11 Best Network Card for Gaming & Budget Users in 2021

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In the world of online gaming, everything is happening fast. You need to react fast to even get attacks in or dodge faster to avoid being killed. Most of the time you will also be playing in groups so having a secure, stable, and fast internet will ensure that you don’t let anyone done during the crucial moments of the game. But this is easier said than done. Internet connection does tend to be very finicky during normal times so its instability during thunderstorms and such shouldn’t come as a surprise. To overcome this issue you should get a network card. 

A network card will make your life easier and you will be able to game in peace. You won’t have to worry if you have somehow lost the hard work put in overcoming various levels since you weren’t able to save it. But you might as well ask- isn’t it better to simply get the wired ethernet internet connection? After all, that will give you a stable internet connection, won’t it? The answer to this is that yes you will get a stable internet connection as a result of it. 

Many like the certainty of knowing that you will get a certain level of stable speeds no matter what. It will allow you to choose what applications you are working on or what games you want to play. But there are downsides to this as well. It will put pressure on your CPU and bring down the performance of your entire system over time. As such it will be doubtful if you will even be able to play certain games over time. 

But a network card will give you a very quick internet connection and be able to boost your internet speed up to by 1 Gbps as well. You will be able to choose between getting wireless or wired network cards. Unlike the wired connections, a network card will give you a stable connection even if its wires go on through walls and floors. Moreover, you won’t be restricted to just some set motion range as well. You will be able to move around the room while you play. 

Many think that the price of a network card is high or higher than a wired connection. But that’s not true at all. You will find that the price falls in a very comfortable price bracket. Moreover, the benefits of having a network card will certainly justify its price. Many manufacturers make network cards. How will you know which one is the best? To help you out here’s a list of the very best network cards for gaming in 2021 available in the market. 

Top 11 Best Network Card for Gaming in 2021 [Reviews]

Network cards come with different specs. In the list below you will find variety but all of them are the very best. All these have been rated and reviewed excellently by hundreds of people. These are: 

1. Ubit AX WiFi Card WiFi 6 Dual Band 3000 Mbps AX200 PCIE Wireless WiFi Card

  • DOCSIS: 4.0
  • Download/upload speed: 2.4Gbps
  • Router/modem combo: no

The card works for Linux, Chrome OS, Windows 10. This network card has been created to work with the commonly used IEEE 802.11ax standard. This standard is the WiFi 6 technology as well as the well-used WiFi-Alliance WiFi-6 certifications. The card supports the use of the 2×2 WiFi-6 standard too. You don’t have to use a worthy AX router to be sure of this feature. The card comes with advanced technologies that help in improving the connectivity (wireless) on your PC. 

This includes very new features like DL and UL OFDMA. OFDMA will ensure a faster connection and work. Along with this, there’s the 1024QAM which helps in ensuring that data rates get increased to 2.4 Gbps. It also allows you to get Bluetooth 5 as well as improved network capacity. The card comes with new features that give you a better performance. You will be able to get peak data points and be able to improve the density till 4x even in congested or dense environments. This will help in improving the width of the channel by almost 2x. As a result, you will be able to get a fast and better connection that goes from the desktop to your router. This will be beneficial if you are gaming. 

Using this card you will get fast downloads and uploads too. You will be able to enjoy large files and even 8K movies getting uploaded and downloaded. All of this without any buffering at all. You will get to enjoy a longer battery life along with lower latency as well. The card also ensures that you can get a gigabit worth of wireless speed. This will help improve your experience wherever you are. It can be at work, home, or even while you are on the go. Also, The card uses 128-bit and 64-bit WEP, 128-bit AES-CCMP, TKIP, and 256-bit AES-GCMP for encryption. This will enable you to browse safely without worrying about hackers. 

Installing the card is easy. All you have to do is plug it in the PC’s PCI-E slot so that you can upgrade the connection. This will give you the freedom of mobility since you will be able to go wherever there’s a great WiFi connection. It also focuses on Beamforming technology that ensures that WiFi signals are focused on connected devices. This allows for a wider boosted range as well as stable connections. It is also compatible with the Intel drivers and processors along with most other kinds of processor brands available in the market. 


