9 Best M.2 Wi-Fi Cards in 2021 Reviews & Buying Guide


Although most of the laptops and PC motherboards do come with built-in Wi-Fi cards nowadays. However, if you own an old one that does not offer you Wireless functionalities such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Don’t worry about that; you can add that to your laptop or PC by installing a small expansion card. Here, we have come up with a list of the best Wi-Fi cards for you to choose from, but before you pick one, make sure to check for a few things like:

  • Wireless Standard: Speaking of Wi-Fi, you should always check the standard as it tells you a lot about it. The latest Wi-Fi technology that is around these days is Wi-Fi 6, or say 802.11ax Wi-Fi. It’s much more stable than Wi-Fi 5 connectivity and offers much higher speeds.
  • Data Transfer Rates: After confirming the wireless standard, you should have a look at the speed of the WiFi as well. Generally, the tri-band and dual-band Wi-Fi cards are capable of delivering much better speeds such as 5Gbps+ and 3Gbps+ respectively.
  • Bluetooth: Since the Wi-Fi cards also add Bluetooth functionality to your device, you should be looking to have the latest one. Almost all the cards nowadays come with Bluetooth 5. However, you should check if it’s version 5.2 or 5.1 since the latest ones have lower latency, better coverage, and higher speed as well.

Apart from these few factors, there are a few other aspects that you should consider while buying a new WiFi card for your PC or laptop. In case you are buying a Wi-Fi card for the first time, consider reading the detailed “Buying Guide” that is given below in this article. For now, let’s quickly check out the best Wi-Fi cards that we have shortlisted for you.

9 Best M.2 Wi-Fi Cards in 2021

Best M.2 Wi-Fi Cards in 2021: Reviews

1. Intel Wireless-Ac 9260 M.2 Wi-Fi Card

Intel Wireless-Ac 9260 M.2 Wi-Fi Card

Apart from making CPUs, Intel’s a huge brand that manufactures a variety of expansion cards for laptops and PCs, like the Intel Wireless-AC 9260.

The Intel Wireless-AC 9260 Wi-Fi card holds the 1st position in this list because it’s a highly affordable card, and is offered by the most trustworthy brand itself. As the name implies, this Wi-Fi card works on 2×2 802.11AC standard, i.e., Wi-Fi 5. That said, it also boasts wave 2 features like having 160MHz channels along with downlink MU-MIMO support as well. If you are concerned about the Wi-Fi speeds, this card can handle up to 1.73Gbps speeds without an issue. Moreover, due to the 802.11ac standard, the power consumption of the card is pretty less, so it does not affect your device’s battery much either.

Apart from that, the card offers you the benefits of Bluetooth 5 technology as well. One good fact about this chip is that no Vpro technology is required to use this card on your PC or laptop. However, you should note that it works best with 8th Generation Intel Core processors. Using this with older Intel Chipsets may not work. In addition, it has an M.2 2230 Form Factor, which means it can be used with a key A or E socket, which is great.

Key Features:

  • 2×2 802.11AC standard
  • Up to 1.73Gbps speed
  • 2 2230 Form Factor
  • Uses 160MHz channels
  • MU-MIMO support
  • Bluetooth 5

Pros:

  • Fast 2×2 802.11AC standard Wi-Fi
  • Flexible installation
  • No vPro Technology required

Cons:

  • Does not work properly with older Intel CPUs

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2. OKN WiFi 6 AX200 M.2 Wi-Fi Card

OKN WiFi 6 AX200 M.2 Wi-Fi Card

OKN is one of the biggest sellers around the market that provides a bunch of varieties of Wi-Fi cards. Hence, you should take a look at this deal.

We are putting this OKN WiFi 6 AX200 Wireless Card in 2nd position in this list because it delivers you all the latest technologies at a very fair price point. Since it’s a Wi-Fi 6 card, it operates on the latest 802.11ax Wi-Fi standards. That said, this card also supports dual-band networks and delivers up to 2400Mbps speeds on the 5GHz band and up to 574Mbps up to 2.4GHz. Apart from that, it’s capable of delivering such good speeds because of technologies like OFDMA, 1024QAM channels.

