Top 5 Best Network Cards For Gaming

Connection issues begone!

Anyone who has played games online knows how frustrating latency can be. Losing due to lag is just never fun, that’s for sure!

If your internet connection is sufficient but you still experience issues when gaming, maybe your network card needs a replacement.

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Well, if that’s the case, we have picked out 5 of the best network cards you can get for gaming!

Best Gaming Network Cards According to Gamers

Network cards for gaming are almost exclusively made for PCs and connected via PCIe. They’re a key internal component of any PC, and dedicated network cards are usually better than integrated ones.

That said, there are also external ones that are connected via USB. They’re more limited but perfect for laptops and other systems!

There are two network card types: wired and wireless. Wired cards allow you to connect your PC to the internet with an ethernet cable, while wireless ones use Wi-Fi instead.

We highly recommend wired ones for gaming, as they provide the best performance by far! However, not everyone can use wired connections, and we understand that. There are Wi-Fi cards optimized for gaming too, however!

Now, look at this chart before we dive into the details. It covers the basics of every card we’ll be talking about in this article.

Best Network Cards for Gaming Connection Type Max Speed Buy Now
TP-Link TX401 PCIe Wired 10Gbps
TP-Link Archer TX3000E PCIe Wireless 2.4Gbps (5G) 574Mbps (2.4G)
EDUP 2.5GBase-T PCIe Network Adapter PCIe Wired 2.5Gbps
Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) Desktop Kit PCIe Wireless 2.4Gbps (5G)
TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter (UE306) USB Wired 1Gbps
Best Network Cards for Gaming Connection Type Max Speed Buy Now
TP-Link TX401 PCIe Wired 10Gbps
TP-Link Archer TX3000E PCIe Wireless 2.4Gbps (5G) 574Mbps (2.4G)
EDUP 2.5GBase-T PCIe Network Adapter PCIe Wired 2.5Gbps
Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) Desktop Kit PCIe Wireless 2.4Gbps (5G)
TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter (UE306) USB Wired 1Gbps

Best Wired Card: TP-Link TX401

Our first pick is one of the best wired PCIe network cards available: the TP-Link TX401. Though it also somewhat counts as a premium choice, considering its price!

Nonetheless, it’s easy to recommend this card to anyone who has fast internet and wants to make the most of it!

This network card is rated for speeds up to 10Gbps and is extremely consistent at maintaining its speeds. It’s perfect for downloading games, transferring data locally, and gaming online.

Additionally, this card is optimized for gaming. Its Quality of Service system is programmed to give preference to games, which should ensure a consistently low latency when gaming online.

The TX401 is compatible with every modern PC system, be it Windows or Linux. You should have no issues getting it up and running in your system!

Lastly, the card is bundled with a CAT6A ethernet cable. It’s only 1.5m long but rated to meet the 10Gbps speeds the card can reach. You won’t need to buy a separate cable at least, provided that length is enough.

This card’s only flaw is really its high price. It’s quite an expensive card, and it might be overkill for gamers who don’t have blazingly fast internet.


  • Supports extremely high speeds up to 10Gbps
  • Optimized for gaming
  • Comes bundled with a high-quality ethernet cable
  • Consistent performance


  • Pretty expensive
TP-Link 10GB PCIe Network Card (TX401)-PCIe to 10 Gigabit Ethernet Network Adapter,Supports Windows 11108.187, Windows

Best Wireless Card: TP-Link Archer TX3000E

If your setup can’t accommodate a wired card for whatever reason, we have a wireless card for you!

This PCIe card from TP-Link supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.2. It allows you to go online as well as connect your peripherals, such as controllers, so it’s a perfect all-rounder!

The TX3000E supports speeds up to 2.4Gbps when connected via 5Ghz Wi-Fi, and up to 574Mbps through older 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi. We highly recommend using the 5Ghz connection when gaming, of course.

Additionally, this card is also optimized for gaming. Yup, you read that right, a Wi-Fi card optimized for gaming!

It’s a Wi-Fi 6 card, so it supports OFDMA technology. This should help it maintain consistent speeds and low latency when gaming, unlike most Wi-Fi cards.

When it’s all said and done, this is an easy pick for the best Wi-Fi network card you can get for gaming. However, such quality doesn’t come cheap! Though, to be fair, it’s cheaper than the wired TX401.


  • Extremely good antennas
  • Very good max speeds with both 5G and 2.4G Wi-Fi
  • Supports Wi-Fi 6 technologies for better gaming performance
  • Supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth


  • More expensive than similar cards
TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi Card (Archer TX3000E), Up to 2400Mbps, Bluetooth 5.2, 802.11AX Dual Band Wireless Adapter with MU-

Budget Wired Card: EDUP 2.5GBase-T PCIe Network Adapter

If the price of our pick for the best wired card scared you off, maybe EDUP’s budget offering is more to your liking. It’s like a quarter of the price!

