When it comes to gaming, you definitely don’t want any interruptions, and slow internet speed can ruin everything. But it is getting more difficult to get a better connection with ports disappearing from laptops along with the headphone jack on phones.
These ports, mainly Ethernet-based RJ-45 ports, vanishing, made people look for other alternatives for a faster network. Luckily, portable gaming consoles and computers still have USB ports, giving you the option to connect your devices to an Ethernet adapter instead.
So, all you need is the best network card for gaming, and you are good to go! And we have got you covered with our bests list and a guide, so buckle up for some hardcore gaming.
Best Network Cards for Gaming:
No one likes a slow internet speed. You can say it is one of the most frustrating things there is, and below are the wired network cards we found to be the best solution for that.
1. Plugable USB 2.0 10/100 Fast Ethernet Adapter
Finding an Ethernet adapter that is compatible with your devices can be tough. Along with the installation process, it may feel intimidating, especially if it is your first time using one.
Lucky for you and every one, this best wired network card for gaming exists! Its simple Plug and Play system is perfect for giving your first try with this device. The installation process is automatic and works while you plug it into your device.
To solve the issue of compatibility, it uses ASIX AX88772 chipset, so it works with most devices you could ever own. It is compatible with 32/64-bit drivers for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10. For Mac OS, it works from 10.6 to 10.14.
And yes, it works on gaming consoles too, including Nintendo Wii and Wii U. It is also compatible with Chrome OS, Linux, and Nvidia Shield among Android devices. You can make it work on a Nintendo Switch as well using the dock.
It is a USB 2.0, which means you will be getting a full 10/100 Mbps connection speed. Thus, this makes it faster than most wireless connections out there.
The device has a data transfer rate of 480Mbps. So, it is perfect for streaming videos without any buffering and game downloads, etc.
- Automatic installation, easy plug, and play.
- ASIX AX88772 chipset makes it compatible with most devices.
- Works with gaming consoles like Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and Switch.
- Provides a 10/100Mbs internet speed with a data transfer rate of 480Mbps.
- Compatible with both 32 and 64-bit drivers of Windows PC.
2. TECHNET Aluminum 3-Port USB 3.0 Hub with Ethernet
If you are a hardcore gamer, chances are you have faced the issues with downloads taking forever or lags due to poor connection. And with modern video games that require high-speed connections and large data to download, it is nearly impossible to go on without an Ethernet adapter.
However, you will require one with a high data transfer rate for the most satisfaction, like this one. Its USB 3.0 has one of the fastest speeds to offer, with a full 10/100/1000 Mbps network speed!
Moreover, you will be getting a data transfer rate of 5 Gbps, giving you the ultimate gaming experience! With it downloading massive files and data will take a fraction of the time or even less.
It is compatible with all of your Windows PC: 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, and Vista. Along with that, it works perfectly on Mac OS, OS X, Chrome OS, and Linux.
One of the other things we like most about it is that it has three additional USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports. So, you can port your tablets, notebooks, ultranotebooks, etc. at the same time and speed rate.
Besides, it supports Plug and Play on all USB ports. For safety checks, the blue LED light flashes indicating normal operation, along with built-in surge protection that ensures the safety of your data and device.
- USB 3.0 offering one of the fastest speeds of 10/100/1000 Mbps.
- Data transfer rate of 5 Gbps.
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, and Linux.
- Can port multiple devices with additional 3 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports.
- Has built-in surge protection to protect your data and device.
3. WEme Ethernet Adapter
Like we mentioned earlier, the current newer models of laptops in the market losing its ports have become quite the problem for people who want to get a stronger connection speed. However, we all know the companies aren’t going to add the ports back.
And so, adapter converter with USB Type C port is our savior. This USB 3.0 hub comes with a Type C connector, so you can port the latest smart devices and computers without a problem.
It works with ChromeBook Pixel, the New Macbook, and Lenovo Yoga, among other USB-C ported devices. Besides, it is fully functional with MacBook Air or Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro, iMac, ThinkPad, Dell, Samsung, and other models and brands.
For operating systems, it is compatible with both 32 and 64-bit drivers of Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, plus Chrome OS and Linux OS. It also works on Mac OS 10.10 and above.
