Network Interface Card

Network Interface Card

A Network Interface Card (NIC) is what connects computers together in a single network, which is generally a Local Area Network (LAN).

The computers transmit data to each through a certain protocol or transmitting language. The NIC interprets information, as well as sends and receives data through the LAN. These cards can be used for either wired or wireless networks.

When building a LAN, the NIC is installed onto each computer participating in the network. Each computer must be using the same architecture, meaning they all must be Ethernet cards or some other form of technology.

When an Ethernet NIC is installed, the NIC creates a unique Media Access Control (MAC) address for each computer. This address helps direct data traffic through the network. NIC’s can change a data’s format from parallel to serial while transferring data and then back again.

Each NIC has a port that can fit cables, like Ethernet. The cable runs from the NIC to the main hub. In a wired network, this cable physically connects each computer to the network. In a wireless network, the card is installed and has an antenna for transmitting data. The NIC communicates with the main hub using radio waves. Wireless LAN’s are generally the most convenient, but may come with some restrictions. Sometimes there may be interferences in the wireless connection that wouldn’t regularly happen with a wired connection.

When obtaining the required pieces for a LAN, it’s important to find an NIC and a hub with the same capabilities. All the components of the network need to have either wireless or wired capabilities, depending on what a person needs. If a component has both of these capabilities then there won’t be any issues. Newer versions of hardware generally support better speeds and more features than the older technology. It’s crucial to find a hub that is equal in its abilities to the NIC’s involved.

People can connect to LAN networks in different locations of a city or region. They do this by using Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and forming a Wide Area Network (WAN). LANs are created with a NIC in each computer, while ATM uses the internet and links multiple LANs to online switches. This makes each LAN a part of a wider network. That type of WAN is generally referred to as an Internetwork. LANs are meant for one specific area, while WANs can reach much farther.

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