300 Mbps | Frequencies: 2.4 + 5 GHz | Antennas: 3 | OS Support: Windows XP+ | Price: 💰💰💰

Whether you’re sweeping the competition in Rocket League, or working productively from home, the Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE WiFi card has you covered.

Why’s that? It’s incredibly versatile, designed using the IEEE 802.11ac standard, which not only supports modern-day PCs on the 5 GHz frequency but older models still on the 2.4 GHz line. It’s also got 3 antennas for greater range and boasts speeds up to 1,300 Mbps – respectable for a model at this price point. Throw in the aluminum heatsink and beamforming tech, and you’ve found a top-of-the-line pick for your gaming rig.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of user reviews outlining the RNX’s subpar drivers (you may want to use TP-Link’s Archer T9E drivers instead). But get past the frustrating setup, and you’ve found a stellar WiFi card with speeds to match.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Fantastic speeds
  • Versatile connectivity
  • Sleek aluminum heatsink
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Awful drivers
  • Range is so-so
  • Roughly $60 price point

6. ASUS PCE-AC55BT

ASUS PCE-AC55BT

The best network card for reliability

Manufacturer: ASUS | Generation: WiFi 5 | Standard: AC1200 |Max Speed: 867 Mbps | Frequencies: 2.4 + 5 GHz | Antennas: 2 | OS Support: Windows 7+ | Price: 💰

ASUS is back with the PCE-AC55BT Wireless Card. What’s special about this model? Aside from its bargain-basement price, it’s one of the best-rated options on the market!

It boasts everything you need for reliable connectivity, including a convenient PCIe form factor that’s small enough to fit easily into any open slot. It also comes with a magnetic antenna stand for flexible positioning, and all the necessary wiring and hardware. The setup is dead simple, and the card delivers low-latency gaming with all the performance you’ve come to expect from ASUS products.

Our main concern? With max speeds of 867Mbps, it can’t compete with more expensive options.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Reliable connection
  • Small, adaptable form factor
  • Convenient magnetic antenna stand
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Limited speeds
  • Awful instructions
  • Bluetooth functionality requires a USB header

7. Fenvi AX200NGW

fenvi AX200NGW

The best WiFi card for desktop security

Manufacturer: fenvi | Generation: WiFi 6 | Standard: AX3000 | Max Speed: 2,400 Mbps | Frequencies: 2.4 + 5 GHz | Antennas: 2 | OS Support: Windows 10 | Price: 💰💰

Gear up for next-level gaming with the Fenvi AX200NGW Wireless Card. Fenvi may be a little-known company, but this baby packs quite the punch, offering speeds up to 2,400 Mbps atop the latest 802.11ax standard.

As for reliability? The Fenvi is an impenetrable force field thanks to WPA3, the latest in network security. Combined with OFDMA packet delivery, your data will transmit smoother than ever. Want proof? Snag the AX200NGW today and watch your latency drop to levels you never thought possible. A fantastic option at an even better price.

  • USERS LIKE
  • WPA3 security & peace of mind
  • Low latency w/ fast WiFi 6 speeds
  • Backward compatible with older Intel chips
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Smaller brand
  • Requires USB port
  • Fragile parts w/ subpar craftsmanship

8. Ubit AX200

Ubit AX200

The best PCIe wireless card for WiFi 6

Manufacturer: Ubit | Generation: WiFi 6 | Standard: AX3000 | Max Speed: 2,400 Mbps | Frequencies: 2.4 + 5 GHz | Antennas: 2 | OS Support: Windows 10, Linux, ChromeOS | Price: 💰💰

WiFi 6? Check. Bluetooth 5.0? Check. Superb reliability and speeds up to 2,400 Mbps? Ubit your ass, there is!

This cutting-edge PCIe WiFi card boasts everything you need for a speedy, stable connection. The Ubit AX200’s beamforming technology combines with OFDMA for increased efficiency, support for more devices, and nearly zero packet loss (crucial for low ping).

Never worry about connection drops or frustrating latency issues again. Online games will run smooth as butter, as you stay one tick ahead of the competition. 

  • USERS LIKE
  • Lightweight CPU usage
  • WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
  • Low latency while gaming w/ beamforming & OFDMA
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Requires USB for Bluetooth
  • Poor (sometimes nonexistent) instructions
  • Bluetooth and WiFi don’t work at the same time

9. Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I

The best wireless card for gaming on WiFi 5

Manufacturer: Gigabyte | Generation: WiFi 5 | Standard: AC1200 | Max Speed: 867 Mbps | Frequencies: 2.4 + 5 GHz | Antennas: 1 | OS Support: Windows 7+ | Price: 💰💰

Looking for a WiFi card with some real byte? Look no further than the GC-WB867D-I from one of the top manufacturers in the business.

The Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I features excellent specs, including Bluetooth 4.2, 802.11ac certification, and data transmission rates up to 867 Mbps. Though it’s a slightly older model (released in the mid-2010s), it remains one of the best-selling and reliable WiFi cards on the market. Plus, its antenna is compact and easy to configure in precisely the right location. This WiFi card is the perfect companion for gamers seeking consistent performance.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Reliable Bluetooth support
  • Consistent performance & coverage
  • Adaptable antenna w/ magnetic mount
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Driver setup is a chore
  • Lower maximum speed
  • Bluetooth takes up a USB port

10. MSI AX905C

MSI AX905C

The best WiFi card for gaming on a small network

Manufacturer: MSI | Generation: WiFi 6 | Standard: AX3000 | Max Speed: 2,400 Mbps | Frequencies: 2.4 + 5 GHz | Antennas: 1 | OS Support: Windows 10, Linux, ChromeOS | Price: 💰💰

Game on your terms with the AX905C WiFi Card. Developed by MSI, one of the leading networking brands in the world, this component boasts the latest 802.11ax standard for next-level gaming performance.

It offers max speeds up to 2,400 Mbps (5 GHz) and connects easily to your motherboard via a simple PCIe slot and USB 2.0 header. Like other WiFi 6 cards, it also features out-of-the-box support for Windows 10, Linux, and ChromeOS, making it easy to use and highly adaptable.

The downside? Though the MSI AX905C includes a convenient external antenna, there’s only one. This may affect maximum range, so we recommend this unit more for smaller homes and apartments. The upside? Its speed and overall performance will blow you away.

  • USERS LIKE
  • Plug-and-play setup
  • Blazing-fast max speeds
  • Near-universal OS support
  • USERS DISLIKE
  • Shorter antenna cable
  • Bluetooth connectivity issues
  • Single antenna w/ lower range

Zoom Out: WiFi Cards Comparison Table

Below, you’ll find a comparison of our top 10 best WiFi card picks above. The cards are sorted by price ascending.

ImageProductStandardThe BestPrice
1. Cudy WE1200AC1200Cheap WiFi card💰
2. ASUS PCE-AC55BTAC1200Network card for reliability💰
3. TP-Link Archer T6EAC1300WiFi card for PC (XP+)💰💰
4. Gigabyte GC-WB867D-IAC1200Wireless card for gaming on WiFi 5💰💰
5. fenvi AX200NGWAX3000WiFi card for desktop security💰💰
6. Ubit AX200AX3000PCIe wireless card for WiFi 6💰💰
7. MSI AX905CAX3000WiFi card for gaming on a small network💰💰
8. TP-Link Archer TX3000EAX3000WiFi 6 card for gaming💰💰
9. Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCEAC1900PCIe WiFi card for PC💰💰💰
10. ASUS PCE-AC88AC3100WiFi card overall💰💰💰

Buyer’s Guide: WiFi Cards

Need some help choosing the best model? Let’s take a look at the 3 primary considerations when picking a dedicated PCIe WiFi card.

Wireless Card

1. Generation

WiFi 6 is here at last! And with it comes a whole new set of PCIe WiFi cards that run on the 802.11ax standard. These network cards are faster, more reliable, and more secure than the previous generations. The best part? WiFi 6 is backward compatible! That said, the technology is extremely new, and there are inevitable kinks to work out.

If you’re seeking something tried and tested, WiFi 5 or the 802.11ac standard is the way to go. These have been on the market for many years, and there are some exceptional models on our list with rave reviews from users. Unless you game on Fiber, you’re unlikely to notice a significant difference between the generations.

2. Speed

The WiFi cards on our list run on multiple frequencies: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The 2.4 GHz frequency is older and slower, but it’s very effective at traveling distance. The 5 GHz frequency is much faster, but its range is meager.

Most WiFi cards advertise speed in the form of 0000AC or 0000AX, where the zeros represent the combined max speed of both frequencies. In reality, the max speed a user is likely to get outside of a controlled environment is much lower. Still, maximum speed is a good (not great) indicator of overall performance and quality.

3. Price

The cards on our list range in price from $20 to $100. Usually, the more you spend, the better quality component you’ll get. However, since WiFi 6 is just beginning to roll out, you can pick up these new cards at a comparable price to older cards – and possibly receive a significant boost in performance without paying extra.

WiFi 6

If you shop from our list, a budget of $50 will snag you a quality WiFi card that’ll last years to come.

Our Process

For this guide on WiFi cards, our writers spent 4 hours researching over 40 of the most popular PCIe options from brands big and small. After comparing this data, we then read over 150 user reviews (both positive and negative) and narrowed our list down to the top 10 WiFi cards on the market. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

We hope you’ve found the perfect model for your setup. Happy Gaming!

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