A network adapter also called a network interface card is a plug-in card that serves to allow computers to both transmit and receive data on a local network. It is a component of a computer's internal hardware that facilitates communication over a network.
In a more current context, network adapters will refer to an Ethernet adapter where the Ethernet circuitry is built into motherboards of the latest desktops and laptop computers. Other times, a network adapter may also refer to a wireless (Wi-Fi) adapter.
In all instances, the adapter allows a computer to connect with another computer, a server, or other networking devices through a LAN connection. The use of a network adapter is not limited to wired connections as it is used for wireless networks. The adapters for wired networks come with an RJ-45 port that may use either the twisted or untwisted pair cables for network connectivity. For the wireless adapters, the network connection is facilitated through a built-in antenna or an externally connected antenna. Both the wired and wireless network adapters support the popular LAN protocols including TCP/IP. We have 1-port, 2-port, 4-port, 6-port, 8-port, and 16-port options that support speeds of 10, 25, 40, or even 100 Gigabits.
The plug-in network interface cards (NICs) are normally used in high-performance machines especially if a faster Ethernet standard is relatively new and available but is yet to become mainstream. In fact, the major difference between network adapters lies in the network protocol it supports.
We have the different types of network adapters necessary for building computer-to-computer networks that don't have a switch or hub. All the network adapters are fairly inexpensive and readily adaptable to different applications within a network. Some of the common types available are: