The Best PCI Wireless Adapters of 2020 – [Reviews & Buyer Guide]

Best PCI Wireless Adapters

Make Your Desktop Wi-Fi Ready With The Best PCI Wireless Adapters

When every gadget you know has become wireless, it doesn’t make sense to be sitting next to a pile of cables at your desktop when you can simply buy one of the best PCI wireless adapters for your computer and enjoy freedom from cables and super-fast internet speeds at the same time.

Below is our review of the best PCI wireless adapters on the market that we have handpicked based on performance and user reviews. Read on for more details.

1- ASUS 4×4 802.11AC Wireless-AC3100 PCIe Adapter

[Editor’s Choice]

ASUS 4x4 802.11AC Wireless-AC3100 PCIe Adapter (PCE-AC88)

One of the Best PCI Wireless Adapters on the Market

If you want to give your desktop the convenience Wi-Fi and want nothing but only the best, then look no further. The ASUS PCE-AC88 might be just the one for you with features that you will love and are worth you every penny.

NitroQam technology lets you enjoy super-fast Wi-Fi speeds with its dual bands. The 5GHz gives you up to 2100 Mbps and the 2.4 GHz band gives you speeds up to 100 Mbps. So you can even play high-resolution games on your desktop without any latency issues. As it comes with four antennas, the Wi-Fi reception from the router is much higher than with regular adapters.

Don’t worry about installing your antennas as they come with a magnetic base to stick them anywhere on your CPU. But if you don’t want it to take too much space, then you can fix each of the antennas directly to the PCIe card and it will be hidden behind your CPU for a neat look.  Replacing your antennas is easy thanks to the R-SMA connectors that are compatible with a host of aftermarket antennas.

With gadget-filled homes everywhere high-bandwidth usage is very common with multiple users connecting to the network at the same time. This can produce a lot of heat in your adapter and the situation can become worse in hot weather. But your adapter will always stay cool as it comes with a heat sink that effectively diffuses heat away from the adapter for optimum performance.

This one is sure to give you complete peace of mind.


2- TP-Link AC1300 Wi-Fi PCI-Express Wireless Network Card – Archer T6E

[Best Value]

TP-Link Archer AC1300 WiFi Card PCIe Adapter with Heatsink Technology (T6E)

The Archer T6E comes from TP-Link which is a reputed brand when it comes to quality routers and adapters. So you can choose this one without any hesitation as it comes from a reliable brand.

This wireless dual-band adapter converts your desktop into a WiFi-enabled device. It supports the latest in wireless standards (IEEE 802.11ac) for up to 3 times the speed of the older versions. Use the 5GHz channel for high-speed applications like online gaming and high-definition video streaming. It gives you top speeds of up to 867 Mbps. The 2.5 GHz channel is ideal for standard internet tasks such as browsing, email, and chat. It allows for speeds up to 400 Mbps.

Don’t worry about overheating your chipset as it comes with an efficient heat sink that dissipates the heat and keeps your card working at its optimum best. A cool card also means that it will last longer.

This adapter is compatible with Windows operating systems. Installation is as easy as 123 as all you need to do is plug in the card into the available PCIe slot on your computer and you are good to go.

The Archer T6E is backed by a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, making it one of the best PCI wireless adapters for warranty length.


3- Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I REV Bluetooth 4.2

Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I REV Bluetooth 4.2

Don’t be tempted to buy cheap Wi-Fi adapters as you can get a quality adapter like the Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I for just a few extra bucks. It won’t stop working after just a few weeks of use or frustrate you with poor coverage.

This adapter gives you speeds of up to 867 Mbps and each of the dual bands can handle up to 433 Mbps. It comes inbuilt with Bluetooth 4.2 for quick connectivity with a number of compatible devices. With this feature, you can transfer even huge amounts of data at almost 2.5 times faster than the adapter’s previous versions.

Sometimes you might want to watch a particular video on your smart TV or even your projector rather than your desktop. It can be such an elaborate task to find the exact same video on your TV and play it. But with the internal WiDi (Wireless Display) technology you can broadcast all your favorite videos instantly.

This adapter comes with a powerful external antenna that ensures good signal strength and coverage. A convenient feature of this antenna is that it comes with a magnetic base for quick mounting on any ferrous surface. This same antenna also powers the Bluetooth so you don’t have to worry about being close enough to your desktop for Bluetooth pairing.

