What Wireless Card to Get for PC?

Hey guys,

I have a PC tower that I want to connect to my router: AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router DIR-890L https://www.dlink.com.au/home-solutions/DIR-890L-AC3200-ultr... . It has 2 x 5Ghz bands and 1 x 2.4Ghz band.

It's approximately 10 meters away. The router is located in the kitchen and my computer is located in a spare room, with about 2/3 walls in between. I have FTTP NBN, and will be getting the 250mbps plan, so I would like to be able to get most of that to my computer (if can't then there's no point in paying for the bigger plan. Also this isn't connected yet, so unsure if those speeds will even be available) I've always run a ethernet cable however cannot do that in the current rental.

What sort of Wireless PCI-E card should I get? Should I even bother to go up and get an AX even though my router is AC rated? It would be cool to be able to connect to multiple bands for the best connection as I play games and the like so packet loss is pretty important, along with a low latency figure.

My PCs' motherboard is a MSI Z170M MORTAR (MS-7972).

Thank you very much in advance for your help guys, truly appreciate it!


  • Some people frown on usb wireless adapters but in my experience they work okay and are the cheaper option. Mine is connected to a spare male to female usb cable that I had lying around and sits on the floor. I do manage around 20MB/s uploading to my NAS on 5ghz. This is going from upstairs to downstairs in a house. I don't play the most competitive games but just did speed test and got around 12ms pings (11,12, and 14 on a few speedtest sites).

  • +2 votes

    nbn Superfast 250 and Ultrafast Gigabit is available to everyone with FTTP. Real world is around 270Mbps.

    All Wi-Fi adapters I have seen are dual-band. I installed a few ASUS PCE-AC88 with no complaints. In your case you don't need Wi-Fi 6 adapters but they are cheap. $55 for the Gigabyte GC-WBAX200.

    • Thats good news, a few people were telling me I wouldn't get the speeds higher than 100.

      That's a really cheap price. Some of the local stores were quoting anywhere from $80 - $175 for different types (AC/ AX/ Quad band etc)

      The Gigabyte one you've just quoted should future proof me for the next 5 years if I decide to get a decent AX router?

      Thanks for your help

      • They must be living under a FTTN rock ;-)

        I think the Gigabyte GC-WBAX200 tops out at around 670Mbps Wi-Fi.

  • Should I even bother to go up and get an AX even though my router is AC rated?

    Wireless AX cards are not that expensive, the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (802.11ax) desktop kit is only around $40 at most computer stores, and it's also backwards compatible with Wifi AC.

    No point stepping down to a Wifi AC chipset.

    • If I did get 250mbps to my router, what sort of speed could I be expecting with this card in a direct, line of sight, 5m away type scenario? And are all AX cards rated to AC1700?

      There's so many options that I just have no idea which way to go

      • All AX cards are rated to AC1733.

        • Need to look at the TX/RX streams.

          AX200 is a 2x2, and OP router likely only support up to BCS 7 with 400ns GI (based on maximum speed of 1300Mbps with 4x4).. so maximum sync speed using AX200 would be 600Mbps.

          Still alright for 250Mbps NBN

  • Have you considered using a Powerline Kit instead? eg. TP-Link AV600.
    This might fare better in regards to latency too vs Wi-Fi.

    • Wasn't the person who neg'd but just so you and the OP knows, anything AV100-900 only have 100 Mbps ports, not gigabit. So your max speed would be capped at 100 Mbps


      1*10/100Mbps Ethernet Port

  • Just get an AX210 from AliExpress for $35

    • What's the difference between these AX210's and all these other options? So confused ha

      • The AX210 is the latest M.2 WiFi card from Intel. It was released last year and supports the latest WiFi (6E) and Bluetooth (5.2) which won't even come to Australia for another few years.

        The thing only costs a few dollars more so it's well worth the investment even if you are running on an older network.

        You can buy a PCIe card with the AX210 onboard along with some antennas. If you want a link let me know and I'll find you one. If you want it from Australia you might find one on Amazon for ~$50.

      • To make use of Wi-Fi 6E a compatible Wi-Fi 6E router is required. Right now you can't use the Wi-Fi 6E 6Ghz band in Oz.

  • Just get a generic AX210 card with decent antenna (if you don't like bunny ears). Those branded ones are more expensive only due to brand, they may even offer less (no WIFI 6E yet).

    I got this from aliexpress for around $50AUD. No problems so far.