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Best PCI-e Wifi Card in 2022

Five Awesome PCI-e Wifi Cards for Welcoming Your Build to the Wireless World
Last Updated on August 19, 2022
best pci-e wifi card

A PCI-e wifi card is a simple enough concept. Hook one of them up to your motherboard and voilà! You have a wireless connection that you didn’t beforehand. But the particulars of a wifi card’s abilities are a little more complicated.

It’s frightfully easy to pick up one that doesn’t actually cater to any of your needs, and then you’re out of pocket, and you still don’t have a wireless connection…what luck, ay?

Not to worry though, friend. If we have anything to say about it, you’ll never have to go without a wifi connection ever again. Having put up with a lifetime of squiffy wireless connections here at pcguides, we’ve picked up a thing or two about quality PCI-e wifi cards, and we’re going to share our absolute favorites with you right now!

Let’s not draw things out any longer than necessary. You’ve already been starved of wifi for god knows how long, you poor soul, so we’re jumping straight into the reviews.

Products at a Glance

Our Recommended

Best PCI-e Wifi Card in 2022

1.
PROS
  • 876 and 400MBps Connection Speed - Speedy connection eliminates lag.
  • Extended Range - Gives you greater freedom of movement.
  • Bulky Heat Sink - Increases connection stability.
  • Price - It’s a great value for money card.
CONS
  • Antennas - We’d prefer a greater range extension.
2.
PROS
  • Price - Reliable wifi for less than $20!
  • Discrete - Doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
  • External Antennas - Feel free to set up shop far away from your router.
CONS
  • 300Mps - Not the fastest connection in the world.
  • No Thermal Solution - May get hot when pushed which will destabilize connection.
3.
PROS
  • 2100 and 1000MBps - One of the fastest cards on the market.
  • Quad MU-MIMO - supports four individual wifi connections.
  • Low Profile Bracket - This makes installation on SFF builds a breeze.
  • Long Range - You could probably pick up this thing’s signal on the moon.
  • Impressive Heat Sink - Can handle heavy usage without destabilizing.
CONS
  • Price - You’ve probably guessed by now that this doesn’t come cheap.
  • Compatibility - You’ll need a 64-bit operating system.
4.
PROS
  • 2402 and 574MBps Connection Speeds - Faster than you’d ever really need.
  • Bluetooth 5.1 - Extremely low latency communication between computer and wireless peripherals.
  • OFDMA - Speed up network interaction of multiple connections.
  • Price - Pretty sweet price tag for a wifi 6 card.
  • Range - Dual external antennas provide pretty decent range.
CONS
  • No Thermal Solution - You’ll have to prioritize the AX when it comes to cooling.
5.
PROS
  • Wifi 6 - Fastest connection speeds we humans have mustered yet.
  • Separate Antenna Stand - Saturate a greater area with wifi signal.
  • Bluetooth 5 - Uber-fast data transfer between computer and peripherals.
  • MU-MIMO and OFDMA - Simultaneous connections are guaranteed to be fast and stable.
  • Dedicated Heat Sink - This thing handles heat incredibly well.
CONS
  • Price - More expensive than the AX.

What PCI-e Wifi Card Should I Get?

You should get a PCI-e wifi card that makes the most of your primary network connection. Matching up the bandwidth is an important aspect of this process. You should also consider how much range you’ll need from a wifi card. Are you near the router or a staircase and two rooms away? More or better quality antennae can help boost coverage.

Are PCI-e Wifi Cards Better than USB?

PCI-e wifi cards tend to be faster and more powerful than USB wifi adapters. The reason for their unparalleled speed is that they plug directly into your motherboard, which negates the latency of a USB adapter having to transfer data through the I/O to your main board. PCI-e is also much faster than USB in the first place, so even if they both had direct access to the motherboard, the PCI-e card would be more efficient.

Do Wifi Cards Make a Difference?

A quality wifi card can make a huge difference to your computing. Firstly, you won’t need a cable physically connecting you to your router, freeing you up to set your computer up anywhere in the building. Secondly, they often provide such stable connections to the network that people use them in place of the integrated wifi in their motherboards.

Does a Wifi Card Give You Wifi?

A wifi card doesn’t give you wifi. Wifi is drawn from your main router. A wifi card simply allows a device to receive the wifi signal that’s already being emitted by your router. Wifi cards also boost the range of your router’s wifi allowing you to set up camp further away.

Our Verdict

Breathe a big sigh of relief, friend. Your wifi woes are a thing of the past. With one of these awesome devices making themselves at home in your motherboard, unless you stop paying your bills, you’ll never be without stable wifi again.

We hope that this article has answered some of your wifi card-related questions and shed a little light on the technical aspects of their performance and compatibility.

As long as you use our buyer’s guide to help you decide what sort of PCI-e wifi card would work best in your situation, you’re all set to make your purchase!