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What USB wireless network adapter can be recommended, that has Windows 7 drivers for both 32-bit and 64-bit? It also needs to reconnect to the network when the computer is brought out of sleep.

I have three of these from earlier (from Allnet, TRENDnet and Linksys), and just one of them has working drivers for Windows 7 64-bit, but fail to return from sleep in a working state.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can find a list "Compatible with Windows 7" USB wireless adapters on Microsoft's Windows 7 Compatibility Center website.

The "Compatible with Windows 7" logo means a product has met Microsoft testing requirements for compatibility with 32-bit and 64-bit Windows 7.

At time of posting this link, all 12 products listed have both 32-bit and 64-bit drivers.

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I recently bought a TrendNet 54g PCI card that worked fine. I also tried another card I had in an old computer from several years ago and Windows loaded the driver automatically. Of the 4 cards I've tried, the only one that didn't work was a really old 11b PCI card.

So, my suspicion is that most G and N cards will work out of the box with Windows 7.

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I have been using the TRENDnet TEW-649UB on my netbook with Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit and it works just fine. I can be slow connecting after waking from sleep mode but it does do it after a minute or so.

I should mention that it does crash on an HP dv9627cl machine with Windows 7 64bit but that machine isn't supported by HP with 64bit drivers. The onboard wireless works just fine.

I'll try it out on my own W7 64 bit laptop to see if it crashes it as well.

Edit: I have run this dongle on my Toshiba X205 with W7 64 bit and it has worked perfectly even when waking from sleep.

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It is hard to recommend any over any others - Nearly all modern wireless adapters that are on the market right now (especially N based devices as these are newer) are fully compatible with Windows 7.

If you want to spend a bit extra, look for the made for / compatible with Windows 7 logo... Generally these are a bit more expensive as testing costs money, but you are guaranteed that it is fully compatible in any/every scenario. (x86 and x64)

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Although, personally for me, for home machines, I just look for the cheapest place that has a Realtek chip on it - nearly all wireless cards from unknown manufacturers contain one of a handfull of reference designs and I have never had a problem with the Realtek ones*.

*In Windows Vista, the built in driver is rubbish and broken at connecting to WPA2 based networks - I always have a copy of the latest version (unbranded and direct from Realtek) available on my usb stick. Even though Windows 7's built in support is better, I would still use the newest version from their site.

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I went through several wireless adapters and finally got the NetGear WG111G v3 to work on the remote Windows 7 desktop. (After a couple of hours of useless tech support).

I just turned security off on my router (2Wire), and that allowed the router to recognize and remember the device. When I turned security back on, the wireless adapter connected the desktop to the router and Internet and kept it online.

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protected by Ivo Flipse Dec 3 '10 at 3:31

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