|Over the last 15+ years I've worked with network interfaces from many varied manufacturers. I'm not going to even try to list them all just suffice it to say 'more than the average user will ever encounter'.|
It has been my experience that a decently made product that is up to the present standards is going to be as good as any other of such quality.
As the seller of any product, I can charge whatever I like which is why I always advise anybody, client, friend, family, to shop around and compare prices before buying anything. The exact same product might be $25 in one store and $55 in another. Yet it's the exact same make/model. More expensive doesn't mean better. But a lot of people seem to think that's the case.
Now, as a manufacturer, how much money am I going to make on sales for my product if I advertise it as "An average product built to industry standards that does what it says for a reasonable price" as in comparison to if I advertise it as the "SuperDuper one of a kind never seen before DELUXE that can outperform all other competitors....."
You get the idea. Keep in mind, advertising is designed to suck you in and make you buy a certain product whether it's better than the next one or not. Heck, if I package it right (Shiny bright) and put a half naked woman on it, it will sell and it won't matter if it's two tin cans with a string between them.
I'm a computer technician as well as a network technician. I started on a bench building and troubleshooting systems. I progressed to custom builds, servers, network support, domain administration, laserjet printer troubleshooting and repairs. I've built more systems than you can shake a stick at and I'm telling you, for components like the NIC, there's very little variance in "performance" between brands. This is as true for wireless interfaces as it is for wired.
Keep in mind, you are limited by the media. If I plug a 10/100/1000 Mbps NIC into a Cat5 cable, it's going to get 100 Mbps bandwidth because that's all the media is capable of. If I move it to a Cat5e or Cat6 cable, then I can get 1000 Mbps.
What happened to you may have nothing to do with the actual adapter. The issue you encountered could be caused by incorrect, old, or corrupt drivers. Did you go to the manufacturer's website and download and install the latest for your device and OS?
Also, your test could have been faulty. If you want true tests, you want to do a point-to-point data transfer with no hops on a LAN. Your best bet for consistent results is to plug two computers in directly NIC to NIC with a crossover cable and then do some transfer tests. If you're doing a "bandwidth speed test" online, well, you're subject to the vagaries of the internet which can cause two different results in back to back tests on the same system. Ergo my recommendation for a closed LAN test.
Standards, yes, but the electronics will be different and how effectively they work. Sensitivity, processing speed, etc.
We're talking about electronics here, not horses or dogs dude. Most manufacturers use electronic components all made by the same manufacturers.
Some even have devices made by one company and it's branded with their name. So you might buy a "Linksys" (for example, I doubt they do this) NIC that was made by D-Link (again, example only) especially for Linksys. You don't think Dell actually makes monitors do you? Heck no, they pay whichever company to make them with the Dell brand on them. The same is especially true for laptops.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.