Are you unable to get a wired connection to your PC or Console? Or do you simply want to avoid the clutter of wires? That’s where wireless gaming adapters come in handy.
Plus, with them you can be gaming from anywhere in the house but where how do you find one that matches your budget and configurations? Well, you’re already in the right place.
We tested 50 gaming adapters and picked out the 10 best wireless gaming adapters so you can enjoy hassle-free gaming all night long.
On the downsides, it’s one of the priciest models on the list. But a few extra bucks for a stylish looking, durable and high-speed adapter? Truthfully, I wouldn’t think twice.
#1: ASUS Dual-Band Wireless –AC3100 PCI-E Adapter
ASUS has been a leader when it comes to electronics. We know all about their excellent range of laptops and now comes this kick-ass of a wireless adapter that’s a must in any gamer’s ‘weaponry’.
When it comes to the internet, speed and stability are a priority and to deliver you just that, the adapter comes with 4 antennas and a powerful beam packing (now enjoy gaming without the trouble of lag and high pings).
Furthermore, ensuring you get a full connection even at the farthest corner of the house is the flexibility of the 4 antennas. The antennas are detachable and can be placed anywhere using a small magnetic dock and the cables provided.
Since it’s a dual-band adapter it can reach transfer speeds of a whopping speed of 2100 MBPS at 5 GHz Band. While at lower 2.5 GHz band, the speed is about 1000 MBPS (just what a gamer needs and wants to hear).
Also, unlike most PCI-E adapters, this one is easy to install (takes just minutes) and can be done with the given cables.
The Heatsink technology keeps the router cool and if you have a little technical knowledge, you’d know a cool router is crucial to both a stable and fast connection. Plus, you also get your money’s worth as the adapter will last you for years.
On the downsides, it’s one of the priciest models on the list. But a few extra bucks for a stylish looking, durable and high-speed adapter? Truthfully, I wouldn’t think twice!
#2: TP-Link Archer T9E AC1900 Wireless Adapter
TP-Link is a brand that’s synonymous with wireless routers and their Archer doesn’t fail to impress either. Here’s why we at Laptop Verge rate it so highly.
Providing you with a stable connection even at long range is the Beamforming Technology. This ensures the wireless signals are sent only in the direction of the adapter and not elsewhere.
Like our previous pick, this too features a Heatsink to keep the router cool by evenly distributing the heat. With this, your router isn’t just built to last but also to provide high and stable speeds even when used for long hours.
Going toe to toe with the ASUS router is the Archer again with 3 antennas that give you lightning fast speeds for uninterrupted gaming sessions any time of the day.
The Archer too is equally easy to install that means it won’t take you more than a few minutes to get it up and running. And in case you hit a snag or have a question, get in touch with their ever-helpful 24*7 customer team.
The antennas aren’t detachable like with the ASUS adapter so you won’t get the same coverage but the Beamforming does a great job anyways.
The Archer too comes under the premium tag but with the big bucks come big benefits as well.
#3 EDUP Wi-Fi USB Adapter
On a strict budget? Well, we’ve got you well covered. The EDUP USB Adapter maybe a budget pick but won’t let you down in regard to speed and connection stability. Here’s what we like about it.
From streaming full HD videos to pulling an all-nighter playing PUBG with your squad, the EDUP Adapter can handle it all with a speed of up to 600 MBPS at 5 GHz as it’s Dual band (a feature uncommon in cheaper adapters).
Plus, since it is a USB Adapter, all you need to do to get started is plug-in and play (no fancy installation, nothing).
But the stand out feature of the adapter is that it also allows you to create a hotspot for other devices by using the SoftAP functions (so there’s internet connectivity for all your devices).
And lastly, since the adapter is lightweight and compact, it can be carried in your laptop bag. Just find a good Wi-Fi and there’s no stopping you and your squad.
Stability of coverage of the adapter is way better than what you'd find in other products of the same price (it's a best-seller for a reason).
While the single antenna performs quite well, it doesn’t have the coverage of the higher end models so expect some lags if you’re really far from the router.
The durability of the EDUP Adapter is quite low with complaints of it failing under 6 months being quite common.
But if you’re looking for a quick, cheap solution to your slow network issues, the EDUP is a no-brainer as it costs less than $20 (yup, you heard that right).
#4: Net-DYN USB Dual Band Wireless Adapter
The NET-DYN comes from a family-owned business and with them spread across the globe, they understand the importance of high-speed and stable connections (so you know they put their heart in it).
