WiFi7 Wireless Network Card Identification Test: From Win32_NetworkAdapter to MSFT_NetAdapter
Sep 14, 2023

Recently, I conducted an identification test on WiFi7 wireless network cards and encountered some intriguing issues and solutions that I'd like to share with you all. Previously, when identifying network card properties on Windows, the Win32_NetworkAdapter class was commonly used. If the returned PhysicalAdapter property is true, it signifies that the card is a physical network adapter. However, when conducting the same test on WiFi7 cards, I discovered that all the PhysicalAdapter properties returned by Win32_NetworkAdapter were false. Further research indicated that Win32_NetworkAdapter is now deprecated, with MSFT_NetAdapter class being the recommended replacement.

On querying using the MSFT_NetAdapter class, the ConnectorPresent property can determine if it's a physical network card. However, for WiFi7 wireless network cards, each query consistently returns five adapters with identical DriverDescription attributes. This phenomenon persists across WiFi7 cards from different brands such as MediaTek and Realtek.

Upon closer inspection, I realized that these five adapters share the same PnPDeviceID. This suggests that they originate from a single physical network card. Therefore, we can utilize the PnPDeviceID attribute to confirm that they are, in fact, from the same card.

In the spirit of community and aiding others in their exploration, I've open-sourced a handy tool, NetAdapterInspector. This utility lets you view all attributes returned by MSFT_NetAdapter on your system.

In conclusion, as technology advances, we need to continually update our knowledge and methods when identifying and handling hardware devices. I hope this sharing can assist those engaged in related fields.