- The best Wi-Fi cards for PC in 2024 feature the latest technology, high transfer speeds, and wireless reliability.
- The EDUP EP9651 is recommended as the best overall Wi-Fi card for its excellent speed, reliability, and price.
- The TP-Link Archer TXE72E is a great alternative with upgraded wireless connectivity and security compared to the EP9651.
- The FebSmart N600BT is a budget-friendly option for those connecting a single device, offering dual-band support and affordable pricing.
- The Ziyituod BE200 is the best card for Wi-Fi 7, with cutting-edge technology and high transfer speeds.
Are you ready to power up your computer’s wireless capabilities in 2024? The best Wi-Fi cards for PC this new year feature the latest technology, an insane amount of transfer speed, and features that keep you connected and safe.
However, with the introduction of Wi-Fi 7, it’s critical to find a balance between innovation and practicality. You don’t want to accidentally pick up a model that’s more advanced than your computer can handle. So how do you know which Wi-Fi card is right for your needs? With jargon like 802.11ax, PCIe, and OFDMA (which you’re going to like), you could run into trouble even knowing what’s what.
We’ve taken the time to review the best cards out there and explain why they’re good without you having to go out and teach yourself. Here’s where to start:
- Best Overall: EDUP EP9651
- Best Overall Alternative: TP-Link Archer TXE72E
- Best Budget Wi-Fi Card: FebSmart N600BT
- Best Dual-Band Wi-Fi Card: TP-Link Archer TX20E
- Best Card for Wi-Fi 7: Ziyituod BE200
Best Overall: EDUP EP9651
- PCIe wireless adapter card with Bluetooth 5.2
- Speeds up to 5400Mbps
- Tri-Band 6GHz, 5.8GHz, and 2.4GHz
- Windows10/11 64-bit
- Standard and low-profile brackets
We like the EDUP EP9651 as one of the best overall Wi-Fi cards for PC for its excellent speed, reliability, and price. When you can’t compromise on a solid internet connection, you need to install an EDUP EP9651. This Wi-Fi card brings you the latest technology to ensure crystal-clear usability. PCIe, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2 make a strong foundation for using the internet whenever you need it.
We love that the EP9651 comes with tri-band technology. Transitioning between 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz, users have a combined total transfer speed of nearly 5,400Mbps. Plus, because it works with three bands instead of two, you can use multiple devices without risking network congestion.
It’s crazy that you can install the EP9651 into your PC and receive this much benefit, and even more so that you can buy it for just $33. However, keep in mind that this advanced Wi-Fi card prefers to work with the latest operating systems. So if you’re running something like Windows 8 or later, you may need to work through extra steps to get started. Check out the EDUP PCIe Wi-Fi 6E Card on Amazon.
|This card has excellent speed and reliability.
|It may require extra steps to set up with older operating systems.
|Tri-band technology reduces network congestion.
|It has PCIe, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2 support.
Best Overall Alternative: TP-Link Archer TXE72E
The TP-Link Archer TXE72E offers upgraded wireless connectivity and security compared to the EP9651, making it an awesome alternative Wi-Fi card. If you’re already using Windows 10 or 11, and you don’t mind spending a little extra on quality, you may prefer the Archer TXE72E by TP-Link. It features many of the same qualities as the EP9651 but does them a little better.
TP-Link, one of the prominent brands in wireless network devices, includes the latest components in their TXE72E, making it one of the most reliable models available in 2024. As far as speed goes, it matches the EDUP card. However, because of its refined parts, the TXE72E supports Bluetooth 5.3, the latest version. This helps ensure your connected devices stay connected at all times.
TP-Link also includes WPA 3, which protects your network from threats. This alone makes a big argument against the EP9651, and for only 10 dollars more, it’s worth considering. Check out the TP-Link Archer TXE72E on Amazon.
|The wireless connectivity is comparable to the EP9651.
|It’s slightly more expensive than the EP9651.
|It has Bluetooth 5.3 support.
|The card may be redundant for those who don’t extra security.
|WPA3 protocols offer the latest network protection.
Best Budget Wi-Fi Card: FebSmart N600BT
- Dual-band PCle Wi-Fi stereo adapter
- Speeds up to 600Mbps
- Compatible with most AMD, Intel, and ARM PCs
- 2x 3dBi dual-band WiFi antennas
- Low profile bracket and full height bracket included
Those who don’t split their network among multiple devices can save over half the cost with the FebSmart N600BT. Having the latest technology may sound great, but do you really need it? If your computer runs on an older operating system, the TP-Link and EDUP models may actually cause more headaches than they solve. For something a little simplified, the FebSmartN600BT is one of the best budget Wi-Fi cards for PC.
It’s definitely a modest device; this dual-band model only supports up to 600Mbps (nearly 10x less than the premier cards). However, if you only intend to stream video and browse the internet, you really don’t need that much when it comes to transfer speed. For those connecting a single device, it’s hard to find a Wi-Fi card that beats this value.
Now full disclosure, the N600BT definitely has less capability than our other top picks. While it has PCIe and works with the latest Wi-Fi, you don’t get Bluetooth. Plus, if you’re looking for network security, you’ll have to work through several steps to get there. Still, for less than $20, it’s a nice budget model. Check out the FebSmart N600BT on Amazon.
|It’s affordably priced.
|The card only handles up to 600Mbps transfer speed.
|It has dual-band support.
|There is no Bluetooth capability.
Best Dual-Band Wi-Fi Card: TP-Link Archer TX20E
Looking for a dual-band device with all the features? The TP-Link Archer TX20E makes for an excellent model. Whether you have multiple devices or just a couple, TP-Link has the top Wi-Fi card for you. The company’s Archer TX20E is like a dual-band version of its TXE72E and it absolutely puts the competition to shame. It provides three times the speed as the FebSmart model, and that’s just the difference in transfer speeds.