This wired PCIe card is more humble, but it’s still quite fast and supports speeds up to 2.5Gbps. This is well above the average internet speed, so it should be enough for most users.

Its connection feels quite stable, and it manages to maintain consistent speeds. It shouldn’t suffer from networking issues like packet loss, so it should give you a consistent performance for gaming.

Ultimately, it doesn’t feel quite as fancy as the TP-Link TX401, nor does it perform as well. But it’s more than enough for gaming and it doesn’t cost much.

We only recommend against getting this card if you have an internet connection faster than 2.5Gbps. Other than that, it’s pretty solid!


  • Supports internet speeds up to 2.5Gbps, which is enough for most users
  • Stable and consistent performance
  • Very affordable price


  • Not recommended if your internet is faster than 2.5Gbps
Upgraded) 2.5GBase-T PCIe Network Adapter, 25001000100Mbps PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Card RJ45 LAN Controller Support Windows Server

Budget Wireless Card: Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) Desktop Kit

Those of you gaming on Wi-Fi also deserve a budget recommendation, of course! We’re picking the Intel Wi-Fi 6 Desktop Kit to cover this niche.

This is a PCIe card for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.2, so you can use it for the internet and to connect any Bluetooth peripheral. Quite convenient, right?

Similar to TP-Link’s Archer TX3000E card we covered previously, Intel’s desktop kit supports Wi-Fi 6. It even has it in its name!

As such, it supports the OFDMA technology for reduced latency, which is key for gaming.

It supports speeds up to 2.4Gbps through 5G Wi-Fi, but the spec sheet doesn’t list what speeds it supports via 2.4G Wi-Fi. Seems like an odd omission, for sure!

You can possibly expect speeds of around 500Mbps via 2.4G Wi-Fi, but there are no guarantees from Intel. Ideally, you should be using 5G Wi-Fi for gaming anyway, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

Lastly, we feel that the antennae don’t quite have the same reach as TP-Link’s Archer TX3000E. Still, the kit is definitely worthwhile considering the low asking price.


  • Cheaper than similar alternatives
  • Supports Wi-Fi 6 technologies for better gaming performance
  • Supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Very good max speed via 5G Wi-Fi


  • Antennas could be better
  • Expected 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi speed isn’t officially listed
Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) Desktop Kit, AX200, 2230, 2x2 AX+BT, vPro

Best USB Adapter: TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter (UE306)

All the previous network cards are great and all, but they leave out laptop gamers. They’re only for desktop PCs, after all!

But this USB adapter is a perfect alternative for those of you who spend most of your gaming time on laptops. It also works with the Nintendo Switch!

This adapter can plugged into any open USB port on a laptop or Nintendo Switch, or even a desktop PC if you wish.

When it’s connected, just plug an ethernet cable into the adapter itself and your network connection should be ready to go! It’s pretty simple, honestly

It supports speeds up to 1Gbps, so it should be sufficient for most users. The fact that it’s wired is also an upgrade over wireless connections, as it has a lower latency. Ideal for competitive gaming!

The foldable design makes it easy to transport if you need to move it around, which is ideal if you want it for portable systems like laptops and the Switch.

It’s also worth mentioning that the price is extremely accessible. It’s super cheap! However, it doesn’t come with an ethernet cable of its own. You’ll need to get one separately.


  • Perfect for laptops and the Nintendo Switch
  • Best internet speed possible via USB3
  • Very low price


  • Doesn’t include an ethernet cable
TP-Link USB to Ethernet Adapter (UE306), Foldable USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet LAN Laptop Network Adapter, Supports Nintendo Switch, Windows, Linux, Apple

To Sum Up

Our top recommendations for wired and wireless are the TP-Link TX401 and TP-Link Archer TX3000E, respectively. They might be pricey, but they’re the best you can get and they’re optimal for gaming!

Those who want something cheaper can’t go wrong with EDUP’s 2.5GBase-T PCIe Network Adapter for wired, however. It’s pretty solid, though its max speed is a lot lower than the pricier alternative.

Similarly, Intel’s Wi-Fi 6 Desktop Kit is a perfect wireless network card on a budget. However, we felt that its antennas weren’t quite as reliable as the Archer TX3000E’s. Keep that in mind!

Lastly, we recommend TP-Link’s UE306 USB adapter if you’re gaming on a laptop or the Nintendo Switch. It’s cheap and works pretty well for portable systems that don’t have good ethernet ports!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are Wi-Fi cards good for gaming?

Yes. Wi-Fi cards are also good for gaming, but make sure to go for a card that offers long-range signals and greater speed if you don’t want to have lag.

2. Does a Wi-Fi card affect FPS?

Not really. Your internet connection or speed doesn’t affect the game’s FPS. It might have a small impact but it is unnoticeable.

3. Does a Good Network card mean lower ping?

Yes. A more stable and stronger connection will improve your gaming performance and shorten ping times.


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