What is a Network Adapter?
A Network Adapter is a device that is designed to improve your home network using the existing wiring in your home. Typically adapter “kits” come in packs of two as the adapters are designed to communicate with each other through the wiring.
Normally you connect one of these to or near to your router and the other near to devices that you want to connect to the Internet (like a computer or set-top-box). One end accepts the Internet data and shoots it through the wiring to the other device at the other end.
Types of Adapters
There are a few types of adapters based on different technologies.
Powerline Adapters plug in to the electrical outlets in your home and extend WiFi via your home’s electrical wiring. This type of adapter, however, has had its fair share of reviews complaining about slow speeds or random disconnections from the network. This is especially the case for powerline adapters using the old Home Plug (AV) technology.
In many cases, the electrical wiring itself in the home is not set up for powerline ethernet. Other issues may be that the distance is too great between the plugs, and powerlines are also subject to some interference. Unfortunately it’s not easy to determine what the issue may be.
How Does a Network Adapter Work?
The network adapter allows the device to communicate over the local area network (LAN), connecting to the internet or to other computers.
Wireless network adapters, such as those on laptop computers and tablets, take the computer’s signals and convert them into radio waves that transmit via antenna (visible or hidden). The radio frequency signals are actually electromagnetic waves that vibrate as they travel through the air on the appropriate bands or frequencies. The frequencies usually tend to be 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, with 14 channels available. The radio waves go to routers and then broadband modems or internal networks.
The adapters for desktop computers typically come preinstalled. If a desktop doesn’t offer a preinstalled adapter, a card can connect to the PCMCIA slot or a mini PCI slot. Likewise, old desktop computers may allow a retrofitted Ethernet adapter that plugs into a PCI slot. Some electronic cards even fit into a memory card port. As another option, a USB style Ethernet adapter complies with both desktop and laptop computers, or into an Ethernet port using an Ethernet network cable, as was common at colleges and universities in the recent past.
What is the function of a network Adaptor in a network?
A network adapter is the component of a computer’s internal hardware that is used for communicating over a network with another computer. It enable a computer to connect with another computer, server or any networking device over an LAN connection. A network adapter can be used over a wired or wireless network.
How do I find my default network adapter?
Set Default Network Adapter for Driver Interfaces
- Press the ALT key, click Advanced Options and then click Advanced Settings.
- Select Local Area Connection and click the green arrows to give priority to the desired connection.
- After organizing the network connections available according to your preferences, click OK.
How to reset all networks adapters in Windows 10
Open Network & Internet settings in the settings app
The fastest way to do that is to right-click or long press on the network icon in your notification tray and choose “Open Network & Internet settings.” The network icon looks different if you have an active wired connection (the top image below) or a wireless one (the bottom). The menu that opens up is the same. Choose Open Network & Internet settings.
On the left side of the Network & Internet settings window, make sure that you are in the Status category. Then, on the right, scroll until you reach the bottom of the settings list. There, you should see a link called “Network reset.” Click or tap on it.
The Settings app opens a view called Network reset, where you are told that “This will remove then reinstall all your network adapters, and set other networking components back to their original settings. You might need to reinstall other networking software afterwards, such as VPN client software or virtual switches.”
If you are okay with all that and you want to go ahead with resetting your network adapters, click or tap Reset now.
Windows 10 asks you to confirm that you want to reset your network adapters. If you do, click or tap Yes.
If you went ahead and chose to reset your network adapters, Windows 10 informs you that your computer or device is about shut down in 5 minutes. Close the notification and save anything you are working on before this timer expires.
Note that, if you do not want to wait those 5 minutes, you can also reboot your Windows 10 computer or device manually. The result is the same
After your Windows 10 reboots, all your network adapters are reset and need to be reconfigured again. This also includes setting whether you want your Windows 10 device to be discoverable by other devices on your network.
Advantages of a Network Interface Card
A network interface card contains an Ethernet adapter for connecting the computer to a wired network. A NIC can provide a faster, more reliable and more secure connection than a wireless network card. However, NICs are less portable and often less convenient than using a wireless radio to access the Internet. That’s why many computers, including laptops, provide both a NIC and a wireless radio, which gives you the option to choose the way you connect to the Internet depending on the circumstances.
A network interface card provides a fast connection to the Internet. For example, a gigabit NIC provides speeds up to 1 Gbps. Unlike a wireless connection, the speed of a NIC should stay constant even as the wires travel through walls, floors or other obstacles. Mixing NICs from different manufacturers on the same network should not affect the communication speed as it may with wireless devices. Tasks such as video conferencing, streaming high-definition movies and some computer gaming are often more practical using a NIC.
Reliability and Security
Network interface cards provide a reliable connection to the Internet that should not vary in performance or availability if the network if functioning properly. A NIC is not subject to wireless interference from devices such as cordless phones and nearby wireless routers that can cause wireless connections to drop and reconnect or become completely unavailable. NICs also provide more secure connections. It’s much more difficult to tap into a wired Internet connection within a location than to intercept a wireless communication in the same location.
NICs are not as portable as wireless cards. When you move a computer that’s connected to a network with a NIC from one location to another, you have to disconnect the computer from the network and reconnect it at the other location. During the time it’s being moved, it can’t use the network to communicate. Wireless radios, on the other hand, can be easily moved from one location to another without interrupting the network connection, provided there’s wireless coverage between both locations.
A NIC is not as convenient as a wireless card. For example, many hotels no longer provide Ethernet connections in their rooms; Internet service is provided to guests using a wireless network. To use a NIC, you may have to visit the hotel’s business center. Other public places where people commonly access their Internet, such as coffee shops, don’t typically provide a wired connection for a NIC either.