Wife's windows 7 box crashed - now wont recognize the old Belkin fd7050 wireless usb adapter. Dont know why but I gotta get a new one.
I have Belkin g router so Guess best to get Belkin adapter???
Well that's another issue. You were initially concerned about compatibility between the wireless adapter and router, which only involves the wireless spec. If all devices share the same spec, there shouldn’t be a problem.
But when it comes to the wireless adapter and the OS, that's a driver issue. And while most wireless adapters have drivers available for Windows 7, there are exceptions, mostly older models. And Windows does maintain a compatibility center in this regard (32 and 64 bit).
As far as Linux, it's always a bit more fussy than Windows, and for the same reason, drivers. You’ll just have to watch more closely which wireless adapters explicitly support Linux. Or if all else fails, you may have to deal w/ the messy world of NDISwrapper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NDISwrapper ).
Personally, I never use usb or pci wireless adapters on the desktop. Instead, I use a wireless ethernet bridge (aka gaming adapters). Because the wireless configuration is confined to the bridge itself, there are never any drivers needed on the OS, and therefore no compatibility issues. You configure the bridge for wireless, connect it via wire to your desktop, and as far as your desktop is concerned, it’s just another wired connection. Makes dealing w/ wireless a lot easier, esp. when you need cross platform support/compatibility. And of course, you can use it with ANY wired device, not just desktops/laptops (printer, voip adapter, network-capable TV, ip camera, etc.). So it has a far longer useful life, not just something you throw away when the manufacturer decides to no longer build drivers for the next release of Windows.