30. Install Adapter Software Utility
Add-on WiFi network adapters include software that allows you to configure and monitor the adapter. The software is included with almost all adapters and is typically provided on a CD. Most manufacturers of WiFi adapters also provide you with the ability to download software, drivers, and software updates associated with your particular WiFi adapter. Not only does the CD provide a configuration utility, the CD also contains the software driver you need when you install the WiFi adapter on your PC (see Install a Wireless Adapter).
In most cases, you should install the software utility that the adapter's manufacturer provided for your add-on WiFi adapter (unless otherwise noted by the manufacturer's setup guide). The software is specifically designed to allow you to change the WiFi adapter configuration so that the adapter can connect to the WiFi router's access point and also monitor the adapter's connection. Some manufacturers suggest that you do not need to install the "special" software utility if you are running Windows XP (this exemption varies from manufacturer to manufacturer) because Windows XP provides its own Wireless Connection utility. (Earlier versions of Windows such as Windows 98 do not provide this utility.) You can use the Windows XP Wireless Connection utility to configure and monitor the WiFi adapter. However, the utility provided on the CD that ships with your WiFi adapter often provides greater ease of use and features not provided by the more "generic" Windows Wireless Connection utility. It is your call in terms of how you actually configure and monitor the WiFi adapter, but I suggest that you take advantage of the utility that was provided with the adapter.
Driver Software for a device such as a WiFi network adapter that allows the operating system and the device to communicate correctly.
Each WiFi network adapter provides a different software utility for installing the adapter's software. This task provides a look at the software installation for a Netgear USB adapter. Each adapter's software installation process will be different. Some WiFi adapters require that you install the software (and the driver) before attaching or inserting the WiFi adapter on the PC. Other adapters are installed on the PC first and then the software is loaded. Before installing your WiFi adapter hardware or software, read the installation information provided by the manufacturer so that your WiFi adapter hardware and software is installed correctly.
Install Adapter Software Utility