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One thing you need to know is that not all desktop motherboards come with built-in WiFi. If you have a motherboard but aren’t sure whether or not it has built-in WiFi, there are a few ways to confirm it. You can check the rear IO panel, which houses various ports, for any sign of antenna connectors.

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Do all Motherboards have built-in WiFi?

A motherboard is one of the most important parts of a computer system. Its primary function is to help hold together several components of your system, such as the CPU (or central processing unit), basic input/output system (BIOS) chip, connectors (for input and output devices), and random access memory (RAM).

Motherboards often pack several amazing features, especially those that are crucial to your computer system. For instance, these devices often contain ports, which are essential to connect all of the internal components.

That’s not all; motherboards come with a socket for the CPU and a couple more for the system’s memory. Furthermore, they also come with a peripheral card slot (installed in front of the motherboard), which allows you to connect your cards; video cards, expansion cards, and sound cards.

Another interesting feature of modern computer motherboards is the built-in Wi-Fi. Only a few manufacturers offer this feature on their products. They do that by soldering wireless chips onto the motherboard.

One benefit of the built-in WiFi on motherboards is that they’re ready-to-use components. What does that mean? As soon as you assemble your computer parts (including the motherboard) and add relevant software, you can always start using the built-in WiFi, without necessarily using any ethernet cables.

One drawback of built-in WiFi on motherboards is that most times, the signal may not be strong enough like the regular WiFi. This issue is often a result of the fact that the WiFi may not be compatible with your home wireless connection.

Another big setback of this WiFi is that they don’t usually come installed on motherboards by default. What I’m trying to say is that few motherboards come, out of the box, with built-in WiFi. Since that’s the case, it’s safe to say that these motherboards are much more expensive than the regular types.

The bottom line is that not all motherboards come with built-in WiFi. To use WiFi, some motherboards will require you to get a wireless adapter when you finish assembling your computer system.

What happens if my motherboard doesn’t have WiFi?

As mentioned in the previous section of this post, not all modern motherboards come with built-in WiFi. If that’s the case for your motherboard, there are a couple of things that you can do to start using WiFi on your system. Let’s have a quick look at some of them below:

Consider using a USB WiFi adapter

Let’s face it; a USB WiFi adapter is arguably the best and most convenient way to start using WiFi on your computer system. It’s pretty easy to use and only requires you to connect the adapter to the working USB port on your PC.

Not all systems recognize USB WiFi adapters at once. If your system behaves this way, you’ll need to install relevant drivers to keep the WiFi device working. The drawback of USB WiFi adapters is that they don’t have an external antenna. As such, they might end up not delivering the best internet speed.

Consider using a reliable PCIe WiFi adapter

Unlike USB WiFi adapters, PCIe WiFi adapters are much more reliable in terms of connectivity. If you’re looking at achieving the same kind of connectivity as you would with motherboards using built-in WiFi, then a PCIe WiFi adapter is exactly what you need. That’s so because PCIe WiFi cards deliver powerful network connections.

That’s not all; another benefit of the PCIe WiFi adapters is that they come with external built-in antennas. Also, they won’t require you to set aside one of your PC USB ports.

Furthermore, you need to understand that the PCIe WiFi adapters also have their setbacks. One of them is that they require a physical installation. Apart from that, you need to also keep in mind that these devices aren’t portable like the USB WiFi adapters.

Consider upgrading to a new motherboard

The last thing you can consider doing if you find out that your motherboard doesn’t have built-in WiFi is to upgrade your motherboard. Yes, you can always upgrade and opt for a mainboard with built-in WiFi.

However, it’s worth knowing that finding the best motherboards with WiFi can sometimes be challenging. Since that’s the case, there are a few factors that you need to consider when buying a new motherboard .

Before buying a motherboard with built-in WiFi, ensure to look at its Chipset, Socket, and WiFi capability. That said, you can check below to see some  examples of motherboards out there with built-in WiFi.

MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE WIFI ATX Gaming Motherboard

The MSI MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE WIFI ATX Gaming Motherboard is one of the best motherboards out there with built-in WiFi. This Intel Z490 chipset motherboard comes with 2.5G LAN plus Gigabit LAN and Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax). This WiFi adopts both the OFDMA and MU-MIMO technologies. You can check here for more information regarding this product.

ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming Motherboard

You can also consider buying the ASUS ROG Strix B550-F Gaming motherboard if you’re looking for products with built-in WiFi. This product comes with a WiFi 6 (802.11ax) for high-efficiency wireless connectivity. It also comes with several other amazing features, such as PCIe 4.0-Ready. You can check here to learn more about this product and its availability.

Gigabyte Z390 AORUS Elite Gaming Motherboard

Like the rest of the motherboards on this list, this product also packs excellent features. It offers support for 9th and 8th Intel Core processors. Apart from that, it also comes with Intel CNVi 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi. You can check here for more information about the Gigabyte z390 AORUS Elite Gaming Motherboard, as well as its price and availability.

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What are ways to know if a motherboard has built-in WiFi?

There are several ways to understand and tell whether or not your motherboard has built-in WiFi. Let’s have a quick look at some of the easiest methods below:

Method 1: Check the Network Adapters section of your Windows PC

The first method requires you to check the Network Adapters section of your PC. If truly your motherboard comes with built-in WiFi, you’ll know through this approach.

  • To get started, right-click on the “Start” icon of your PC. After that, select “Device Manager.”
  • Next, you’ll see a list of devices registered on your PC. From there, look for any name that has WiFi, 802.11, or Wireless Network, attached to it.
  • If you can’t find any, this could mean that your motherboard has no built-in WiFi. However, if you can find any, then it means the motherboard has WiFi.

Method 2: Check the rear IO panel

The second method that you can use to tell whether your motherboard features built-in WiFi is by checking the rear IO panel of the device. If you can see any sign of an antenna connector, there’s a very big chance that the motherboard has WiFi.

Keep in mind that “not having an antenna connector” doesn’t totally mean that the motherboard has no WiFi. That’s because a few motherboards with WiFi don’t have any antenna connector installed at the back.