If your wireless LAN adapter comes with any drivers or software, look on the product's packaging or manufacturer's website to check that it's compatible with your operating system. This is especially true if you're using a new version of the system; for instance, a WLAN adapter released in 2011 may be compatible with Windows 7 but not Windows 8, which was released in late 2012. The most compatible device is one that works when plugged in without software or proprietary drivers.
Some WLAN software, especially for USB adapters, may come with not only driver software but also software that helps you change the adapter settings and manages your wireless networks. While the wireless adapter can be controlled with your operating system's default tools, using the software that comes with adapter may provide more control, greater compatibility or just an interface that you like more. 153554b96e