The best part about this Wireless card is its wide compatibility. It works with almost all Intel chipsets and even with the PCs having newer AMD CPUs, which run on Windows 10 64bit and Linux OS. Unfortunately, this card does not support macOS devices. Apart from that, the card uses an M.2/NGFF 2230 interface, so it’ll be easier for you to replace the older cards and install this one on your laptop or PC. The card does provide you with Bluetooth 5.1 functionalities as well, which is quite fast and reliable as compared to older Bluetooth 4.2.

Key Features:

  • 11ax Wi-Fi 6
  • Delivers up to 3Gbps
  • Supports Dual-band networks
  • Supports OFDMA and 1024QAM
  • Compatible with Intel and AMD CPUs
  • Compatible with Windows 10 and Linux OS
  • 2/NGFF 2230 Interface
  • Bluetooth 5.1

Pros:

  • Easy Installation
  • Wide Compatibility
  • Offers good wireless speeds with dual-band

Cons:

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3. Intel AX200 M.2 Wi-Fi Card

Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 M.2 Wi-Fi Card

Since Intel has got so much variety of cards to offer, we have picked up yet another good option for PC users who need a full Wireless kit for themselves.

This Wireless Kit from Intel surely deserves the 3rd position in this list since it’s dedicatedly designed for Desktop PCs and isn’t expensive either. Yes, the kit does include antennas, brackets, and cables that are needed to set up a wireless card in the motherboard. However, what’s special about the kit is the wireless module itself. It boasts an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (Gig+) module, which operates on 802.11ax wireless standard delivering speeds up to 2402Mbps. Thanks to the 2×2 MU-MIMO support, the speeds of this module are much faster than Wi-Fi 5 and have almost 75% lower latency rates as well.

For security purposes, the card does support the WPA3 security protocols as well, which is great to stay safe from wireless hacking attacks. Speaking of compatibility, it works wonderfully with Windows 10 64-bit OS and uses an M.2 connector and a standard Key A or E socket. Unfortunately, if you are using an AMD processor in your system, this Wi-Fi card won’t work for you since it only supports Intel chipsets, also vPro. For connecting wireless peripherals, you can take advantage of the Bluetooth 5.0 technology offered by this card.

Key Features:

  • 11ax Wireless Standard
  • Uses M.2 Connector
  • Up to 2402Mbps Speed
  • Compatible with Windows 10 64-bit
  • Supports vPro
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 2×2 MU-MIMO support
  • WPA3 wireless security

Pros:

  • Easy Installation
  • Compatible with all Intel CPUs
  • Supports highly secure WPA3 protocol

Cons:

  • Not suitable for AMD-powered systems

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4. EDUP WiFi 6 AX200NGW M.2 Wi-Fi Card

EDUP WiFi 6 AX200NGW M.2 Wi-Fi Card

Looking into the WiFi cards market, EDUP is a brand that offers a wide range of latest technology Wi-Fi cards at really attractive price points.

Particularly looking at this card here, this is a WiFi 6 AX200NGW M.2 Wireless Network Card which means that it operates on the 802.11ax wireless standards. That said, it’s almost 3x better than any conventional Wi-Fi card out there. In that case, this card can deliver up to 2402Mbps wireless speeds from the 5GHz band and around 574Mbps from the 2.4GHz band. Hence, if you are using a dual-band router, this card won’t disappoint you at all. Apart from that, it uses an NGFF M2 2230 A/E key and is only compatible with systems running on Windows 10.

For the users currently using a Wi-Fi 5 AC router, this card can deliver up to 300Mbps at 2.4GHz and up to 1733Mbps at 5GHz. Thanks to the 2×2 MU-MIMO technology, it can reliably transmit the data to multiple clients without any issue. Speaking of Bluetooth, the card offers you Bluetooth 5.1, which is even backward compatible as well, so you can pretty much connect every Bluetooth device with your PC after installing this card.