Installation required you to plug in your adapter card to a PCIe interface on your desktop. It should also be connected to the motherboard via a USB connection for enabling Bluetooth connectivity. This cable comes in the box for hassle-free installation. This wireless adapter is backed by a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.


4- TP-Link TL-WDN4800 Wireless-N900 Dual Band PCI-Express Adapter

TP-Link N900 Wireless Dual Band PCI-Express Adapter (TL-WDN4800)

Are you looking for a quality PCI wireless adapter that doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket? Then the TL-WDN4800 from TP-Link might be a good choice for you.

With this adapter, you can convert your desktop’s internet into a Wi-Fi set-up and forget messy cables forever. Simply fix the adapter into your desktop’s PCIe slot and enjoy wireless convenience. Even though this wireless adapter uses the latest IEEE 802.11a protocol it is also backward compatible with the older b/g/n versions.

No more can we just be content with average internet speeds as streaming high-definition videos or playing online games have become commonplace? We also want to share files much faster. The TL-WDN4800 will quench your thirst for speed with its 450 Mbps speed which is made possible by the 2.5 GHz and the 5GHz channels.

Older adapter that had only a 2.5GHz bands had the tendency to slow down the internet connection as all the devices and tasks used the same channel. Dual bands, on the other hand, give you the advantage of superior signal strength as devices are connected to one of the two bands depending on whether they require high bandwidth or low bandwidth.

There are three powerful antennas that ensure that you enjoy only the best wireless performance and speed.

This adapter allows for WPA/WPA2 encryption to protect the privacy of your wireless connection. Setting up the router is a breeze thanks to the user-friendly interface and a quick set-up wizard.  You can also use the CD that comes in the box to get started in no time.


5- Rosewill 802.11AC Dual Band AC1300 PCI Express Network Adapter

[Best Choice for Windows]

Rosewill 802.11AC Dual Band AC1300 PCI Express Network Adapter

Upgrade your desktop to wirelessly connect to the internet and experience super-fast speeds with the Rosewill AC1300 network adapter.

It uses the 802.11ac which is the latest internet protocol that gives you the fastest Wi-Fi experience. However, it is also backward compatible with 802.11 b/g/n versions to enable compatibility with older devices.

There are two network channels to manage all devices and give the maximum bandwidth for each requirement. The 5GHz gives you blazing speeds of up to 867 Mbps while the 204 GHz channel gives speeds of up to 400 Mbps. So you can stream HD videos and play games online with the 5GHz band and use the 204GHz channel for simpler tasks such as e-mail, web browsing, and chat.

Don’t worry about overheating due to high bandwidth usage as the adapter comes with an aluminum heat sink to dissipate heat away from the chipset. So your adapter will always be at its peak performance and will last a long time too.

This adapter uses the beamforming technology found on some of the best PCI wireless adapters on the market. So it automatically detects the location of your router and forms strong signals for better performance. This is facilitated by the two powerful

Installation can be done in three simple steps. First, insert the adapter into the PCIe slot of your desktop. Then use the given CD to install the software. Finally, the set-up allows you to automatically scan and connect to your network. It is compatible with windows10, 8.1, 8, 7, and XP.


6- TP-Link AC1900 Wi-Fi PCI-Express Wireless Network Card Archer T9E

TP-Link Archer AC1900 WiFi Card PCIe Adapter with Beamforming and Heatsink Technology

If you want a quality Wi-Fi PCIe adapter for your desktop at almost half the price of high-end adapters, then the Archer T9E from TP-Link might be a good choice for you.

Whether it is high-definition gaming that you love or streaming 4K videos, this adapter will rock it all as it gives you top speeds of up to 1900 Mbps. This speed is split between the two bands as 1300 Mbps on a 5GHz band and 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band.

There are three external antennas that ensure that the Wi-Fi coverage is very good even if your router is not within close proximity to your desktop. With the Beam-forming technology, the Wi-Fi signal is directed to your desktop instead of spreading them randomly in different directions. As a result, you will experience incredible Wi-Fi speeds and reliable signal strength.

When you are streaming high-definition 4 k videos or downloading them or even playing the latest high-definition games on your desktop the adapter can heat up due to the high bandwidth used. But the inbuilt heat sink technology takes care of this and keeps your adapter cool at all times. This, in turn, improves the performance and longevity of your adapter.

