For desktops, wifi adapters, especially USB wifi adapters are mostly used by a large number of people. As the ethernet needs cable and also not so convenient to use, sometimes Wifi adapters make more sense if you are not doing something that needs continuous and lag-free internet connectivity.
Speaking about internet speed fluctuations, what about using these wifi adapters for gaming, can they provide enough speed and reduce latency while gaming? Let’s discuss it in this post:
Are WiFi Adapters Good For Gaming? Almost all decent wifi adapters can provide sufficient speed nowadays for gaming, but the real problem occurs in maintaining it consistently. Because of this, cheap USB wifi adapters are not preferable for gaming, however latest adapters that come for gaming specifically (also expensive) can be good for it.
So, wifi adapters come in different variants, some are cheap and better for normal people. Otherwise, for tasks like gaming where a consistent speed is necessary, you have to go with good wifi adapters.
There are adapters available in the market that can give almost ethernet-level performance. Note that I have included the word almost, as till now ethernet is the best.
Moreover, I have also mentioned that almost all the latest wifi adapters can give good internet speed nowadays. To analyze it further, let’s have a look at some of the best wifi adapters in both budget and expensive categories:
|Trendnet TEW-809UB (Expensive)||2.4GHz/5GHz, Wi-Fi 5|
|ASUS USB-AC68 (Expensive)||Wi-Fi 5 , 2.4GHz/5GHz dual band, gen. 1 USB 3.1|
|Trendnet TEW-805UB (Mid-Range)||Dual-Band, different variants available|
|TP-Link Archer (Cheap)||2.4GHz/5GHz, up to 1300Mbps speed|
|TP-Link N150 (Cheap)||150Mbps speed, 2.4GHz frequency.|
As we can see on the table, 100Mbps speed is normal, even a $9-$10 cheap adapter (Tp-Link) can also give this much speed. And a 100Mbps speed is more than enough for playing online games.
For downloading also, 100Mbps is not bad and if you upgrade to a $20 one, you can easily get double or even triple of this speed.
But as I have discussed above, the real issue begins while these adapters have to maintain the speed consistently with low latency and ping.
Generally, the cheap wifi adapters aren’t great in this case, so they are not that great an option for gaming. Let’s discuss in detail:
The internet speed fluctuation by wifi adapters is always higher than ethernet connectivity. However, adapters that are specifically made for gaming or tasks like that can give almost equal speed like ethernet.
Otherwise, with cheap USB wifi adapters, you have to face internet speed fluctuation a lot. And for gaming, especially for playing multiplayer games, it is very important to have a stable internet connection.
That is why going with a good wifi adapter or ethernet connection is preferable for gaming.
Talking about the flexibility or convenience for using, wired connection and gaming wifi adapters (which are bulkier in size) are not generally that convenient to use. Otherwise, You can easily move, carry small cheap wifi adapters with you.
On the other hand, you can’t do much with ethernet, you just have to have your PC under its range.
Also, as gaming wifi adapters are bulkier in size so these are also not as portable as other USB wifi adapters.
Wifi adapters that are specifically made for gaming are far more expensive than the normal ones. But gamers still use them as their performance is top-notch.
That’s why if you are also looking for a wifi adapter for gaming in budget, I advise you to go with ethernet rather than wifi adapters, as it doesn’t cost anything and still the best (better than gaming adapters too).
But just don’t go with cheap wifi adapters for gaming as their connection speed is not stable at all. However, if you are looking for wifi adapters for normal tasks like scrolling the web, watching videos, Netflix, etc then you can go with those cheap adapters.
Otherwise, for gaming go with either good wifi adapters if you have a higher budget or use ethernet connectivity from your router. So, here is my final opinion about it:
Should You Go With Wifi Adapters For Gaming?
It is okay to use the gaming wifi adapters for gaming, they can provide stable internet connectivity. Otherwise, ethernet is the best option for gaming.
As the actual performance difference between good gaming wifi adapters and ethernet is not that big, so more likely you don’t feel anything much. But going with cheap wifi adapters for gaming isn’t a great option.
Now one thing to keep in mind here, your internet plan also affects the internet speed. Suppose, if you have only a 30Mbps internet plan in your router and you use a wifi adapter that supports 1300Mbps. Then you are still gonna get 30Mbps as internet service provider giving you that.
For utilizing a good wifi adapter, you will also need a fast internet speed. So, if you think you are never going to get such a high-speed plan, then you can buy a wifi adapter that is a little bit slow, it will also cost less.
Does WiFi Adapter Affect Internet Speed?
Depending on the wifi version of the adapter, frequency it supports, it does affect the internet speed. Suppose, If you have a wifi adapter with wifi 6 (latest) then obviously it is going to perform much better than wifi 5.
So, always check the wifi version, wifi covering range, speed it supports, if it is dual-band or not before buying any wifi adapter.
In this post, I have discussed using wifi adapters for gaming, are they good, and when you should prioritize them over either connectivity. I hope after reading it, you can decide whether you really need it or not.
If you have anything more in mind, feel free to ask me. See you in the next one, be techy:)
I am the co-founder of untoldtech, it’s all about knowing and adapting to the new technology and using them in our favor.