Key Features:

  • 11ax Wireless Standard
  • Uses NGFF M2 2230 A/E key
  • 2×2 MU-MIMO technology
  • Speeds up to 2974Mbps
  • Compatible with Intel-powered systems
  • Runs on Windows 10 and ChromeOS
  • Bluetooth 5.1

Pros:

  • Dual-band support
  • Attractive pricing
  • Reliable connectivity with MU-MIMO support

Cons:

  • AMD systems not supported

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5.  Ubit  AX200 M.2 Wi-Fi Card

Ubit WiFi 6 AX200 M.2 Wi-Fi Card

Since so many good brands offer Wi-Fi cards out there, if you want to pick a premium option for your PC or laptop, you can consider this option from Ubit.

As the card has an NGFF M.2 2230 form factor, you will find it really easy to replace with your laptop’s older card, and even installing it on a PC motherboard is equally effortless. Since it uses an A/E key for connection, you get the flexibility to choose the socket as well. If you are concerned about its performance, this card runs on 802.11ax standards, i.e., Wi-Fi 6. Hence, the data transfer rates offered by this card are almost 3x better than older generation Wi-Fi 5 modules.

That said, it supports MU-MIMO technology and dual-band networks also. Thanks to that, it flawlessly delivers up to 2974Mbps speed, while the OFDMA technology performs its best to minimize the network lag. It even consists of the Bluetooth 5.1 chip, which offers great stability and has very low power consumption as well. Not only that, the Bluetooth 5.1 allows you to connect as many devices as you want and offers almost 4x better coverage than v4.2.

Key Features:

  • Wireless 802.11ax Standard
  • NGFF M.2 2230 form factor
  • Uses an A/E key
  • Speeds up to 2974Mbps
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • OFDMA technology
  • 2×2 MU-MIMO Technology
  • Supports Dual-Band Networks

Pros:

  • Greater connection stability with Bluetooth 5.1
  • Access to high-speed internet
  • OFDMA for lag-free experience

Cons:

  • Only supports Windows 10 Systems

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6. OKN AX210 M.2 Wi-Fi Card

OKN AX210 M.2 Wi-Fi Card

As we said, OKN is one of the biggest sellers around the market that offers a wide range of expansion cards. Hence, if you want to pick the latest model, check this one.

The name of the card explains a lot about itself as we can see it’s a Wi-Fi 6e AX210 card; it’s an extended version of WiFi 6. Due to that, this card brings you Wi-Fi in a completely different band, the 6GHz band. Overall, this card supports triple-band technology which allows it to deliver speeds up to 5374Mbps (574Mbps @2.4GHz + 2400Mbps @5GHz +2400Mbps @6GHz). While the 2.4GHz band is good for long-range connections, the other two bands offer high-speed internet with ultra-low latencies.

Although there are not many Wi-Fi 6E router options available out there, you can use this card with Wi-Fi 6 routers as well; it’s just that you won’t be able to use the 6GHz band. Apart from that, all the features like MU-MIMO, 1024QAM, OFDMA, 160MHz, etc., will work flawlessly with Wi-Fi 6 configuration as well. Yet another big highlight about this Wi-Fi card is that it offers Bluetooth 5.2, which is quite an improved version as compared to v5.1. Moreover, it has an NGFF M.2 2230 form factor and supports Intel CPU and Newer AMD CPUs.

Key Features:

  • Wi-Fi 6e AX210
  • 11ax Wireless Standard
  • Tri-band Speeds up to 5374Mbps
  • 2×2 MU-MIMO
  • OFDMA and 1024QAM
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NGFF M.2 2230

Pros:

  • Ideal for Intel and newer AMD CPUs
  • Incredible data transfer rates
  • Latest Bluetooth 5.2 built-in

Cons:

  • Only works on Windows 10 OS

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7. Youbo BCM94352Z M.2 Wi-Fi Card

Youbo BCM94352Z M.2 Wi-Fi Card

For the macOS users out there, Youbo is one good brand choice as it generally sells Wi-Fi cards that are compatible with all sorts of operating systems.

Speaking of the BCM94352Z Wi-Fi card from Youbo, it comes with the support of a dual-band and works on Wireless standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, i.e., Wi-Fi 5. That said, the data transfer rates offered by this card are nearly up to 1200Mbps which is pretty decent. Apart from Wi-Fi, macOS users can take advantage of other features such as Handoff, Continuity, AirDrop, and Instant Hotspot with the help of this card.

