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PCIe WiFi Adapter vs USB WiFi Adapter? Which is better?

It’s rare to come across a desktop computer with WiFi already installed. In this case, many users who want to connect wirelessly have to choose between two common solutions: a USB WiFi dongle or a PCIe card. However, the case remains: which is better, PCIe WiFi cards or USB WiFi Adapter?

First of all let’s find out, what is a WiFi Adapter.

PCIe vs USB WiFi Adapter / Receiver

What is a WiFi Adapter?

A WiFi adapter is a device that connects your computer or laptop to a wireless network. It allows you to access the internet without having to use an Ethernet cable. WiFi adapters come in different shapes and sizes, and they can be used with both laptops and desktop computers. With the help of a WiFi adapter, you can easily connect to any available network.

There are mainly two types of WiFi Adapters. Internal or inbuilt WiFi Adapters and External USB WiFi Adapters. Both adapter have their own pros and cons. Let’s find out the difference between PCIe WiFI Adapter and USB WiFi adapters.

Comparison between PCIe WiFI Adapter and USB WiFi Adapter

PCIe WiFi AdapterUSB WiFi Adapter
PCIe WiFi card is used inside the dekstop computer casing in a PCI Slot or inside the laptop.It is a dongle like device which is attached to the USB port of a computer or laptop to connect to the WiFi network.
It is installed internally and require a driver to get startedIt is a plug and play device attached externally. Drivers are usually get installed automatically.
Better speed and range coverageSlower as compared to PCIe Adapter.
It is recommended over USB adapter for streaming and gaming purpose.Good for normal use

My Experience with Both type of Aadapters

It was the time of lockdown when I tried to connect the desktop PC wirelessly to my existing router’s WiFi network for my child’s zoom classes. I chose the USB WiFi adapter as it was easy to connect, so I ordered one from Amazon.




But my experience with the WiFi adapter was not great, as in Zoom meetings it was disconnecting frequently due to poor connectivity. My router was in the other room on the same floor.

I was in doubt that it is the issue of my router’s range. But WiFi was working fine on my mobile phone.

Then one of my techy friend told me to try the PCIe card. I ordered the PCIe WiFi adapter, and the performance was really impressive. It solved the issue and worked great in the Zoom classes.

Another catch with this case is that I used the USB Adapter without antennas, But these days WiFi USB Adapters with antennas are available on the market. So result could be different, because I have not tested the one with Antennas.

Which one to choose?

If you can open the desktop casing, then choose the Internal PCIe based wifi card otherwise USB wifi receiver is the best option.

PCIe WiFi Adapters

Find some best deals on WiFi cards to install internally in PCI slot of the motherboard.

USB WiFi Adapters

Find some best deals on WiFi Adapters which can be connected to USB port

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