A network card (also called network card or Network Interface Card (NIC) ) is a kind of card intended to be introduced in the motherboard of a computer or connects to one of your ports to enable the machine to join a net and can share your resources (such as documents, connection to Internet or a printer, for example).
However, we can determine that any type of network card fulfills eight basic functions that are the following:
Transmission and reception, or what is the same, sending and receiving data.
Access the connector, which in turn is the one that allows access to the network cable.
It performs the conversion from serial to parallel.
Perform the procedure known by the name of buffering. This term defines the task of storing information performed by said network card so that the data can then be transmitted and transferred using the corresponding wireless cables or systems.
Request to listen to the network to, in this way, then proceed to the aforementioned transmission of information.
Encode and decode the signals of the cables into others that are understandable.
It groups the entire set of stored data in such a way that, when the time comes, they can be transported in an understandable and simple way.
Communication with the corresponding memory or hard disk of the computer.
It is also interesting to highlight the existence of wireless network cards , which fulfill the same function but without using cables, since they appeal to radio waves to transmit the information. The most common network cable is one that is known as Ethernet with connector RJ45 .
The speed with which the information It varies according to the type of network board. The newest cards support a speed of 1000 Mbps / 10000 Mbps . At higher speeds, more data can be transmitted in less time.
He Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) It is who is responsible for managing the unique 48-bit identification number that identifies each network card. This hexadecimal code is called MAC address .
He Ethernet , such as the name that receives a standard of local area computer networks that can access the environment by contest CSMA / CD , has been taken as the basis for the drafting of the international standard IEEE 802.3 .
Network cards, for example, allow two computers to share the same Internet connection in an office or that users of such computers can work with the documents housed on the hard drive of either computer.
To conclude, therefore, we can establish that there are basically three important types of network cards. First, there are the wireless ones that are currently the most popular given their flexibility, efficiency and productivity.
Secondly, there are the Ethernet cards that is the most used class at the moment due to the security they offer. And finally, we find the fiber optic cards that are defined by their speed in data transmission.