Installation is super-easy as all you need to do is just plug in the adapter directly to your desktop’s PCIe slot. This adapter is compatible with Windows versions 10, 8.1, 8, 7, and XP so you don’t have to worry about having an old version of windows on your desktop.

This affordable wireless adapter is backed a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty


7- Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE, 802.11AC Dual Band AC1900 PCI Express Wi-Fi Adapter

Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE, 802.11AC Dual Band AC1900 PCI Express WiFi Adapter

Yet another PCI wireless adapter from the house of Rosewill is the RNX-AC1900PCE. This one is for you if you don’t want to settle for something less when you can get more speed and performance for just a few extra bucks.

With two bands, you can get top speeds of up to 1300 Mbps from the 5GHz channel and up to 600 Mbps from the 2.4 GHz channel. So whether it is online gaming, high-definition video streaming, or high-speed data transfer, you will experience nothing other than a super-fast wireless connection.

This high-speed Wi-Fi performance is possible due to the use of the latest IEEE 802.11ac wireless protocol. So you will enjoy top speeds on the latest devices but is also compatible with the older 802.11 b, g, and n versions.

There are three powerful dual-band detachable antennas on this adapter. They use beam-forming technology to form beams only in the direction of your router to maximize signal strength. They also help widen your router’s Wi-Fi coverage as the antennas work as both transmitters and receivers.

Even if you use the adapter for long periods of time or perform a lot of high bandwidth tasks, you will never have to worry about overheating. This is because the adapter has an aluminum heat sink that effectively transfers the heat away from the internal components.

The set-up is easy as it comes with an installation CD that is user-friendly. You don’t need to have any special software installation skills to get your adapter up and running. Get ready to experience super-fast speeds.


8- ASUS PCE-AC68 – Netzwerk adapter – PCIe

ASUS PCE-AC68 Next Generation Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 PCIe Adapter, High-Power Design, 3 x Enternal Antennas

Get rid of annoying and tangled Ethernet cables from your desk with the PCE-AC68. It has some cool features making it one of the best PCI wireless adapters in our review.

The PCE-AC68 comes with an 802.11 ac chipset which is the fastest in Wi-Fi. So you can enjoy top speeds of up to 1.3 Gbps from the 5GHz band. The Broadcom TurboQAM technology ensures that the super-fast speeds is achieved by both the 5 GHz band and the 2.4 GHz band. The adapter also has backward compatibility with older Wi-Fi protocols for a hassle-free experience with all your devices.

The antennas are placed in a triangular arrangement for maximum coverage and to reduce dead zones. As the antennas act as both transmitters and receivers, it increases your Wi-Fi coverage by 150%. This gives you freedom of location and no matter which part of your home you are you can enjoy full signal strength.

These antennas not only help in good transmission and reception of signals but use the ASUS AirRadar technology. This makes sure that the signal from the router is directed towards your desktop as a focused beam for maximum speed and reliability.

The antennas can be mounted in multiple ways as per your needs. Use the magnetic base to fix it on your CPU or other ferrous surfaces. Use extension cables to remotely place it anywhere or mount it in the desired place.

The adapter comes with a heat sink that efficiently transfers the heat away from the internal components. So even if you are using your adapter 24/7 or doing high bandwidth tasks your adapter will always be cool and give you maximum performance.


9- Fenvi Desktop PC Dual Band Wireless PCI-E Adapter Card

best PCI wireless adapters

Convert your desktop into a super-fast Wi-Fi enabled device with the Fenvi PCI-E adapter card. It comes at an extremely pocket-friendly price tag but packed is with a number of features.

This dual-band PCI adapter gives you blazing speeds of up to 867 Mbps on the 5GHz channel and up to 300 Mbps on the 2.5 GHz channel. It works on IEEE 802.11 ac which is the latest standard in the wireless internet protocol. However, you don’t have to worry if your devices use the older b, g, and n versions as this adapter are compatible with them too.

Not only can you add top-speed Wi-Fi connectivity to your desktop but you can also add the latest Bluetooth connectivity as the adapter has the smart ready Bluetooth 4.0 feature. The smart ready Bluetooth lets you connect the new Bluetooth devices that use low energy. You can also connect your regular Bluetooth devices such as headsets, mice, keyboards, etc. and enjoy a truly wire-free setup. No more will your desk look like a wiry mess.

The card comes with two powerful Omni-directional 6DBi external antennas that have a low profile design for an unobtrusive look. They ensure that no matter how far your desktop is from your router, you enjoy only the fastest speeds.

