8 Best PCIe WiFi Cards in 2020

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Just like how one cannot envision a world without food, water and air, one cannot imagine the current world without the internet. The Internet, which was once a luxury, has become a necessity. Most people around the world have computers and laptops which swiftly connect to their residential or workplace Wi-Fi, which enables them to use the internet to transfer and acquire data. But the act of our devices getting connected to the internet is something that we have all taken for granted. How many of us actually know the process behind every device connecting to an available network? 

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A Network Interface Controller (NIC) is a card that is embedded onto every computer’s motherboard. It is both an input and output device. It recognizes the presence of a network and connects to it upon the user’s command. Without this hardware component, the internet would have never attained its omnipresent, omnipotent status. Ethernet NIC is one of the most popular NICs that are in use and is typically integrated into every motherboard of a laptop/ desktop.

But in some cases, NIC may not have been embedded, the embedded NIC would malfunction or the device, by itself, would require an additional network card. In such scenarios, the device would not get connected to the internet, despite the network being stable and sufficiently strong. One may not want to add a cable since it would restrict one’s usage. Or one’s internet speed would be very low, despite using a strong network. For all these troubles and a lot more, there is only one solution.

The Wi-Fi card or rather, the best Pcie wifi card is a sure shot solution to most NIC- related issues. 

What is a Wi-Fi card?

It is a card that can be purchased separately and integrated with the motherboard, so one can connect to any network seamlessly and if one wants, one can also increase their internet speeds, especially when one is using performance-intensive, internet guzzling applications like gaming and certain simulation software. Also known as LAN cards, they help in quick, easy and wireless connection with a network or for that matter, even with a hotspot, enabling us to browse on the go, from wherever we are and giving us the flexibility to choose the network we want to connect with. It also significantly reduces one’s expenses in setting up internet connectivity, especially in corporate environments since cabling costs are practically non- existent. 

It is a card that can be purchased separately and integrated with the motherboard, so one can connect to any network seamlessly and if one wants, one can also increase their internet speeds, especially when one is using performance-intensive, internet guzzling applications like gaming and certain simulation software. Also known as LAN cards, they help in quick, easy and wireless connection with a network or for that matter, even with a hotspot, enabling us to browse on the go, from wherever we are and giving us the flexibility to choose the network we want to connect with. It also significantly reduces one’s expenses in setting up internet connectivity, especially in corporate environments since cabling costs are practically non- existent. 

Who should consider getting a Wi-Fi card?

If one is plagued by inexplicable connectivity issues on their laptop/ PC, one must investigate their motherboard. If one’s motherboard does not have a NIC integrated to it, does not support integration or if the NIC seems to malfunction, one must buy a Wi-Fi card and integrate it with their motherboard. If one is using applications that require high-speed internet, high data transfer rates and stable internet speeds- the likes of gaming or even large- scale corporate workplaces, one can add a Wi-Fi card to enhance and make their work easier, faster and more efficient. 

With fierce competition amongst Wi-Fi card manufacturers and with a wide range of PCIe cards flooding the market every day,  it’s difficult to identify and choose the best PCI wireless card. Fret not, because we are here to help!

Best PCIe WiFi Cards Reviews

1. Fenvi T919

Specially designed for people using macOS, it is one of the best Wi-Fi cards that are available in the market. It also supports Windows OS from Windows 10 onwards, if suitable drivers are installed. It is a mix of three key technologies- Wi-Fi, BT and encryption. This enhances its compatibility and makes it easy to be integrated with any kind of hardware. All the photos, media and other files transferred between two devices are encrypted, which means no one, who has logged into the same network and intercept and access or data. 

The data is not only encoded but is also hidden from other users of the network. Hence this offers great data privacy and security, especially between the server and the client.  It does not require an external driver when used in macOS. Its chipset has 4 antennae- 3 Wi-Fi antennae and 1 independent antenna. It has high values of throughput hence it accelerates data processing and strengthens communication. Further, it does not call for an additional keyboard for BIOS, helping us save up on money and making it one of the best wifi PCI card.