  • Strong encryption
  • Uses IEEE 802.11ax standard
  • Uses DL and UL OFDMA


  • Doesn’t work with Mac OS

2. TP-Link 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express, PCIE Network Adapter / Network Card / Ethernet Card for PC

  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Download/upload speed1000Mbps
  • Modem/Router combo: no

This 32-bit network adapter will let you connect a computer to a wired high-speed network. It is very highly integrated as well as cost-effective. This network card will work with a variety of operating systems. It will work with Vista 32/64bit, Windows XP 32/64bit, Windows 8 32/64bit, and Windows 7 32/64bit. This will give you quite some variety to work with especially if you are using old systems and can’t afford to get newer ones. Apart from this, it supports Windows 8.1 and 10 as well. So if you have newer models you don’t need to worry about that. 

When it comes to speeds, this card will be able to support 10/100/1000Mbps all throughput without any issues. It also supports Wake-on-LAN to make your job easier. With this, you will be able to get support for IEEE 802.3x with backpressure for the half-duplex mode and flow control for the full-duplex mode. This will help solve any contention over the sharing of packets. But that’s not all. You will find that this card supports IEEE802.1q VLAN-tagging and IEEE 802.1p’s Layer-2 Priority-Encoding. 

The card comes with two brackets. This means that you will get a standard profile one and a low profile bracket. With this, you will be able to work easily with both the standard and mini-sized PCs. There’s also the auto MDI/MDIX as well as auto-negotiation function with this. It also supports power saving while link down or power down. 

You don’t have to worry about installation issues since it comes with a handy installation guide that will tell you how to get it done. There is even a resource CD that comes with this which will guide you better. You will also get 24/7 technical support if you encounter any issues. The product comes with a 2-years warranty. As such you will be able to use it without any worries. 


  • Works for Windows 8, 7, XP and 10
  • Dual brackets
  • Auto MDI/ MDIX


  • The docsis could be better

3. TP-Link AC1200 PCIe WiFi Card for PC

  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Download/upload speed: 867Mbps
  • Router/modem combo: no

This network uses a 5GHz band that will enable you to get speeds to 867Mbps. You will be able to get high speeds that are pretty much perfect for steaming large files as well as downloading them. This will allow you to game faster. Using a 2.4 GHz band you will be able to speeds reaching till 300Mbps. With this, you can work on multiple applications while you are browsing, emailing, and such.

This adapter makes your computer Bluetooth compatible. This means that your PC will now be fully compatible with the advanced and great Bluetooth 4.2 technology. With this, you will be able to get 2.5 times faster speeds. Along with this, there will be ten times the packet capacity when compared to Bluetooth 4.0. 

There’s 2 signal-boosting powerful high-gain antennas present here. These will help improve your wifi reception and will ensure that you can make use of uninterrupted and fast 4K gaming and streaming even from a distance. 

This adapter is easy to install. All you have to do is plug it into any of the available PCI-E slots. This will help you upgrade your PC easily. The card works with only Windows. With this, you will be able to achieve compatibility with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 7. 


  • High speeds
  • Uses Bluetooth 4.2
  • Signal boosting antennas


  • Works with only Windows OS

4. TRENDnet 32-bit 10/100/1000Mbps Copper Gigabit PCI Adapter

  • DOCSIS 3.0
  • Download/upload speed: 1000Mbps
  • Modem/Router combono

This card allows you to go for either half or full-duplex modes. In the full-duplex mode, it supports a data rate of 20/200/2000Mbp which is double. There’s the MDI-X media-type feature in it too. The card allows you to access and efficiently utilize the network bandwidth using the newest VLAN tagging. After all, it has a capacity of 2000Mbps in terms of bandwidth. 

This network card offers you high bandwidth which automatically senses the 10/100/1000Mbps speeds. As such you will automatically be connected and stay connected. The card has TEG-PCITXR which automatically senses the connection speed of 10/100/1000Mbps along with the MDI-X media-type as well as the full and half-duplex modes. As a result of this, it is perfect for a video-conferencing workstation as well as for a high-traffic power server. 

Since it has a speed of a thousand Mbps so it uses a DOCSIS 3.0 for its functions. This card isn’t a modem and router combo as well. since it just has one Ethernet port. The card does support the Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista Operating Systems.

The card supports local bus-master 32-bit PCI high-speed operation of the Rev 2.3. Along with this, it also comes with a built-in FIFO of 8k/64kBuilt-in FIFO (8K/64K) buffers reduce the overhead of memory transfers since it will be able to automatically tackle the oldest entry first. As a result, it will chip away at the bulk set without making the first entries linger for completion. 


