WHAT IS A NETWORK INTERFACE CARD?

NETWORK INTERFACE CARD

A network interface card (NIC) is a hardware component without which the computer cannot be connected to the network. It is a computer-installed circuit board that provides a network connection to the computer. It is also called a network interface controller, network adapter, Ethernet, or LAN adapter.

The NIC is a computer expansion card to connect to a network (eg, home network or Internet) using an Ethernet cable with an RJ-45 connector. Due to the popularity and low cost of Ethernet standard, the network interface is built directly into the motherboard in almost all new computers.

NETWORK INTERFACE CARD


Objectives of NIC


  • Both wired and wireless communication can be done through NIC.
  • NIC allows communication between computers on a large scale through the local area network (LAN) as well as internet protocol (IP).
  • NIC is both a physical layer and a data link layer device, that is, it provides the necessary hardware circuitry so that the physical layer process and some data link layer processes can run on it.

Types of NIC Cards


IT IS OF TWO TYPES -


1. INTERNAL NETWORK CARD

2. EXTERNAL NETWORK CARD


1. INTERNAL NETWORK CARD


In the internal network card, the motherboard has a slot for the network card where it can be inserted. It requires a network cable to provide network access. There are two types of internal network cards. The first type uses the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) connection, while the second type uses the Industry Standard Architecture (ISA).


2. EXTERNAL NETWORK CARD


In desktops and laptops that do not have an internal NIC, an external NIC is used. There are two types of external network cards: wireless and USB-based. Wireless network cards are required to be inserted into the motherboard, although no network cable is required to connect to the network. They are useful when traveling or accessing wireless signals.


WHERE IS THE NETWORK CARD LOCATED IN THE COMPUTER?


In desktop computers, the network card is most often located near the USB port. In laptops, the network card is integrated into the motherboard. The network port where you plug in the network cable is often located on the side of the laptop, if you do not see the network port on your laptop then your laptop may have a wireless network. You can also buy a network card for the laptop, which, when available, is installed in the PC card slot on the laptop side.


Components of network interface cards


Speed ​​- All NICs have a speed rating in terms of Mbps which suggests the card's normal performance when implemented with sufficient bandwidth in a computer's network. If the bandwidth is less than the NIC or multiple computers are connected to the same controller, it will slow down the label speed. Average Ethernet NICs are offered at 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, 1000 Mbps, and 1 Gbps.


Driver - This is the necessary software that passes data between the operating system (OS) of the computer and the NIC. When the NIC is installed on the computer, the corresponding driver software is also downloaded.


MAC Address - A unique MAC address, also known as a physical network address, is assigned to the NIC that is used to deliver Ethernet packets to the computer.


Connectivity LED - Most NICs have an LED indicator that is integrated into the connector to connect to the network and notify the user when data is transmitted.


Router - A router is also sometimes required to allow communication between computers and other devices. In this case, the NIC connects to a router that is connected to the Internet.

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