What Is NIC (Network Interface Card)?


NIC is the short form of the Network Interface Card. Network Interface Card or simply Network Card is simply used to connect different types of devices into the network generally to access the internet or intranet.

What Is NIC(Network Interface Card)?

Network Interface Card explains itself in a pure way where A card which has a network internet interface to connect plugged devices into the network. This network also can be called the computer network which will generally be used to connect the internet. But incorporates or military the connection can be done to the intra-network or intranet without the internet. Network interface cards can have different networks, connections, port, cable types at different speeds.

What Is NIC(Network Interface Card)?
What Is NIC(Network Interface Card)?

Network Interface Card Network Types

Network Interface Cards can have different network types to connect. Especially in the last decade a lot of different network types are created for connection.

  • `Wireless Networks` are one of the most popular network types.
  • `Bluetooth Networks` are a new type of network that simply uses Bluetooth protocol.
  • `Ethernet Networks` is another popular network type which uses CAT5 and CAT6 cables with Ethernet or IEEE 802.1X protocol.
  • `Fiber Networks` is a fast network that uses different protocols with fiber cables.
  • `Copper Networks` are old-style networks which are used for Dial-up or similar connections
  • `Cable Networks` are coaxial cable networks generally used with cable TV.

Network Interface Card Connection Types

Network Interface Cards can provide different network connections but they also need to connect to the system they will be used. Network Interface Cards can be connected to different types of devices like computers, laptops, Workstations, Servers, Tablets, Smart Phones, Embedded systems, TV, etc.

  • `Integrated Connection` is a connection type where network interface cards simply integrated into the given system or mainboard.
  • `PCI` and `PCIe` connection type will use mainboard PCI and PCIe slots to connect. They are generally provided by PC, Workstation, and Servers.
  • `FireWire` is generally used as an external connection type where the network interface card can be connected via FireWire port optionally using a cable.
  • `USB` is the most popular external connection type which can be also used to connect network interface cards.
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Network Interface Card Ports

A network interface is an interface to connect a specific network. Every network interface card provides at least a single interface to connect the network. The network interface type can be changed according to the network interface card, requirement, etc. This is also called port in most cases where wireless can be an exception because there is no port but an antenna. Let’s list some of the most popular of them.

  • `RJ45` or Ethernet
  • `Phone Jack`
  • `Antenna`
  • `Fiber option`

Network Interface Card Cables

Network interface cards connected to the network with some medium which is generally a cable. For the wireless networks, the medium is the air which is the alternative of the cable. The network interface cards use different cables according to the network type and network interface card port type.

  • `Fiber Cable`
  • `Copper Cable`
  • `Ethernet`,`CAT5`,`CAT6` cable

Network Interface Card LED

Network Interface card provides some LED lights in order to provide quick information about the network card and network. This information is provided with different led colors which are described in the network card manual. But there are some general assumptions that are used by most of the network interface cards. These LEDs also called Network Interface Card Status LEDs.

  • `Link Light` LED indicates whether the network connection exists between card and network.
  • `Activity Light LED` indicates the network activity for transmission for frames. If the network is used this light will flick randomly when some data is transmitted or received.
  • `Speed Light LED` simply indicates the connection speed to the network. This exists in network cards that provide multiple speed options.
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Network Interface Card Speeds

Network interface cards can provide different speeds which are related to the connection type and card capability. In general following speeds are provided a different type of network interface card.

  • `10 Mbps`
  • `1000 Mbps`
  • `10/100Mbps`
  • `10/20/100/200Mbps`
  • `10/100/1000Mbps`
  •   `100bps/1Gbps`
  • `1 Gbps`
  • `4 Gbps`
  • `8Gbps`
  • `10Gbps`
  • `16 Gbps`
  • `40 Gbps`

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