In addition to its power, the TX20E comes with Bluetooth 5.2, a feature that doesn’t exist in the N600BT. Seemingly standard with TP-Link models, this one also comes with WPA3 protocols for built-in security.
Of course, for the quality, you can expect to pay nearly $40, which is more than some tri-band devices. So if you’re considering the TX20E, you want to make sure that you can make do without the 6GHz band. If you can, you’re going to love this Wi-Fi card. Check out the TP-Link Wi-Fi 6 PCIe Card on Amazon.
|It has excellent speed for dual-band Wi-Fi.
|It is more expensive than some tri-band devices.
|There is Bluetooth 5.2 support.
|Users won’t have access to the 6GHz band.
|The card offers WPA3 protocols.
Best Card for Wi-Fi 7: Ziyituod BE200 Wi-Fi 7 Card
For the most advanced technology on the market, Ziyityuod’s BE200 leads the way with Wi-Fi 7 capabilities. Today, we’re seeing wireless connectivity enter a new level. While the infrastructure isn’t quite in place, companies like Ziyituod are preparing to have the first compatible models on the market. Plus, the BE200, with Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4, attempts to lead the way.
This Wi-Fi card blows other models out of the water when it comes to transfer speed. It’s capable of up to 8774Mbps, with its 6GHz band maxing at up to 5800Mbps (twice that of the Archer TXE72E). With data transfer this quick, it’s the best device for those streaming in 8K resolution or using VR regularly.
As wild as the BE200 sounds, it’s critical to know that many router devices aren’t up to its standards yet. It’s really a model ahead of its time, and you may have to wait to use it to its full potential. Check out the Ziyituod BE200 Wi-Fi 7 Card on Amazon.
|It has Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4 support.
|High transfer speeds may be ahead of current router capabilities.
|The card has cutting-edge technology.
|Currently, there is limited infrastructure for Wi-Fi 7.
|It is ideal for 8K streaming and VR.
How to Pick the Best Wi-Fi Cards for PC: Step by Step
When searching for the right Wi-Fi Card for your PC, there are four main aspects to consider:
- Wireless Connectivity
- Transfer Speeds
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
For the best connection between your Wi-Fi card and router, you want to make sure the model has at least Wi-Fi 6 or 6e, Bluetooth 5.2, and a PCIe interface. These aspects not only ensure a strong signal, but they can also increase the range.
Fortunately, PCIe comes standard in modern devices. However, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can vary. To confirm that your card is compatible, look for 802.11ax technology. This differs from the previous 802.11ac (note ax versus ac here), featuring tools such as MU-MIMO, OFDMA, and TWT. You’ll read more about these technologies below.
One of the main aspects you’ll notice when searching for Wi-Fi Cards for PC is the transfer rate. This number suggests the maximum total speed at which your computer receives data from the router. It’s split between either two or three bands, also noted on the card.
Transfer rates typically range between 600Mbps and 5400Mpbs. Here’s how you might use this:
- 600Mbps: web browsing, streaming HD video on a single device, low-latency gaming
- 1,800Mbps: HD or 4K video streaming on multiple devices, medium-latency gaming
- 5,400Mbps: 4K or UHD streaming on multiple devices, high-volume data transfer
As technology advances, hardware requirements leave old systems behind. We’re seeing this directly with Wi-Fi cards, many of which rely on the latest Windows OS. Proceed carefully with this; if your computer runs on Windows 8 or older, you need to confirm that your model works with that. If this is the case, expect slower transfer speeds.
Wi-Fi cards offer incredible benefits, such as network security, high transfer speeds, and wireless reliability. Plus, for all of this, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a model for more than $60. Aspects such as band count, WPA3, and Bluetooth capability have direct effects on price. Models stripped of features could cost as little as $20. However, at the sacrifice of all these benefits, is affordably as valuable as it seems?
What to Know Before Buying a Wi-Fi Card for PC
Cards vs. Adapters
You might find models that have USB connectors. These Wi-Fi adapters work similarly to cards but have a few differences. Mainly, the former physically installs to the motherboard or expansion slot of a PC, whereas the latter connects externally. Wi-Fi cards provide integrated wireless connectivity to your computer, while adapters are plugged in to give that connectivity to devices without the support.
Wi-Fi 7 vs. Wi-Fi 6 vs. Wi-Fi 5
You’ll see two types of Wi-Fi capabilities in cards: 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) and 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5). The latest version includes features that improve efficiency, reliability, and multiple pathways, such as:
- MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output): allows Wi-Fi devices to communicate to multiple devices at the same time, rather than one after the other.
- OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access): Divides frequency channels into subchannels, allowing multiple devices to send and receive data at the same time.
- TWT (Target Wake Time): Enhances performance in high-density areas.
802.11be (Wi-Fi 7) is the next evolution for wireless connectivity. It introduces a new bandwidth — 302MHz — to provide 4.8x faster speeds. However, as mentioned throughout the article, the infrastructure still needs development. So while we may get excited about Wi-Fi 7, we may have to wait a year or two to rely on it.
Tri-Band vs. Dual-Band
In the meantime, we’ll still have to rely on the established bandwidths. Currently, Wi-Fi cards, come in two setups: tri-band and dual-band. Both feature the 2.5GHz and 5GHz frequencies and the tri-band features 6GHz as well.
Developers introduced the third band to assist with congestion on crowded networks. With the 6GHz frequency, you allow more space for multiple devices. Therefore, there’s a pretty clear distinction for each type of Wi-Fi card; if you have one device, dual-band works fine. If you have more than one or two, consider tri-band. However you decide, we’re sure one of the cards on our list will be just what you need.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©grapestock/Shutterstock.com.