  • VLAN tagging
  • 2000mbps at full-duplex
  • MDI-X media-type


  • Just one Ethernet port

5. TOTOVIN PCI-e Gigabit Network Adapter

  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Download/upload speed: 1000Mbps
  • Router/modem combo: no

This card offers you high performance as well as high reliability. All of this for low power. This card has a low power consumption of just 1.9W. In the long run, you will be able to save a lot more. The card supports 10/100/1000 Mbps of data rate in each port. So you will enjoy high speeds that are ideal for gaming. 

It makes use of PCI Express 1.1 with 2.5 GT/s for carrying out its operations. This works in the x4, x1, x16, and x8 slots easily. At the encoding rate, you will get x1 the bus speed. When it’s unidirectional, you will get 2.5 Gbps but when it’s bi-directional you will get 5 Gbps.

The card makes use of connectors RJ-45 and has the interrupt levels of MSI-X, MSI, and INTA. This improves the responsiveness by ensuring that there’s faster communication going on between the GPU and CPU. The card works with IEEE 802.3z standards.

The card will help support Windows 2000, Windows 2008, Windows 2003, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Linux Kernel 2.6.24, Linux RHEL 4.6, Novell NetWare 6.5, SCO UnixWare 6, DOS, SLES 9, and 10. It has LES indicators. When it is yellow that means that it is using a thousand MB and when it’s green, then it’s using 100 MB. 


  • Supports a variety of OS
  • Uses RJ-45
  • Uses MSI-X, MSI, and INTA for interrupt 


  • The speed could be better

6. Ziyituod Gigabit Ethernet Card, Dual-Port PCI-E Network Interface Card (NIC), PCI Express LAN Adapter Converter

  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Download/upload speed: 1000Mbps
  • Modem/router combo: no

This network card works for a variety of operating systems. It works for NAS, LINUX, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 as well. This gives you a lot of options. So whether your system is old or new, this card will work on it. This card works with PCI Express, X8, X4, X16, and X1 slots. 

The card makes use of RTL8111G x2 for high performance. This control chip offers good compatibility as well as stable performance. You will find that this chip is indeed suitable for working in various market segments as well as emerging applications. This refers to mobile, desktop, workstation, communications platform, server, and more. 

The little card makes use of an advanced Heat-Sink. This ensures that the heat created dissipates faster. This will help in improving the performance as well as stability. If the temperature is lower there will be an increased lifespan for the adapter as well. This adapter is dual-port and uses the PCIe-2.0 standard. It also supports Jumbo Frames as well as 802.1q VLAN tagging. Each of the ports gives 10/100/1000 Mbps of capable Ethernet. It is also fully compatible with the standards of IEEE 802.1 802.3 ab/u/x.

It also comes with a half-height or low profile bracket that’s used for getting the installation done into a very small form-factor or standard form-factor computer chassis. With this card, you will get a one-year warranty along with lifelong free support. 


  • Variety of PCI express
  • Compatible with IEEE 802.1 802.3 ab/u/x.
  • Supports Jumbo Frames


  • Speed could be better

7. FebSmart Wireless Dual Band N600 (2.4GHz 300Mbps or 5GHz 300Mbps) PCI Express Wi-Fi Adapter

  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Download/upload speed: 300mbps
  • Router/modem combo: no

This card offers you a soft AP-mode or a WiFi receiver. It used dual brackets of standard and low profile. The low profile will be useful for a mini-computer and slim computers. It makes use of an external antenna 2X3dBi. This will improve the wifi performance and coverage. With this, you will be able to get wireless speeds of 300mbps at 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. With this, you will be able to stream your games and carry out your online browsing faster. 

Install this card but putting it in a PCI-Express slot. This card will help you get a more stable connection than the USB-wifi adapter. You will also get more mobility with this and be able to move out PC wherever you like. The card complies with the WPA/WPA2, 64/128, and WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK(TKIP/AES) kinds of security protocols. This will ensure that you can remain connected to most of the wifi signals. 

The card has an inbuilt Qualcomm-Atheros chipset which will enable you to get a better WiFi solution and connection with very few losses. It works on all kinds of PCI-E slots. This includes the PCI-E X2, X4, X3, X8, X1, and X16. It is very easy to connect to the wireless modems with 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n. It complies with 64/128 WEP, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK(TKIP/AES), and WPA/WPA2 security protocol. 

The card will is compatible with the AMD RYZEN and Intel processors. In terms of processors, it is compatible with Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows 8.1. Along with this, it works with Windows Server 2016, 2012, 2019, and 2012R2. But do note that you will have to install the driver on some versions like Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Server 2003R2, 2003, 2008 and 2008R2. Do note that it came to be used on the Windows Vista OS. 


