The 10 best Ethernet controller driver devices for Windows 7

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
Loading Comments
Affiliate Disclosure

Hardware devices and peripherals designed to help your Windows 7 PC connect to the web could not function properly without the Ethernet controller driver devices.

These drivers serve as the manual that the PC uses as a guide to instruct your Ethernet hardware how to behave in various circumstances.

That means your PC relays those instructions to the hardware devices through these drivers loaded in the hard disk.

Without these driver tools, your PC won’t recognize a hardware device you attach to the motherboard. Simply put, drivers are as equally important as the hardware itself.

There is a wide selection of Ethernet controller drivers for your PC, and here are some of them.

Realtek Ethernet driver

Realtek‘s latest PCIe LAN driver brings improvements in terms of performance and stability for the RTL81xx and RTL84xx PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet chips. It supports various systems, including:

  • ThinkPad Edge E330, Edge E335, Edge L330
  • Lenovo B475e, B480, B485, B490, B575e, B580, B590
  • Lenovo E49
  • Lenovo M490, M495
  • Lenovo V480, V480c, V480s, V580, V580c
  • Zhaoyang K29, K49, E49

You can download the drivers from Realtek’s website.

Wi-Fi frequently disconnects in Windows 7? Here’s the fix for you!


ADMtek also offers a wide selection of networking and Ethernet drivers. The ADMtek AN983 10/100Mbps PCI Adapter is a high-performance, low-cost Ethernet PCI controller.

It includes an integrated physical layer interface for 10BASE-T and 100BASE-TX applications. Other features include:

  • Advanced CMOS Technology
  • Glue less 32-bit bus master interface for PCI
  • Boot ROM Interface
  • CSMA/CD protocol for fast Ethernet

Accton L3 Gigabit Ethernet Switch

Accton’s L3 Gigabit Ethernet Switch with PoE is a high-performance Gigabit Ethernet Layer 3 switch. The product is available in 24-port or 48-port RJ-45 GbE configurations.

Each configuration includes 4x10GbE  SFP+ ports, and two 20GbE bandwidth ports for stacking interconnects or additional uplinks. The switch features redundant hot-swappable AC PSUs, among others.

For enterprise customers, the switch also comes in with 24-port and 48-port PoE configurations with a power budget up to 30W per GE PoE port, and 60W UPoE for the last 8 ports. Other features are:

  • 4 x SFP+ uplink ports, supporting 10GbE (DAC, 10GBASE-SR/LR/ER/LRM) or 1 GbE (1000Base-T/SX/LX)
  • Full line-rate L2 or L3 forwarding of 336 Gbps with 64 byte packets
  • Hot swappable, load sharing, redundant AC PSUs. PSUs accessible from rear
  • Supports IP phones or WiFi access points with 24-port and 48-variants, with up to 30W PoE per port and the last 8 ports can support up to 60W

What to do if Wi-Fi is showing limited access in Windows 7? Check out this guide to solve the issue!

Atheros Ethernet drivers

Atheros also offers various Ethernet drivers that support Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

It is offered to module manufacturers or other Original Equipment Manufacturers by Qualcomm, which acquired Atheros in 2011.

There are various types of Atheros wireless drivers, such as:

  • AR1111
  • AR2427
  • AR5001A
  • AR5001X
  • AR5001X+
  • AR5002G
  • AR5002X
  • AR5004G
  • AR5004X
  • AR5005G
  • AR5005GS
  • AR5005UG
  • AR5005UX
  • AR5006
  • AR5006EG
  • AR5006EGS
  • AR5006EX
  • AR5006EXS
  • AR5006G
  • AR5006GS
  • AR5006X
  • AR5006XS
  • AR5007
  • AR5007EG
  • AR5007G
  • AR5007UG
  • AR5007UX
  • AR5008
  • AR5008WB
  • AR5008X
  • AR5009
  • AR5B116
  • AR5B125
  • AR5B195
  • AR5B91
  • AR5B92
  • AR5B93
  • AR5B95
  • AR5B97
  • AR5BMD222
  • AR5BMD225
  • AR5BNFA222
  • AR5BWB222
  • AR5BWB225
  • AR6003
  • AR6004
  • AR7010
  • AR7015
  • AR9002WB
  • AR9227
  • AR922X
  • AR9271
  • AR9280
  • AR9281
  • AR9283
  • AR9285
  • AR9287
  • AR928X
  • AR9380
  • AR9382
  • AR938X
  • AR9462
  • AR946x
  • AR9485
  • AR9485WB
  • AR956x
  • AR9580
  • AR988x
  • Dell 1502
  • Dell 1506
  • Dell 1515
  • Dell 1525
  • Dell 1601
  • Dell 1702
  • Dell 1703
  • Dell 1705
  • Dell 1707
  • Dell 1802
  • Dell 1901
  • K1525

You can download the drivers from Atheros’ website.

