network interface card


network interface card (NIC) is a hardware component without which a computer cannot be connected over a network. It is a circuit board installed in a computer that provides a dedicated network connection to the computer. It is also called network interface controllernetwork adapter or LAN adapter.

A network interface controller is a computer hardware component that connects a computer to a computer network. Early network interface controllers were commonly implemented on expansion cards that plugged into a computer bus

A NIC provides a computer with a dedicated, full-time connection to a network. It implements the physical layer circuitry necessary for communicating with a data link layer standard, such as Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Each card represents a device and can prepare, transmit and control the flow of data on the network.

Purpose Of Network Interface Card

  • NIC allows both wired and wireless communications.
  • NIC allows communications between computers connected via local area network (LAN) as well as communications over large-scale network through Internet Protocol (IP).
  • NIC is both a physical layer and a data link layer device, i.e. it provides the necessary hardware circuitry so that the physical layer processes and some data link layer processes can run on it.

Types of Network Interface Cards

There are two types NIC they are,

  • Ethernet NIC
  • Wireless NIC

Ethernet NIC

Ethernet NIC card is a slot for a cable where we have to plug one end of the ethernet cable into the slots of the computer and another end of the cable is plugged into the modem, likewise, various devices are connected to make a communication set up between them. There are three standards in Ethernet they are

  • 5-Base T: It was developed in 1973, which can transmit, paragraphs using coaxial cable up to a distance 1000mts.
  • 10-Base T: It was developed in 1987, it uses twisted cables like telephonic cables for communication.
  • 100-Base T: It is also known as fast ethernet, the speed of data transmitted is very high.
  • Gigabit Ethernet: It is also named as 1000-Base T ethernet, the special feature of this is it increases the network bandwidth up to 10 times, which can transmit up to 1000mbps of data.

Wireless Network NIC

Wireless network NIC cards consist of a small antenna integrated onto the card, where the communication between various devices is set up wirelessly using the router and various network protocols. One such example of a wireless network NIC card is fiber data digital interface FDDI. In a case where data has to be transmitted over long distances, in such cases, a fiber data digital interface FDDI concept is used which translates data into digital pulses and communicates using optical fiber. FDDI is ring-type architecture, which is of 100mbps, transmission, and retransmission for a long distance is an advantage of FDDI.

wireless - network - interface - card


  • Memory- It is present externally so that it can store the data temporarily during the communication.
  • Connectors- To connect the cables to the Ethernet port.
  • Processor- To convert the data in a suitable form of communication.
  • Jumpers- Jumpers or the DIP switches are present. so that the operation can be controlled by using it.
  • Routers- To provide wireless connectivity routers are used.

Functions of NIC

The functions performed by the Network Interface Card are

Wired Network Connectivity

For the wired networks, a port is essential to connect the ethernet cable. It has a direct connection with the hub or switches present at the center. The resources or the data shard is based on their MAC address accessing. The wired network ensures the presence of physical cable for communication of the devices.

Wireless Network Connectivity

A wireless network connection doesn’t require any physical connection. Other than cables the network access is done through the antenna provided. The radio waves are the mean of communication between the device and the central switch that is wireless.

Based on the components chosen during the connection establishment the performance depends on such pieces of equipment. Both wired and wireless connectivity are the functions performed by the NIC.

Advantages Of Network interface card

  • The communication speed using the Internet is high usually in Gigabytes.
  • Highly reliable connection.
  • Many peripheral devices can be connected using many ports of NIC cards.
  • Bulk data can be shared among many users.

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Author: refuge_2020

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