  • Compatible with all PCI-E slots
  • Works with 802.11 ac/a/b/g/n modems
  • Uses multiple security protocols


  • Works with limited Windows OS

8. EDUP Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express PCI-E Network Card

  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Download/upload speed: 1000Mbps
  • Router/modem combo: no

This card works with Windows Vista, Windows 8.1, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 7, and Windows 10. This will give you a lot of variety to work with. Do note that it doesn’t work with Mac OS or Linux. Even if your system uses an older operating system, you will still get to enjoy high-speed internet. 

This adapter works for any kind of PCI-enabled server, client, or workstation. It can support high-performance and dual-channel networking. With this, you will be able to transfer the maximum speed of around 1000Mbps in both directions. This is around 10× faster than the 10/100 Ethernet.

You won’t face any issues in installing it. If you are unsure about how to proceed first go to the EDUP website and then install up the software from there. Then remove the computer’s cover. Don’t do any installation of the PCI-E card if you find that the PC is on. Now spot any empty PCI-E slot before very carefully inserting it. Do note that it won’t work in any PCI slot only. You will find that this card fits into any PCI Express x2, x8, x4, x16, and x1. 

With this card, you will get dual brackets. You will get a low profile as well as a normal bracket. The low-profile one will help in the case of a mini-tower computer case. This works well with the 802.1Q VLAN tag. Along with this, the network card is compliant to the IEEE802.3U, IEEE802.3, and IEEE802.3ab. This card only supports the 5V power supply so make sure to use that not 12V. You will also get a lifetime’s worth of friendly customer service here. 


  • Compliant to IEEE802.3U, IEEE802.3, and IEEE802.3ab.
  • Dual-channel networking
  • Dual brackets


  • Only works with Windows OS

9. Intel Gigabit CT PCI-E Network Adapter

  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Download/upload speed: 1000Mbps
  • Router/modem combo: no

This card is very unique and used in the motherboard of many gaming computers. It is so widely used because it uses less power and is highly efficient. It also comes with two queues- Rx (receive) and TX (transmit). As such the card can prioritize just what kind of data gets transferred first. But do know that large and intermittent packets will indeed be sent after the time-sensitive and compact ones. After all, the end aim is performance and better balancing of huge loads. Of course, low PINF rates are a target as well. 

The card supports many advanced networking options. Things like network boot, wake-from-LAN as well as remote management are included. If you are running a business then you will need these features.

This chipset is pretty much accepted as the standard. Many other kinds of cards use the same kind of technology. But the main takeaway here is that since the card is used to widely so it’s supported by a tonne of operating systems. All kinds of Linux, any Windows version which is upwards of 98 as well as BSD like Solaris works with this card. To be fair, there aren’t many modern systems that aren’t compatible with this. 

The performance of this card is really good. It works with the processor using interrupts. This helps in grouping requests altogether. An interrupt is sent only when it’s really necessary. Along with this, the chipset comes with a high noise to signal ratio than anything else available right now. This results in lesser dropped packets and improved ping speeds. Overall, you will get better performance. 


  • Advanced networking options
  • Compatible with almost all OS
  • Good performance


  • Speeds could be better

10. ASUS XG-C100C 10G Network Adapter

  • DOCSIS: 3.0
  • Download/upload speed: 1000Mbps
  • Router/modem combo: no

This card will help you get 100Mbps and 10/5/2.5/1Gbps of networking standards. It has been designed to ensure that you get the technology needed to work faster but while also ensuring that there’s complete backward compatibility as well. The card offers you complete compatibility with Windows 10. 

It can support both Linux and Windows. This allows for flexible and easy OS integration. When it’s about OS, this card supports Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. That’s not all, when it comes to Linux it supports that too. You will be able to use it with Linux Kernel 3.2, Linux Kernel 3.6, Linux Kernel 4.2, Linux Kernel 4.4. This will ensure that you will be able to get a better and more flexible OS integration. 

This card also comes with an RJ45 LAN-port. It is pretty standard, but with it, you will be able to upgrade to till 10Gbps networking pretty quickly. But do use copper network cables and avoid the optical fiber ones since they are pretty costly. It makes use of 10GBase-T technology for networking. This is what allows the card to give you speeds of 10Gbps. This is ten times faster than what you will be getting on the standard Ethernet. 

The card makes use of the QoS or inbuilt Quality-of-Service technology. This allows you to positively prioritize your bandwidth as well as the data packs. All this results in a smoother online experience. 