Broadcom Ethernet drivers

Broadcom offers Ethernet controllers to various PC OEMs and add-in card manufacturers. Broadcom also supplies reference drivers to end users.

Since the company does not sell products directly to end-users, it does not offer comprehensive support for Broadcom’s customers’ products. Broadcom offers support for NetLink Ethernet Network adapters and Broadcom NetXtreme I Ethernet Network adapters.

Broadcom Ethernet controllers work to address the high bandwidth and flexibility requirements of enterprise applications with storage protocol offloads, more scalable virtualization, support for RDMA over Converged Ethernet fabric, enhanced Single Root I/O Virtualization, Network Interface Card port partitioning, and cloud optimization using overlay networking technology.

You can download the network controllers from Broadcom’s website.

Looking for the best bandwidth monitor? Here are our top picks.

D-Link Systems

The D-Link 10/100 Fast Ethernet Desktop PCI Adapter serves up wired network connectivity for your PC.

It lets you access high-speed Internet connection through your wired network in order to surf the web, check e-mail, and share documents, music, and photos.

The driver includes advanced features like Wake-on-LAN and IEEE 802.3x support.

That means computers and operating systems that support Advanced Configuration and Power Interface can remotely wake your PC from anywhere on the network.

Data is also sent and received to and from the network with support for 802.3x flow control.

Network Data Transfer Rate

  • Ethernet: 10Mbps (Half-duplex)
  • Ethernet: 20Mbps (Full-duplex)
  • Fast Ethernet: 100Mbps (Half-duplex)
  • Fast Ethernet: 200Mbps (Full-duplex)


  • PCI Local Bus Master 2.1/2.2 Support
  • Plug-and-Play Installation
  • Supports PCI 2.1/2.2 ACPI Power Management


  • Compliant to PC 99 Standard (Magic Packet, LinkChg and Microsoft wake-up frame)
  • Independent 2Kb receive and transmit FIFOs

Davicom DM9000B

Davicom’s DM9000B is an integrated low pin count single chip Fast Ethernet controller with a general processor interface, a 10/100M PHY and 4K Dword SRAM.

The driver has a low power and high performance process interface that support 3.3V with 5V IO tolerance.

DM9000B includes support for 8-bit and 16-bit data interfaces to internal memory accesses for various processors.

It also complies with the IEEE 802.3u Spec. DM9000B also supports IEEE 802.3x full- duplex flow control.


  • Supports processor interface: byte/word of I/O command to internal memory data operation
  • Integrated 10/100M transceiver With HP Auto-MDIX
  • Supports back pressure mode for half-duplex
  • IEEE802.3x flow control for full-duplex mode
  • Supports wakeup frame, link status change and magic packet events for remote wake up
  • Support 100M Fiber interface.
  • Integrated 16K Byte SRAM
  • Build in 3.3V to 1.8V regulator
  • Supports early Transmit
  • Supports IP/TCP/UDP checksum generation and checking
  • Supports automatically load vendor ID and product ID from EEPROM
  • Optional EEPROM configuration
  • Very low power consumption mode:
  • Power reduced mode (cable detection)
  • Power down mode
  • Selectable TX drivers for 1:1 or 1.25:1 transformers for additional power reduction.
  • Compatible with 3.3V and 5.0V tolerant I/O
  • DSP architecture PHY Transceiver.
  • 48-pin LQFP, 0.18 um process

Protect your privacy while online with these VPN tools for Windows 7!

Standard Microsystems SMCFS801

Standard Microsystems’ EZ Switch, SMCFS801, 8-port 10/100 Mbps desktop switches are dual-speed Fast Ethernet switches that can dramatically improve network performance via its throughput of up to 200 Mbps per port.

Its physical interface includes 8 10/100 Mbps auto-negotiating RJ-45 ports and DC power socket. It also supports auto-negotiation for speed (10/100 Mbps) and duplex mode (half/full).

Other features include a wire-speed packet filtering and forwarding rate and store-and-forward architecture filters fragment and CRC error packets.

You can download the drivers from SMC’s website.

SiS Ethernet drivers

SiS Ethernet drivers include Low Power DDR3/DDR2 synchronous dynamic RAM (LPDDR3/LPDDR2) , MLC/TLC NAND flash, and a high performance and intelligent controller.

They also have advanced features like the NAND ECC engine, wear leveling function, bad block management, garbage collection, bus interface protocol, and an advanced power failure protection scheme to protect the data contents from sudden power failure.


  • Interface: eMMC5.0
  • Capacity: 4+4/8+4/8+8/16+8/16+16
  • Package: JEDEC BGA 221/162 balls

Netgear FA310TX

All Windows 7 PCs automatically install some NETGEAR adapters without prompting users.

Because of its recent security issues, however, we have placed Netgear at the bottom of the list. Nonetheless, it is still worth checking out. You can download the driver from Netgear’s website.