(Note: this article applies to the AWUS036H 500mW and 1000mW wireless USB adapters from Alfa, the Rok500 500mW USB adapter from Rokland, and other devices that have a Realtek RTL8187L chipset.)
If you have an Alfa AWUS036H or are considering buying one and want to know if it will work with Windows 7, the technical answer is yes. If you are not that familiar with computers though, please note the installation process may be a bit more involved than a normal WiFi adapter installation.
We have found in some cases you can just put the Alfa drivers CD in the CD drive and connect the adapter to the computer, and then Windows will automatically set it up for you. In many cases though (primarily with Windows 7 64-bit), nothing will happen when you connect the device, or Windows will report that it was not able to find a driver.
The Alfa AWUS036H works great in Windows 7 using the Vista driver. If your computer does not install the driver for you, at the time this article was published you cannot use the Setup program on the CD, as a message will come up saying it is not compatible with Windows 7 (the setup program is only for use with Windows Vista or earlier). What you have to do is manually install the Vista X86 (for 32-bit) or X64 (for 64-bit) driver from the Alfa CD by going to the Device Manager, right clicking on the device, and selecting Update Driver (or Properties > Update Driver). Then proceed through the wizard, browsing to the driver location on the Alfa CD.
If you have not done a manual driver installation in Windows XP or Vista before, or get lost in the process, we will have some video and picture guides available to assist you within the next week.