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2. Intel Dual-band wireless-Ac 8265

This card ensures the user does not get disconnected often (ie) does not experience any disruption when connecting to the internet. It also promises internet speeds that at thrice as fast as speeds offered by other cards. It has Bluetooth technology that helps low- energy devices to act as both a hub and a peripheral. It is generally recommended for devices with Intel 7th generation processors but is also compatible with other PCs. 

This also comes with a feature that enables it to be used alongside Bluetooth proximity authentication. Hence, Wifi can seamlessly pair with both low- energy Bluetooth devices and high- energy devices. This card integrates the benefits of both a Bluetooth card and a best Wi-Fi card and it lives up to its name of a ‘dual card’. It provides high internet speeds, which make it highly suitable for speed intensive processes such as gaming and streaming videos online.

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3. ASUS PCE-AC68 AC1900 Dual-Band Wireless

The device can be easily unboxed and it comes with an easy to understand and comprehensive user manual. This ensures the setting up process is easy. One need not buy any extra accessories as all the necessary accessories are provided along with the Wi-Fi card. This greatly reduces one’s setup expenses. The antennae can be directly connected to the network card or a magnet base. However, one is advised to follow the setup instructions provided in the product support page to install and begin using the device faster. 

This best pcie Wi-Fi card instantly detects the networks available in one’s area and also simultaneously evaluates their speed. By default, it does not connect with networks which have low signal strength. It has high data accessing and file download speeds. However, its upload speeds are slower than wired connections and it has to improve on this aspect. Since it is a dual-band device, it also supports Bluetooth with low- energy devices and is compatible with connection with high energy devices as well.

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4. TP-Link AC1200

The coverage of this device shows high boost when compared to others. It also shows enhanced connection stability, making it a popular choice amongst buyers. It has 2 antennas that are aligned perfectly which offer high connectivity and extensive coverage. It also has an efficient heat sink, which acts as a valuable cooling mechanism. This ensures the device can function for a long time without any disruption and offers great stability to the user’s connectivity. 

The heat sink dissipates heat uniformly into the system, preventing the concentration of heat on one component alone, thereby improving the safety of the equipment. Hence the lifespan of the product is long. Its coverage is ‘beamforming’ in nature. This helps the card focus Wi-Fi signals in the regions where they are most needed. It also ensures high coverage- for both focused, intensive work and distributed multi-tasking. If one wants to obtain coverage for a long duration of time, one can opt for this. However, it is compatible only with Window 10 OS and doesn’t work well with lower versions. 

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5. Gigabyte GC 867D

It is a very popular choice amongst buyers because it packs in a lot of features at low costs. It primarily has a Bluetooth mechanism that is capable of handling both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection.  With this product, a modulus- the system has also been introduced, which complies with the standards of all the other products of the company. This greatly improves the reliability of the brand and its products. 

The card is small and compact hence one need not fear compatibility issues with the motherboard. It can be easily installed on the motherboard of a PC and does not require additional power and time. People who are not really tech-savvy and have never handled Wi-Fi cards before can opt for this model, because of its ease of setup and use. The antennae are acute, offer great coverage and are immensely flexible. It can also hide reasonably well under graphic cards and hence, it does not occupy too much space, making it one of the best wifi cards

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6. TP-Link TL WDN4800

This product offers great value for money because it brings in high-speed connectivity, high data transfer rates and proves to be a worthy investment in the long run. When used intensively for a long time, any Wi-Fi card is bound to get heated up. Overheating causes malfunction of the wireless adapter and even jeopardizes the safety of the card, device and the user. Hence this model comes with advanced cooling systems, which ensure that heat is dissipated equally in all the components and that the core components are functioning smoothly and safely. 

