How To Add Wi-Fi To A Motherboard

How To Add Wi-Fi To A Motherboard

How To Add Wi-Fi To A Motherboard

How to connect wifi to motherboard

Most motherboards do not come equipped with a built-in Wi-Fi modem. You will need a different Wi-Fi card or USB Wi-Fi adapter if you want to access the Internet wirelessly on your desktop PC. Without either of these pieces of equipment, you can’t access the internet unless you use an ethernet cable.

Today, we bring you this article to give you a step-by-step guide on how you can add Wi-Fi to your motherboard. However, before we begin, let’s see if your motherboard is equipped with a built-in Wi-Fi adapter.

does my motherboard have wifi?

The motherboard Wi-Fi adapter, if you have one, is usually located near the I/O panel. the I/O panel is a series of input and output ports on one side of the motherboard. and on the i/o panel you will see a wi-fi antenna connector. this connector holds the wi-fi antenna that comes with the motherboard.

To check if your motherboard has Wi-Fi, look for the Wi-Fi antenna connector on the I/O panel. this connector is a gold plated circular slot. some motherboards will also have the word wi-fi written near the connector.

If your motherboard has a Wi-Fi adapter, you need to insert the antenna into the Wi-Fi slot on your I/O panel.

how to add wi-fi to motherboard?

Basically, there are two ways to access the internet on your motherboard if it doesn’t have a built-in wi-fi card. one is through the wi-fi card and the other uses a usb wi-fi adapter.

using a wifi card

wifi adapter

The Wi-Fi card acts as an adapter for the motherboard. The card sits on one of the expansion slots on your motherboard.

follow the steps below to insert the wi-fi card into the motherboard.

turn off the pcc

powering on pc

Since you need to access the motherboard, turn off the PC. Also, make sure that the PC is not connected to any wall outlet. Now, press and hold the power button for ten to fifteen seconds to discharge any capacitors.

remove side panel

side panel

To remove the side panel, remove any screws holding the glass panel in place. These screws may be located on the sides or the back side of the case.

Once the screws are removed, carefully pry the side panel out of the computer case. now, you should have a clear view of the motherboard.

locate pcie x1


Now that you can access the motherboard search for the PCIe x1 slot. The Wi-Fi card sits on this particular expansion slot on your motherboard.

all pcie slots are usually located next to each other. the longest slot with a plastic lock is the pcie x16 slot. Parallel to this slot, you’ll find either PCIe x8, PCIe x4, or PCIe x1 slots, depending on your motherboard.

pcie x1 is the shortest pcie slot, so it will be hard to miss. also, the pcie slot will be perpendicular to the side that contains the i/o panel. so when you insert the card, the antenna connector port will be facing the back of the cpu case.

remove the expansion slot cover

expansion slot

Once you have located the PCIe x1 slot, remove the expansion slot cover on the PC case corresponding to it.

remove the screw on the cover to remove it from the pc case. you need this screw to secure the card in place. so make sure you don’t lose this screw.

insert and secure wi-fi card

wifi card insertion

The PCIe x1 slot will have two partitions. You need to align these partitions with the gaps on the Wi-Fi card.

gently insert the wi-fi card into the pcie x1 slot. gently press on it until you can’t press it anymore. the card might move around a bit.

use the screw you removed earlier to prevent the card from moving.

install drivers

update drivers

The Wi-Fi card you just installed should have a driver CD that you can use to install its drivers. If your system does not have a CD or a DVD drive, you can download it from the internet.

you can use an ethernet cable to access the internet and download the driver.

using a usb wifi adapter

usb wifiadapter

Alternately, if you do not want any hassle with removing the side panel and inserting a USB card, you can also use a USB Wi-Fi adapter. This adapter sits on any one of the USB ports.

Using a usb wi-fi adapter, you don’t need to install any drivers. the system will automatically install it for you.

pcie wifi card vs usb wifi adapter

wifi card vs adapter

Both Wi-Fi card and Wi-Fi adapter lets you access the internet wirelessly on your desktop PC. However, both PCIe and USB adapters have their advantages.


you need to remove the side panel and expansion slot cover to install a pcie wi-fi card. this can be a hassle if you are a casual pc user.

the usb wi-fi adapter, on the other hand, has a fairly simple installation. insert the dongle into usb port and you can access wireless internet.


The usb wi-fi adapter is quite small, so you can easily use it on other devices as well. Although you can remove the pcie wi-fi adapter, it can be a tricky job.


The usb wi-fi adapter will struggle to connect over long distance due to its small size.

instead, the wi-fi card will have two or three separate antennas that can access routers that are further away. Along with this, the connection stability will also improve when using a pcie wi-fi card.

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