However, on Mac OS X 10.10, you will need to install a patch for it to work properly, and yes, it comes in the package. It goes without saying that as a USB 3.0, it provides a 5 Gbps data transfer rate.
Additionally, the LED light on the top of the hub and near the adapter indicates the status. The extra 3 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports with 2.4 GHz allow you to go wireless with your mouse and keyboard.
- Comes with a USB 3.0 Type C connector, compatible with the latest smart devices and computers.
- Works on 32/64-bit Windows, Mac OS, Chrome OS, and Linux OS.
- Three extra USB 3.0 SuperSpeed port allows wireless keyboard and mouse with 2.4 GHz speed.
- Fully functional with iMac, Microsoft Surface Pro, MacBook Air/Pro, ThinkPad, etc.
- 1000Mbps network with up to 5 Gbps data transfer rate.
4. Hkitty Xiong 8 Pin to RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Wired Network Adapter
An adapter built for iOS devices, it will solve all the network issues and speed instability while gaming, streaming, or downloading files. If you own an iPhone and or iPad, then you will love this!
It comes with an iPhone OTG adapter that is fully compatible with iOS 10.0 up to iOS 11.4. And no, you don’t need to download any app or install the software in any way with your iOS device. It is quick and easy Plug and Play supported.
Besides, it has three different sockets that you can use simultaneously without affecting the speed. You can connect your network cable and iPhone or iPad side by side at once.
Moreover, using the USB port, you can connect your camera, keyboard, HUB, SD, or TF card. This small device is fully compatible and capable of running both your iOS and other devices without issue.
You can also connect your device to your keyboard to type faster. Connecting the two using the lightning USB 3.0 adapter allows you to type using the keyboard on your iPhone directly. What’s more, is that it also charges your device!
Additionally, you can quickly transfer your files from different iOS or other devices using it. Transfer files between your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch or even from your iOS device to your camera!
- iPhone OTG adapter makes it compatible with iOS 10.0 to 11.4 devices.
- Easy Plug and Play, no installation required.
- Can connect iPhone with a keyboard using a USB 3.0 port for faster typing.
- Comes with three different sockets suitable for your camera, keyboard, SD/TF card, or HUB.
- Can transfer files between iOS and other devices, including a camera.
5. UGREEN USB 3.0 Ethernet Adapter
We mentioned about the usefulness of a USB Type C port in the modern days for an adapter. But in a similar case, it has become quite rare to find one with USB Type-A interfaces for doing more than just speeding up your connection.
This USB 3.0 hub comes with a USB Type-A interface so you can connect a USB Flash Drive, external hard drive, mouse, USB headphone, speaker, etc. to your desktop or laptop. It has three ports, so you can connect multiple devices at once.
But that is not the only reason it is on our list. This Gigabit USB to RJ-45 Ethernet adapter is 10x faster than a USB 2.0 with a data transfer rate of up to 5 Gbps! So, you can sync files, stream, download on your PC, or Mac smoothly.
You can use it with 32/64-bit Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, Linux 2.6.14, and above, Mac OS along with Microsoft Surface Pro and Xiaomi Mi Box, etc. It is also Plug and Play supported with built-in surge protection for safe gaming and file transferring.
Besides, it supports from 10/100 Mbps to 1000 Mbps network speed. Thus, you can watch different media streaming sites smoother than ever. You can also connect it to devices like HDD, thanks to its 5V micro USB port.
It has 3 USB 3.0 ports and an RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port. Thus, letting you use more than one device at once, including MacBook Air, Surface Laptop, iMac, iMac Pro, Notebook, and Ultranotebook.
- Has 3 USB 3.0 port and an RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port.
- Gigabit USB to RJ-45 Ethernet adapter provides 10x faster speed USB 2.0.
- It comes with a USB Type-A interface for connecting an external hard drive, flash drive, USB headphones, etc.
- 5V micro USB ports make it possible to connect with devices like HDD.
- It works with Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Microsoft Surface Pro, Xiaomi Mi Box, etc.