The standout feature of the NET-DYN is the durability it offers. So much so, that the company behind it even offers a lifetime warranty (this one’s sure to be your forever).
Since it is a 3.0 USB and Dual band, speed should never be an issue (supports up to 867 MBPS). Finally, gone will be that dreaded feeling you have when you see those high pings.
And if you moved slightly further away from the router to the garage etc. you’d still be online with a full connection. That’s because the hotspot has a coverage of maximum 100 yards (no dead spots around the house with this one).
Carrying the adapter is easy as well (fits into even your pocket). That’s because of its sleek and compact design which is possible mainly because of the internal antenna.
Not much to complain about this adapter except for the fact that you may lose connection in between (a rare occurrence though).
To end with, all I’d say is that, for a price range of less than $50, this is definitely my top pick as the best wireless USB adapter for gaming.
#5: IOGEAR Ethernet 2 Universal Adapter (Best wireless gaming adapter for PS3)
Are you still stuck with an old PS3 model that didn’t come with an integrated wireless adapter? It’s the IOGEAR Universal adapter to the rescue (because everybody deserves a good game time).
With the adapter capable of delivering speeds of up to 300 MBPS, whether you’re downloading a game, updating it or just want to play, you can do it all blazing fast speeds.
You’d also want your connection to be safe and that’s just what the IOGEAR delivers as it supports WEP, WPA, WPA2, TKIP and AES encryption.
From setting the adapter to connecting it to your Wi-Fi, all it takes is a mere few seconds to minutes and powers on/off directly through the port even on a console.
But its features aren’t just limited to a PS3, it can be a game changer even for any PC or laptop gamer with an old internal network adapter (just the kind of workhorse one needs).
Lastly, just like you’d expect a USB adapter to be, it's also compactly designed which makes it easy to store or carry around when not in use (now, play from anywhere you like).
The Good/What I like
Section where you cover specific parts where this product is better than other choices in the same price range,
where the manufacturer did a really good job, special features you wished other choices had, etc.
One of the few issues with the IOGEAR it that the connection breaks up quite often so you’d want to be a little closer to the router.
Also, durability is another aspect that needs to be addressed but if you treat it right, it should last you longer than most cheaper adapters (not one you’d want to drop or handle roughly).
But if you’re game time is limited to a PS3 and you want to avoid a wire clutter around it, IOGEAR helps do that at a reasonable price range.
#6: Linksys Wireless Mini USB Adapter (AE600)
So can such a simple looking adapter really perform so well that it makes the #6 on the list? Prepared to be amazed.
With a dual-band build, the adapter can deliver exceptionally fast speeds of about 430 MBPS at a 5GHz band and 150 MBPS 150 MBPS at 2.5GHz Band. Not bad for small fella now, is it?
Obviously, being a USB adapter, installing and using it is effortless. And since the antenna is on the inside, it fits into the smallest of spaces making storage hassle free when it’s not in use.
With a 128bit encryption, the AE600 promises to keep out strangers (no one’s sneaking past this baby). And lastly, you won’t have any stability issues unlike with many of the other cheaper adapters.
But just like some of them, even with the AE600, durability is a cause for concern especially because it overheats when used for long hours.
But otherwise, as long as the AE600 works, it will sure keep any gamer happy with its high-speed performance.
#7: D-Link AC1900 Ultra Wi-Fi Adapter
Clearly, the D-Link AC1900 isn’t your ordinary looking network adaptor but does it impress as much with its performance as with the design? Let’s find out
With a speed cap of 1300 MPBS of 5 GHz band and a 600 MBPS on 2.5 GHz band, this dual-band adapter gives even the best ones a run for their money when it comes to speed. But that’s not where the buck stops.
Giving you an uninterrupted connection and a speed boost is the smart beam technology which directs all signals directly to the location of the adapter.
And to provide the icing on the cake, it’s a 3.0 USB. Now, lags will be a thing of the past and you can have all your updates downloaded at 10x faster speed.
Installation takes no more than a couple of minutes and all connections can be made with the simple push of a button.
My main concern with this adapter is the build. When used for long hours, it heats up which, in turn, can result in a malfunction.
And the next thing is the cost. For an adapter with low durability, I’d be a little hesitant to pay above $50. But if it’s only performance you seek, just go for it.