Apart from that, if you like using Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad with your system, the Bluetooth 4.0 function of this wireless card will allow you to use them all seamlessly. It’s an ideal option for macOS, but it also supports Microsoft Windows 7/8/10 64-bit that is great. However, like all Apple products, this card for macOS machines is also a little expensive.

Key Features:

  • Wireless standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Dual-band support
  • Speeds up to 1200Mbps
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Supports Handoff, Continuity, AirDrop, etc.
  • Compatible with Windows OS and macOS systems

Pros:

  • Ideal for both Windows and macOS systems
  • Decent Wireless speeds
  • Bluetooth connectivity is seamless

Cons:

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8. Siren 8265 8265AC M.2 Wi-Fi Card

Siren 8265 8265AC M.2 Wi-Fi Card

Coming to the next Wi-Fi card, it’s from the brand known as Siren, which is one of the best-sellers among the market right now.

The card comes at an affordable price as it operates on the 802.11ac wireless standard, i.e., Wi-Fi 5. However, the good part is that it supports dual-band networks and delivers up to 1200Mbps speeds (300Mbps at 2.4GHz and 867Mbps at 5GHz). Speaking of its form factor, it has the NGFF M.2 2230 build and uses A or E key slots on the motherboard. Moreover, the card also has 2 antenna interfaces so that you can install it on a desktop PC as well.

Since it also has Hotspot functionality, it uses the 64bit and 128 bit WEP, AES-CCMP, and TKIP protocols for wireless encryption of the network. In addition, the chip also has in-built Bluetooth 4.2 and is also backward compatible with older versions up to v2.1. On the other hand, you should keep in mind that this card can only be used on systems running on Windows OS only; no other OS is supported.

Key Features:

  • Wireless standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
  • Dual-band support
  • NGFF M.2 2230 build
  • Speeds up to 1200Mbps
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Compatible with Windows OS

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Decent wireless performance
  • Connection stability is good

Cons:

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9. REKONG  AX210NGWM.2 Wi-Fi Card

REKONG  AX210NGWM.2 Wi-Fi Card

Lastly, we would like to discuss this amazing Wi-Fi card offered by Rekong, which is a highly renowned brand that offers high-quality Wi-Fi cards equipped with the latest technologies.

We are talking about the AX210NGW card here, which is basically a Wi-Fi 6e module that operates on 802.11ax wireless standards. Looking at its form factor, this card is an NGFF network card and uses the M.2 2230 A/E Key for connection. Hence it’s ideal for both laptop and desktop PCs. Thanks to the dual-band 160MHz support, it can deliver incredible wireless data transfer speeds up to 3000Mbps. Apart from that, it is also compatible with the 2×2 MU-MIMO technology, so multiple devices can stay connected to its hotspot quite reliably.

Since it’s a Wi-Fi6e card, it will also support the 6GHz bands if your router delivers it; if not, the 5GHz band is good enough as it delivers the same speed. In terms of Bluetooth, this card completely stands out of the crowd as it boasts the latest Bluetooth 5.2, which is by far the best version available. On top of that, if we talk about system compatibility, if you own a Windows 10 PC, this is a great option to pick. Unfortunately, no other OS is supported by this network card.

Key Features:

  • 11ax wireless standards
  • Wi-Fi 6e
  • Supports Dual-band networks
  • Supports 6GHz bands also
  • 2×2 MU-MIMO
  • Speeds up to 3Gbps
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • 2 2230 Form Factor

Pros:

  • Equipped with the latest technologies
  • Highly reliable Bluetooth connectivity
  • Wireless internet speed is very good

Cons:

  • OS other than Windows 10 is not supported

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Buying Guide for the Best M.2 Wi-Fi Cards

We assume you have already checked out all the Wi-Fi cards present on the list above. However, if you are not aware of the latest technologies associated with these network cards, you might end up choosing the wrong product for yourself.

Thus, we have come up with this short and simple buying guide that will explain to you what are the best technologies and features you should look for in a network card. Hence, once you read this buying guide properly, it will be a lot easier for you to pick the right Wi-Fi card for your laptop or desktop PC.