Data Transfer Rate
Compatible OS & System
Plugable USB 2.0
32/64-bit Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10, macOS 10.6 to 10.14, Chrome OS, Linux
Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and Switch
Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, and Vista, Mac OS, OS X, Chrome OS, and Linux
Tablets, Notebooks, Ultranotebooks
32/64-bit Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, Chrome OS, Linux OS, Mac OS 10.10 and above, Mac OS X 10.10
ChromeBook Pixel, Lenovo Yoga, MacBook Air/Pro, Microsoft Surface Pro, iMac, ThinkPad, Dell, Samsung
3 ports, Type-C connector
iOS 10.0 to 11.3
iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, camera, keyboard, HUB, SD/TF card
32/64-bit Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP, Linux 2.6.14, and above, Mac OS
Microsoft Surface Pro, Xiaomi Mi Box, HDD, MacBook Air, Surface Laptop, iMac, iMac Pro, Notebook, Ultranotebook
3 ports, Type-A interface
Best Network Card For Gaming – Buying Guide
Now that you know what’s hot in the market, our guide will tell you all you need to know and understand to find the right one for you. There are a lot of things to consider, so let’s jump right in!
Check properly if the adapter can work with your device or not. The product typically states what OS and system it is compatible with.
Most adapters support Windows, Mac, and Linux. However, you may need to look out for one with a USB Type C port for the current models in the market. They are compatible with all the newly released MacBooks and some Windows PCs as well.
The second thing you need to consider is the type and version of the USB wired network. Depending on it, you will get the right amount of speed and functionality you require. The most common versions are USB 2.0 and 3.0. The 2.0 gives a much slower connection speed than the 3.0.
While USB 2.0 is good for casual gaming and streaming videos, it may not be the best for high-quality, smooth streaming and downloading bigger games. In that case, USB 3.0 provides the right amount of speed to do both fast and smooth.
Accessories or Hub
Many wired network cards come with extra ports or a hub. These accessories let you add multiple devices at once. You can typically find three additional ports and the main network port in the market.
Depending on the device, you can connect from your gaming console to your phone with it. Some even come with a USB Type-A interface, so you connect your external hard drive or flash drive while streaming videos or gaming.
Speed and Size
Speed is the ultimate priority with the best ethernet card for gaming. You can find 10/100 Mbps to 10/100/1000 Mbps connection speed, or 480 Mbps to 5 Gbps. All of which is great for downloading modern video games, streaming videos in 4K, etc.
It is also important to consider the size. If you are going to travel places, then getting a smaller one means you can carry it around. However, if you usually stay at home, a bigger one is better as it will give you more ports.
Purpose and Budget
If you are only going to be downloading modern games or playing them online, consider upping your budget and getting a Gigabit Ethernet adapter. They provide the highest speeds, generally up to 5 Gbps.
On the other hand, if you are only going to stream videos, then one around 480 Mbps speed is enough for you. They also come in cheaper, so you will be saving money compared to buying one with a higher data transfer rate.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are wired network safe?
Yes, they are safer than wireless networks. With wired ones, you connect it to only one physical cable, whereas wireless is open to the public, making it more vulnerable.
2. Can Ethernet connections get hacked?
No, it is because you insert the cable directly to the device for the connection. So, it requires accessing the device itself, and there is no other way to get through it by hackers.
3. Is there any disadvantage in using a wired network?
Not necessarily. However, it is inconvenient to move with it as you need it plugged to get a connection.
4. What is NIC?
NIC or Network Interfaced Card is a component that gives you the option to have a wired or wireless connection to a LAN. You can find more than one Ethernet ports with devices having it.
5. Is Ethernet better than Wi-Fi?
When it comes to transferring files between two computers, Ethernet is way faster than Wi-Fi. Besides, it also increases streaming quality.
Having a high-speed internet connection is always a plus. You can do basically anything faster, and with the best network card for gaming, you can not only game like a pro but also do other stuff with impressive speed.
While most people don’t think of getting themselves one of these devices, it can truly make your work on the internet and entertainment much smoother and faster.
But do remember, you don’t need to spend much to get a powerful connection speed. The ones on our list are quite affordable, and based on your need; you might end up spending way less than you anticipated.