  • Inbuilt Quality-of-Service
  • Uses RJ45 LAN-port
  • Uses 10GBase-T technology


  • Only Linux and Windows compatibility

11. TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi Card

When it comes to good-quality yet budget-friendly network cards for high-speed internet connectivity, TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 PCIe WiFi Card is hands down one of the bestselling products on Amazon.

Priced under $40, this network card does more than allow you to have a seamless user and internet connectivity experience if that is something that you are aiming for. Backed with the latest wifi 6 standard allows you to experience the best user experience and incredible speed with low latency for unmatched internet functions.

The combination of OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology allows you to experience uninterrupted connectivity as you have never experienced before. Also, not only does it provide next-level entertainment, the device is designed to enable you to experience seamless connectivity in the busiest networks.

The next-gen wifi card also supports up to 2.4 Gbps speed and supports the 64-bit Windows 10 connectivity support, making the process of driver installation a lot easier for you to handle. The OFDMA reduces the constant lags that most of the users often tend to complain about as well. 

The two multi-directional and high-performance antennas in this network card come in handy, especially when it comes to providing the users with higher and better coverage throughout their house. Also, it comes with a bracket for easier installation.

The network card is also compatible with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity that further offers amazing coverage and heightened speeds when it comes to data transfer. Also, the high-speed functions allow you to connect as many devices as you want, which is always a positive aspect of this product without any doubt.


  • Affordable and well worth the price
  • Offers incredible speed with low latency
  • Integrated with OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology
  • Supports Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity
  • Comes with high-performance antennas


  • Traps heat under the card easily

Ultimate Buying Guide to Choose the right Network Card for Gaming in 2021

Getting a network card might seem like a daunting task but it isn’t. All that you need to do is understand just how the feature and factors involved work. Most buyers make the mistake of not paying attention to those. 

There are a lot of manufacturers who will try to sell off cheap network cards as good ones. But you need to be careful and wade through the jargon to understand the features that you are getting. To help you out here are some factors which must consider before buying a network card: 

1. Connector Types

Know that there kinds of connectors that are used in any network card. This is called the BNC port, RJ-45 port, and the AUI port. With some, you will get ports present on the adapter all at once but with others, you will get three ports all at the very same time. 

AUI works using thick coaxial cables. The BNC connector works using thin coaxial cables. But the RJ-45 port can work great with an unshielded twisted pair. You should use the one which goes with your PC system. 

2. Compatibility

Know that all kinds of network cards won’t work with all kinds of computer operating systems. But do note that a majority of the models are compatible with Windows especially Windows 8 and 10. But that isn’t the case for Apple and Linux. So before you buy, make sure that you check the compatibility conditions. 

3. Budget

There are a lot of brands that make network cards. These come in a variety of price ranges. With a difference in price range, there will be a difference in the kind of features you will get as well. But you shouldn’t go beyond what you can afford. Take in stock the features and the specs of your computer before buying one. 

4. Transmission Rate

The cards can work with different kinds of transmission rates. This ranges from anywhere between 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps. It might seem like choosing the card which offers the highest transmission rate will be better. But that won’t work in your favour. This is because you won’t be able to benefit from the high transmission rates in Gbps if you have, say, a 100Mbps supporting twisted-pair. So make sure to select the card which is compatible with the rate of the twisted pair. Otherwise, you will simply be washing money down the drain.  


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Best Network Card for Gaming in 2021

1. How to start a network card?

To begin, go to Settings and then click on the Network and Security tab. From there go to Status and then click on Change Adapter. Then click right on the Adapter before clicking on the on or Enable option. 

2. Are the PCI and PCI-E ports the same?

The short answer is no. These are different kinds of ports and different kinds of network cards use differently. So if you see that a network card fits in a PCI-E port then insert it there only. Don’t try to put it in the PCI slot. It just won’t work. 

3. Is the internet speed affected by the distance between the network card and the router?

For some, this isn’t the case but for others, the speed is affected by the distance. If you want more mobility then get those cards that come with antennas. This will let you have more mobility. 

4. Are network cards exclusively made for gaming?

Network cards provide a boost in transmission rates which will allow you to do anything with greater internet speeds. As such if you love online gaming then these cards will ensure a proper connection, high stability, and high internet speeds. 



Network cards will let you enjoy high-speed and stable internet. You won’t be affected by restricted mobility and other downsides of wired transmission. Using this you will be able to carry out various applications simultaneously. You will also be able to play online games easily.