#8: OurLink AC600 Dual Band USB Network Adapter
Don’t fall for just the looks. This mini wireless adapter packs a punch well above its weight without breaking the bank, say Hi to the king of compact, the OurLink AC600.
The Adapter is compatible with 802.11 ac standard routers and if you didn’t know what that meant, in simple terms, that means speeeeeed.
How fast? Well, at a 5 GHz band it has the potential of 433 MBPS and at 2.5 GHz it can provide 150 MBPS which makes it a highly versatile unit.
This adapter too features a SoftAP that lets you turn it into a hotspot so you can even connect your laptop, mobile etc. using it.
Its small size means you can even leave it attached to the laptop for easy carrying or store it in the smallest of nooks and crannies. Plus, installation and setup take a mere few minutes.
Its compact design is both a boon and a curse. The small design means it is also very easy to lose and breaks easily as well.
But apart from that, it’s cheap price and power-packed performance makes it a really decent buy.
#9: TP-Link TL-WN8229
We’re almost at the end of the list, and if you’ve come down this far, I’m sure the TP-Link TL-WN8229 is going to be worth it.
This adapter offers you a speed of 300 MBPS which is good enough for gaming or if you want to stream videos etc.
Coverage and stability provided by the TL-WN8229 is its best feature. For this is it comes with dual antennas. The SoftAP feature lets you create a hotspot for other devices and make the most of that coverage.
Security encryption is just a press of a button away and you also have access to a 24*7 customer team for any problems you have regarding the adapter.
A bulkier design means it takes quite a bit of space and is difficult to carry.
It’s single band adapter and compatible only with N routers so speed will be comparatively lower.
#10: Panda Wireless PAU06
Last but not the least is another one of the budget favorite models and here are a few of its top features.
If you’ve got a 2.4GHz router, purchasing a dual-band adapter anyways won’t make sense (why overpay, right?). But even at 2.4GHz, the 300 MBPS speed capability of the adapter is good.
If you’re using this on a laptop, you’d be happy to know that it has been designed to consume less battery so won’t be running around for the charger in between your gameplay.
Also, it offers good security and installation is a breeze as well. Storage is relatively simpler too though make sure there’s plenty of room for the antenna so it doesn’t break.
It’s a single band adapter so it doesn’t reach the speeds most of the other picks offer but again that comes down to your router and needs.
Don’t expect it to last you for more than 5-6 months, a year max but performs quite well for an adapter costing less than $15.
Wireless Adapter for Gaming Buying Guide
Now that you have you know which are the best wireless adapters for gaming, here are a few criteria’s that have based our search on.
AC vs N router compatibility
Isn’t high-speed internet at every corner of the home the whole point of buying a wireless adaptor?
This is why it’s important to ensure that you have an 802.11 AC router and that the adapter is compatible with it as well. N routers perform well but have a slightly lower speed.
Dual vs Single Band
The Dual band adapters are highly flexible and at 5GHz bands can offer speeds that will blow your mind away.
Even at 2.5 GHz band, these adapters perform well with speeds of up to 600 MBPS quite common.
Single band adapters usually offer a speed of around 300 MBPS which for any gamer is aplenty.
But also make sure your router is a 5GHz router otherwise the adapter will continue to receive 2.4GHz signals.
Coverage and stability
To ensure you get a non-stop internet connection, the higher-end adapters come with Smart Beam technology or Beamforming that directs the signals towards only the adapter.
Apart from that, like you may have noticed, some of the adapters have antennas for the same. Some come with a single antenna while others may feature anything between 2-4 antennas.
In case of the top models and antennas can also be detached and placed elsewhere using a magnetic dock which ensures there remain no dead spots in your home.
Few other factors to keep in mind
Do I really need a WiFi Adapter for my console or Laptop?
Well, this is a question we get asked quite often and it mainly depends on the configurations of the internal adapter.
Yes, internal adapters are always the go-to choice but most often they’re not as powerful as an external adapter can be. This may result in a slow network, unstable connections etc. (aagghhh, that lag during games).
So if your console or laptop’s got an adapter that’s outdated or not the best, buying an external gaming wireless adapter makes more sense.
In the end, it all comes down to the budget and needs. If you’ve got the $100 to spend, the ASUS AC-3100 is by a long margin the best wireless network card for gaming. But if you’d prefer something on a smaller budget, the EDUP USB adapter is the go-to choice.