Wireless Standard

Since we are talking about Wi-Fi cards here, the generation of Wi-Fi or the wireless standard tells a lot about it. For your information, the latest wireless standard out there is 802.11ax which is the Wi-Fi 6 technology.

Yes, there’s an extended version of the Wi-Fi 6 also available, which is known as Wi-Fi 6e, which is even better as it adds support for one more extra band (6GHz) apart from the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. So, if you want to experience the best internet speeds, always prefer the Wi-Fi 6 cards over Wi-Fi cards since they offer up to 3x better internet speeds and better coverage area as well.

Frequency Bands

In the case of network cards, different varieties are available as well. You will find different kinds of Wi-Fi cards supporting single-band, double-band, and even tri-band as well. Although single band options are the cheapest, don’t consider them as they don’t offer good internet speeds and will also get outdated in a few years. Instead, go for the options that offer dual-band support as they come for a really fair price. On the other hand, if you are thinking from a long-term perspective, the tri-band Wi-Fi card isn’t a bad option either, but that would be a little expensive as of now.

Data Transfer Rates

The data transfer rates of a network card mostly depend on the above two factors, the wireless standard, and the frequency bands. Firstly, the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is almost 3 times better than Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) in terms of speed. Secondly, the number of frequency bands supported by the card also affects the speeds. As you can see in the list itself, the tri-band options can fetch up to 5.4Gbps speeds, where most of the dual-band cards are limited to 3Gbps only. However, you should note that to experience the speeds of 802.11ax standard, your router must also be running on the same configuration.

Bluetooth

Apart from the Wi-Fi features, Bluetooth is yet another wireless network that is offered by these network cards. Speaking of Bluetooth, you can easily choose the best one by looking at the version. As of today, we would not suggest you pick the cards with Bluetooth 4.0 or 4.2 since there are better alternatives available at the same prices. The latest Bluetooth version right now is 5.2, which is also the best one since it’s almost 2x better than older versions in terms of speed and stability. Moreover, v5.2 is almost 4x better than older versions in terms of coverage area. So, you should go with Bluetooth 5.2 or 5.1 cards.

Compatible Systems

Whenever you pick a hardware component for your device, one of the major tasks is to check whether it will work with your device or not. In the case of network cards, not all Wi-Fi cards are designed to run on all systems. While some cards work fine with Intel CPUs, AMD CPUs. You will find options that are only compatible with Intel chipsets only as well. So, be careful while picking one. On the other hand, you should also be checking the system compatibility as not all network cards support macOS or Linux Systems. The majority of the network cards out there are designed for Windows PCs, so check that as well.

Interface

As you might have already noticed, all the network cards on this list have an M.2 2230 Form Factor which makes them ideal for both laptop and desktop PCs. That said, this type of network card uses the A/E key for the connections. The other slots, such as Key M and mini PCIe, are generally left vacant for SSDs. However, if you don’t have an M.2 slot available for an expansion card, and you want to use the PCIe slot instead. You can purchase a third-party adapter and use these cards with PCIe slots as well.

Conclusion

If you have checked out all the Wi-Fi cards on the list, and also read the buying guide by now thoroughly. It should not be a challenging task for anybody to pick the best suitable Wi-Fi card for their laptops or desktop PCs. However, if you are concerned about the top 3 picks from the list, here are our personal recommendations for you:

  • The Intel Wireless-Ac 9260 Wi-Fi card is simply the best option since it is sold directly by Intel and offers amazing Wi-Fi 5 speeds such as attractive pricing. Moreover, it comes with Bluetooth 5 and works flawlessly with all the latest Intel Core chipsets.
  • If you are looking for a future-proof wireless solution, pick the OKN WiFi 6 AX200 802.11ax WiFi Card since the Wi-Fi 6 technology is the fastest out there right now. Moreover, you get the latest Bluetooth 5.1 and data transfer rates up to 3Gbps, which is incredible.
  • On the other hand, if you want a complete kit for your desktop PC, you can consider the Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) Desktop Kit offered by Intel. The kid includes all the accessories, and the card operates on the latest 802.11ax standards delivering up to 2402Mbps speed, which is great.



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