A Network interface card, NIC, or Network card is an electronic device that connects a computer to a computer network, usually a LAN. It is considered a piece of computer hardware. Today, most computers have network cards.
Network cards let a computer exchange data with the network. To achieve the connection, network cards use a suitable protocol, for example CSMA/CD. Network cards usually implement the first two layers of the OSI model, that is the physical layer, and the data link layer. Today, most network cards use Ethernet. Other network types are ARCNET, introduced in 1977, LocalTalk or Token Ring. There are many network cards which are compatible to only respective software. Depending on your computer arc
Ethernet cards operate at different network speeds depending on the protocol standard they support.
Old Ethernet cards were capable only of the 10 Mbps maximum speed originally offered by the Ethernet standard. Modern Ethernet adapters support the 100 Mbps fast Ethernet standard and an increasing number now also offer gigabit Ethernetsupport at 1 Gbps (1000 Mbps).
An Ethernet card does not directly support Wi-Fi wireless networking, but home network broadband routers contain the necessary technology to allow Ethernet devices to connect using cables and communicate with Wi-Fi devices by means of the router.
The Future of Ethernet Cards[change | change source]
Ethernet cards ruled when cables remained the primary form of network access. Although Ethernet offers consistently more reliable connections than wireless networking and therefore remains popular as a built-in option for desktop PCs and other relatively immobile computers, mobile devices including laptops and tablets have shifted away from Ethernet and toward Wi-Fi. The expansion of Wi-Fi services in workplaces, coffee shops and other public places, and the decline of wired Ethernet connections in modern hotels, has reduced the access to wired Ethernet for road warriors—and hence, has reduced the need for Ethernet cards.