Year on year we’ve seen gaming reach new heights and push the limits further. Multiplayer especially has evolved. What used to be about a 4 people piling into a room, swapping controllers and playing some split screen has become about global interaction across vast servers. It’s nice to look back at the old days and let nostalgia wash over you, but let’s face it it’s incredible how far we’ve come.
The development of online gaming was the first big stepping point. From there we saw mass multiplayer online games getting launched, with the most well known probably being World of Warcraft or Minecraft. Now we have a whole host of games where you can connect with players all around the world and compete at the highest level from the comfort of your home.
While gaming is now an immersive and unique experience, most games rely on one thing, and that’s the internet. Thankfully we’re not using dial up anymore (some of us can still remember the familiar tone as it connected) but even with WiFi you have varying speeds which can impact your gaming experience. This is where WiFi adapters come in.
What is a WiFi Adapter?
A WiFi Adapter is simply a device that picks up on the wireless signals coming from your router. This then allows your PC to connect to the internet. WiFi adapters are connected externally to your PC, usually through a USB port.
These days you might find the majority of your devices have a built in wireless connector already, however a lot of PCs still need an external adapter to use the WiFi in your home. In fact there are even some benefits to using this bit an external adapter over a prebuilt internal adapter.
Wifi Adapters and Gaming
So what impact does a WiFi adapter have on your gaming and why is it so important to get the right one for you?
Firstly there’s a load of general benefits to having a WiFi adapter:
- Cleaner Setup– by allowing you to connect wirelessly to your router you can get rid of a lot of the wires you’ve previously been using.
- Easier Maintenance– an external adapter means you won’t need to worry about updating your PC or any drives/connections that go with it.
- Portable– most adapters are connected through USB. This means you can move it effortlessly between different devices and maximise your value for money.
A wifi Adapter brings a lot of benefits generally but for gamers there is one solid benefit; a better, more solid connection. New games require a good connection to run smoothly and while you can invest in a good router and internet provider, without a good adapter it’s pointless. A good WiFi adapter will ensure you don’t disconnect or experience lag in crucial moments.
The best Wifi Adapters for Gaming
Once you’ve made the decision to go for a WiFi adapter you’ll quickly find there’s a massive range to choose from. It can be difficult to determine exactly what you need or even know where to start. When choosing an adapter for gaming there are a couple of key factors to consider:
- WiFi connection- you need an adapter which supports the latest WiFi standard. This is important to allow you to connect and access the highest speeds.
- Dual Band- linked to the first point, you’ll want a WiFi adapter that is dual band. This means it will support 2.4 GHz as well as 5 GHz.
- Antenna- You can find adapters with internal or external antenna (normally this is clear from any images). If you’re connecting to a router on the other side of the building or with several walls in between you need to look at an external antenna.
The best WiFi adapter for gaming will likely have a combination of these qualities. We’ve put together a list of 5 contenders for top adapters all of which are ideal to meet your gaming needs.
Here’s our top 5:
BrosTrend Long Range Adapter
This one was recommended to us and the feedback from users generally seems to have been overwhelmingly positive. This BrosTrend adapter works through a USB connection making it simple to use, but it’s also got a lot of power. With an external antenna it’s perfect for a long range connection. Plus it’s dual band. A really solid piece of kit which is fairly inexpensive.
TP-LINK TL-WN822N Wireless N USB Adapter, Version 4
This is one of the most affordable adapters on the market but don’t let that fool you, this one is also getting great reviews from users. Again it connects through USB and allows for high speed connection. Dual band with 2 external antennae it can connect to even a weak signal. Plus it’s available in a couple of colours which is always a nice touch.
Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Wi-Fi USB Adapter
Netgear are a really well known brand for everything computer/technology based so it’s no surprise they made the list. This stylish piece of kit is one of the most powerful around, allowing a seamless connection. It’s dual band and has an antenna which will connect even over a long distance. User feedback for this one has been very good (it might be our favourite too).
AIZUSOX Wifi Adapter 1200Mbps Usb 3.0 Wireless Wifi Dongle
Another very powerful adapter in this choice, allowing speeds up to 1200Mbps with dual band capability. This USB adapter might look like some kind of alien craft but the two antennae can allow you to connect with confidence and game in peace with no risk of disconnection.
Asus USB-AC68 Dual Band AC1900
Last, but not least, is the Asus adapter. This one has the most unique antennae out of our picks which give it a very futuristic look as well as providing a guaranteed connection to your router. Also dual band capable it allows for fast speed connections which means no disconnect or lag while gaming. This one is also getting very positive feedback from users.
You really can’t go wrong with any of these adapters but you can find a more in depth look at quality WiFi adapters for gaming here:
Choosing your Wifi Adapter
Gaming in 2018 has reached new heights but you have to make sure you also have the right set up. Ultimately the right WiFi adapter is going to enhance your experience massively by ensuring you don’t lose connection in a crucial moment.
The right WiFi adapter will enhance your experience and let you get the best value from expensive games. There are loads of options for adapters out there and our advice is to take your time and do your research to make sure you’ve got the best one for you.