Understanding Network Adapters And How They Work
Network interface cards are also commonly known as network adapters and they are simple hardware devices that allow you to connect a computer to a network or internet. This enables the different computers to communicate and share resources with each other. The network adapters can work in 2 separate methods i.e., wired and wireless.
The wired network card adapters work by using an Ethernet cable to connect to a network. These types of adapters are faster in performance but provide less flexibility when compared with other types. On the other hand, wireless adapters use radio signals to connect to a network. These types of compatible network adapters provide more mobility and have a small antenna that sends and receives signals. The wireless adapters provide relatively slower speeds than their counterpart.
Types of Network Adapters
Without going into technical details we can fundamentally, categorize the network adapters into the following three types:
USB Network Adapters: For computers that do not have built-in Wi-Fi or Ethernet support, USB network adapters are the perfect solution. They are small portable external devices that plug into the USB port of the computer and connect it to the internet.
PCI Network Adapters: The PCI network adapters are quite different from the USB-type adapters and plug into the PCI slots that are provided on the motherboard. They offer significantly better performance and are a more permanent solution.
Wi-Fi Adapters: These adapters enable you to connect your computer wirelessly to a network. They can provide a variety of speeds ranging from 2.4 GHz to 6 GHz.
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Factors To Consider When Buying Network Adapters
Choosing the right network adapter is a very simple process, however, you should take the following things into consideration when buying one.
Type of Network: Different types of networks require different types of adapters for connectivity. For example, a wired network type will need a wired adapter and a wireless network will need a wireless network adapter.
Bus Type: The interface that the adapter uses to connect the network is called the Bus. Three commonly available bus types are USB, PCI, and PCIe.
Additional Features: Some network adapters have extra features like Bluetooth and dual-band support, so try to choose an adapter that has multiple extra features.