This PCIe adapter card is compatible with both 32 and 64 bit Windows 8, 8.1 and 7. To install the adapter, simply follow the wizard on the installation CD and you will be using your adapter in no time.


10- TRENDnet TEW-807ECH AC1200 PCIe Adapter

best PCI wireless adapters

With the Trendnet TEW-807ECH PCIe adapter, you can convert your desktop into a wireless AC1200 device.

Forget data cables that run the distance between your Wi-Fi router and your desktop. These may even restrict the placement of your computer. But now you can connect to the internet from your desktop via Wi-Fi and enjoy unbelievable speeds at the same time.

It uses the latest wireless internet protocol which is the ICEE 802.11 ac and is also backward compatible with the b, g, and n versions. You can enjoy top speeds of 867 Mbps and 300 Mbps on the 5GHz and the 204 GHz channels respectively.

This adapter comes with two powerful dual-band 5dBi antennas that increase the coverage area of your Wi-Fi. These antennas are detachable and so you can either fix them directly to the PCIe slot or use the given extension cable if you have a low profile CPU. The extension cable is connected to a magnetic mounting base which lets you attach the external antennas on to the sides of the CPU.

An efficient heat sink dissipates the heat away from the adapter and prevents overheating. Get started in minutes with the easy to follow guided set-up. It is compatible with Windows operating systems. The TEW-807ECH is backed by a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Our Recommendations – The Best PCI Wireless Adapters by Category

  1. ASUS 4×4 802.11AC Wireless-AC3100 PCIe Adapter PCE-AC88 (Best Overall)
  2. Gigabyte GC-WB867D-I REV Bluetooth 4.2 (Best Cheap PCI wireless adapter)
  3. Rosewill RNX-AC1900PCE, 802.11AC Dual Band AC1900 PCI Express Wi-Fi Adapter (Best features to price ratio)

How To Select The Best PCI Wireless Adapter?

Best PCI Wireless Adapter

Here is a quick guide that will help you find the best PCI wireless adapter for your needs.

1- Speed

The most obvious thing to look for in your PCI wireless adapter is its speed and this is measured in Mbps. In dual-band adapters, each of the channels will have its own speed so check to see if the speed on the faster 5GHz channel meets your speed requirements.

2- Wireless networking Standard

The wireless networking standard should match the device that you are connecting to for optimum performance. Most dual-band wireless PCI adapters use the latest IEEE 802.11 ac standard which is the latest for super-fast speeds. An advantage of this is that usually, these adapters are also compatible with older versions such as IEEE 802.11 b, g, and n.

3- Wi-Fi range

It is possible that your desktop is not very close to your router. So it is important for your adapter to have a good Wi-Fi range so that there is no lag in performance. The best PCI wireless card comes with powerful antennae that act as both transmitters and receivers to maximize signal strength. Some cards come with beamforming technology that directs the Wi-Fi from the router to the device location for maximum speeds.

4-PCI slot

An important requirement is that your PCI wireless card fits into your desktop’s PCI slot so that it can be internally connected to the motherboard and have antennas connected on the outside.

5- Easy to install

Your wireless adapter should be easy to install and set-up and not require any extensive network set-up expertise. Most easy to install PCI wireless adapters come with user-friendly installation CDs that guide you through the set-up to let you start using your adapter in no time.

6- Security

As Wi-Fi networks can be used by unauthorized people, it is important that your adapter comes with the necessary security features to keep your network secure. Whether it is for your business or home, you should be able to set-up a password-enabled network. Look for WEP encryption or the more advanced WPA/WPA2 encryption for reliable protection.

Finally, read other reviews once you have narrowed down on a product before you make your purchase. You can also get recommendations from friends or family members to make the right choice.

You might also like our articles on fios g1100 review, best wireless driveway alarm and best onboard battery charger.

Resources

  1. http://www.wikihow.com/Install-a-PCI-Card
  2. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/46290-43-choose-wireless-adapter
  3. http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/632165-what-to-look-for-in-a-wireless-internet-adapter
  4. https://www.logicsupply.com/explore/io-hub/choose-right-wireless-hardware/
  5. http://www.wikihow.com/Check-if-Your-Computer-Can-Have-a-Wifi-Card
  6. http://www.pcworld.com/article/243226/the_desktop_wireless_adapter_difference_usb_vs_pci.html
Updated: — 3:40 pm