Its antennas are detachable. This device offers high throughput values, hence it enhances connectivity, coverage and stability for a prolonged duration of time. Hence this is particularly useful for hardcore gamers, who require high-speed internet for a long time without any disruption. The brand, by itself, has great reliability as it ensures high quality in all its products. It is also highly compatible with a wide range of devices, making it a versatile and apt choice for all, making it the best pcie wireless card 2020

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7. Asus PCE- AC88

The card is equipped with a detachable antenna which greatly improves its flexibility, convenience and boosts high signal strength. Its stability is further enhanced by heat sinks and decent running bandwidth. It is highly efficient in collecting signals and improving their strength. It is powered by NitroQam technology which gives it extremely high speeds like 1.91 GBps. It makes gaming, streaming and watching streaming videos a very enjoyable and efficient process and makes our Wi-Fi speeds 60% faster on our devices. 

Instead of the usual dual antenna design, it comes with 4 antennae, highly enhancing its connectivity, coverage and flexibility. Hence it is particularly useful for applications which involve a huge amount of data transfer, especially in workplace environments. It makes the process of transferring heavy files easier, safer and faster. It also has adapter cables that need not be purchased separately. This way, it brings down the overall expenditure that one incurs while installing a PCIe card. However, its performance is not absolute. It heavily depends on other networking factors and is affected even by fluctuations from the service provider’s end.

Specification:

8. TP-Link AC1300

The design of this Wi-Fi card is flexible, with additional options for expandability. It has dual-band capability and offers very high speeds. One can also switch between different speeds and it offers great flexibility to the user to choose and avail whichever features he/ she wants. It offers thrice the value of speed offered by other models. It is especially suitable for large- scale, high- speed computing. 

In simple terms, it offers great performance and high speeds of data transfer and captures a lot of signals, thereby displaying great coverage. Hence it is highly suitable for gaming, streaming high-quality audio/ video files, sending heavy capacity, high-quality files, be it HD or otherwise. It is also equipped with good heat sinks which ensure heat is properly dissipated and averts the risks caused due to overheating and prolonged usage. Hence if one is looking for high speed and uninterrupted connectivity, one must definitely consider this model.  

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Things to consider before buying a Wi-Fi Card

When more antennas are used, more signals can be picked up and more number of devices can be connected, with each consuming a large amount of bandwidth. This increases reception and internet speed, especially when multiple devices are connected

One must always remember that speeds of Wi-Fi cards are not absolute but relative. They heavily depend on the network they are connected to. However, there are Wi-Fi cards that give high throughputs but even that depends on the network

When devices work for a long time, they tend to overheat and that is a serious threat to the safety of the device. Hence every Wi-Fi card must have a proper heat dissipation system such that heat is dissipated equally to all components, cooling action is uniform and the core components are not affected.

This ensures the safety of the data transmitted on the network. It protects data privacy by preventing access, interception and interruption from devices that are not the designated recipients of the data being transferred. 

FAQ’s

It stands for Peripheral Component interconnect, which directly connects peripherals to the computer’s processor. 

It is basically the amount of data that passes from one device to another in unit time. 

It depends on the user’s requirements. USBs don’t need any installation but are slower than Wi-Fi cards. Wi-Fi cards, on the other hand, transfer data thrice as fast as typical USB cards but have an intense installation procedure and are more expensive. 

The user must sort his requirements, compare with the features offered by each WiFi card and its price, check whether the wifi card is compatible with his OS before making a decision. 

Dual bands support both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bandwidth. They have higher wireless range, faster data transmission and longer bandwidth than single bands, hence they must be chosen. 

Final Verdict

The user is advised to evaluate the merits and demerits of each product by comparing it with his requirements, before making a decision. However, the best product out of this bunch is the TP-Link TL WDN4800. It is highly compatible with all devices, has a flexible antenna for better reception, efficient heat sinks which ensure the safety of the device and the user, and is the best choice for energy-intensive, throughput- dependent applications like gaming and streaming high-quality videos. It comes with great value for money, brand reliability and is a very worthy invest; meant to make. 

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