Hardware

What Is Intel PROset/Wireless Software?

Intel is famous for manufacturing computer components, especially CPUs and GPUs, but they also produce wireless cards, as many of us know. If you’re a Windows user, you can take a look in Device Manager under Network Adapters to find out whether your computer’s wireless card is “Intel inside” so to speak. Big brands such as HP, Dell, Acer, etc., have opted to ship their computers with Intel wireless cards. Since a magnitude of computers now bears Intel wireless adapters, Intel has developed a toolkit that can help consumers and IT administrators easily manage wireless connections and monitor the status of Intel wireless adapters.

Intel PROset/Wireless Software

The Intel PROset/Wireless Software is a utility used to set up, edit and connect WiFi network profiles to WiFi networks. The toolkit is also used to update the drivers of Intel wireless adapters. The software is designed for both home and office use, and it’s downloadable for free from Intel’s Download Center, but it is only available for Windows computers. The Intel PROset/Wireless Software has been around since the Windows XP era, and it has been well-adapted to the iterations of Windows operating systems. Today, the software is still available for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 systems.

Windows 7 and 8.1 Versions

The Intel PROset/Wireless Software is not the same for all Windows OS. There are features that are supported by Windows 7 and 8.1 but are no longer available in Windows 10. It primarily contains WiFi drivers and other software components for various Intel wireless adapters.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s included in Intel’s PROset/Wireless Software package for Windows 8.1 and 7.

WiFi Drivers

WiFi drivers are released from time to time for the adapters to work well with the current Windows updates or simply fix previous drivers’ errors. Aside from letting you connect to WiFi networks with ease, the Intel PROset/Wireless Software also contains the latest drivers of supported Intel wireless adapters. Note that the software version gets updated frequently, so keep yourself updated with the latest version to ensure that you have the latest driver for your WiFi cards.

You will also see two different version numbers of wireless adapters, but this should not be a source of confusion. One is the software package version while the other is the driver version only, but they work the same way in updating the wireless adapter drivers. If you want to know the driver version included in the Intel wireless software package, you can look at the Detailed Description section, or you can check the Release Notes of that specific package on Intel’s Download Center.

Administrator Toolkit

The Intel PROset/Wireless Software is also helpful for IT Administrators. The tool allows them to create custom network profile packages and roll them out to the clients’ systems. The administrator can also set restrictions, so users only have limited access to wireless adapters and their components to avoid complications and errors. This feature is not installed by default. IT Administrators can install this with the software package using the custom installation.

WiFi Connection Utility

The Intel Proset/Wireless Connection Utility includes functions like creating and modifying network profiles, connecting to Wi-Fi networks, and controlling WiFi radio, to manage wireless connections in a breeze. It is designed for Windows 8.1 and earlier and includes features that were not otherwise supported by earlier versions of Windows, like WPS Connection Tool and Intel Wireless Troubleshooter. Other features included are Wireless Event Viewer, Manual Diagnostics Tools, and Intel Advanced Statistics. Like the IT Administrator Tool, this utility is not included by default but can be installed through custom installation.

Wireless Software Extensions

This is an advanced feature primarily developed for system manufacturers. It contains a set of Application Programmable Interface (API) that allows manufacturers to create applications that can interact with wireless adapters and platforms. Support for Cisco Compatible eXtensions (CCX) may also be available depending on your computer.

Windows 10 Versions

The Windows 10 version of Intel Proset/Wireless Software is not as feature-rich as the version for earlier Windows OS. This is because some of these features like the WPS Connection Tool and Wireless Troubleshooter are already natively supported in Windows 10. In fact, the Windows 10 version of the software package only includes the WiFi drivers for supported wireless adapters and the set of APIs to be utilized by system manufacturers to create applications that interact with WiFi adapters and platforms. Starting with version 20.120, Intel only provides a driver-only installation package of the software on its Download Center.

Don’t be surprised if you see Intel Proset/Wireless Software in your computer by default. The manufacturer may have pre-installed the software for OEM-specific features. In such cases, you should get the OEM-specific version of the software for updates from the computer manufacturer.

Supported Wireless Adapters

Not all Intel wireless adapters are supported by the Intel Proset/Wireless Software. Here’s a list of supported wireless adapters by the latest version of the software, depending on the operating system of your computer.[1]

Windows 7

Software Package Version 21.40.5

Supported Adapters:

  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
  • Intel Wireless 7265 (Rev D) Family
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165

Windows 8.1

Software Package Version 21.40.5

Supported Adapters:

  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 82652
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 82602
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
  • Intel Wireless 7265 (Rev D) Family
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165

Windows 10 & 11

Software Package Version 22.90.0

Supported Adapters:

  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX211
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) Desktop Kit
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
  • Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9560
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9462
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9461
  • Intel Wireless-AC 9260
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
  • Intel Wireless 7265 (Rev D) Family
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165

Conclusion

The Intel Proset/Wireless Software is not mandatory software for wireless connection, but it surely has a lot of functionalities and features that can help regular consumers and IT Administrators manage the connection of one or multiple computers to a wireless network. It also helps install wireless adapter drivers, troubleshoot connection issues, and other useful features included in the package. System manufacturers also benefit from this versatile utility, allowing them to create APIs for Intel wireless adapters and OEM-specific features.

Sources:

[1] Intel. “Download Intel® PROSet/Wireless Software and Wi-Fi Drivers.” https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000046918/wireless.html Accessed 27 December 2021

About the author

Glynis Navarrete

A freelance blogger who loves to write about anything related to technology. Born and raised in the Philippines and worked in Singapore for eight years as Technical Support for a wide range of IT equipment. Took a dive into the world of freelancing and now enjoying doing what I’m passionate about while not losing touch with technology.