Most Popular Wi-Fi Adapters and Vendors

At VisiWave, we've had a lot of potential customers stop by to see if our product would work for them. One of the things customers want to know is if VisiWave works with their wireless adapter. To make it easy on our customers, we have a handy small utility we call CheckAdapter that looks at all the adapters on the current laptop or tablet and tests them to see if they are supported and how long they take to perform a scan of all nearby access points. After running this test, the utility gives the user the option of submitting the results back to us.

Over the years, thousands of visitors have submitted their results. Presented here is a look at the most popular wireless adapters tested. Since mostly only network professionals are interested in VisiWave Site Survey, we like to think of these results as the most popular wireless adapters or vendors for network professionals, rather than just popular overall.

Intel dominates the list, mostly because they make the majority of the wireless adapters built into today's laptops and tablets. Note that the list doesn't distinguish between chip manufacturers and OEMs. Whatever the adapter's driver reports as its name is what is used. Vendors such as Marvell, TP-LINK, or NETGEAR have their drivers report their own brand name. Some other vendors tend to have their drivers report the chipset manufacturer's name (since the manufacturer was probably the one that wrote the driver in the first place). This means companies like Qualcomm, Realtek, and Broadcom appear very high in the list.

In the two charts below are the results. One chart breaks down the results based on the vendor name. In other words, all Intel adapter models are grouped together and counted. In the other chart, each adapter model is counted separately. The data analyzed was collected from 2016 to 2018.


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