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to hitch your PC to a network. Here are some tips on what
to look for when buying a network adapter
features to look for in a network adapter Plug and play installation
PCI 32-bit bus master architecture provides high throughout
Full-duplex operation Auto negotiation for automatic speed
selection (10MBPS or 100MBPS) Boot ROM socket for optional
remote booting Wake-On-LAN function (optional)
adapters, commonly known as network interface cards (NICs)
or network cards are responsible for transferring data from
the computer to the transmission media. Network adapters transform
data into signals that are carried across the transmission
media to its destination. Once the signals reach the destination
device, the NICs translate the signals back into information
the computer can process.
Network adapters function as an interface between the computer
and the network cabling. So they serve two masters. Inside
the computer, a network interface card moves data to and from
the random access memory (RAM). Outside the computer, it controls
the flow of data in and out of the network cable system. An
interface card has a specialized port that matches the electrical
signaling standards used on the cable and the specific type
of cable connector.
In between the computer and cable, the interface card must
buffer the data, because the computer is typically much faster
than the network. The interface card also must change the
form of data from a wide parallel stream coming in eight bits
at a time to a narrow stream moving one bit at a time in and
out of the network port.
How to choose a Network adapter?
PCs require some type of network interface card (NIC's) or
network adapter to make the connection for network use. When
choosing a Network interface card (NIC) for a PC you should
consider the following:
The type of adapter slot (Bus architecture)
There are more than a few different types of buses in computers.
Some of the standard bus types are:
ISA: The Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) bus was designed
by IBM and used in the IBM PC. This bus was originally designed
to transfer 8 Mbps. This was done using eight-bit paths, which
worked well in the 8086 and 8088 CPUs, which could only handle
eight bits at once. When the 80286 was released, there was
a need for 16-bit cards. Printers, modems and sound cards
are all examples of equipment that still tend to use an ISA
bus. Many workstations still use ISA bus NICs. However, servers
will benefit from a faster bus.
PCI: Peripheral Component Interface, or PCI, runs at up to
33MHz and can transfer 32 bits at a time. PCI was originally
developed to help speed up graphics on newer computers. Most
new PCI cards are software configurable and usually support
the new plug and play standard to automatically configure
the card. PCI slots are not backward compatible with any other
PCMCIA: PCMCIA is mainly meant for notebook and laptop computers.
It stands for Personal Computer Memory Card International
Association. The PCMCIA v1.0 standard defines specifications
for memory cards. Later, when other types of devices were
required, v2.0 of the standard was established. This allowed
the use of other devices such as modems, disk drives and network
Type of cable connector
There are two main types of standard cable connectors. They
BNC Connector: The BNC connector is a small, round cylinder
with two small prongs on the outside that allows a connector
to attach to it. A small hole for a copper wire to go into
is inside the connector. The T connector is used to connect
the network adapter to the two pieces of coaxial cable.
RJ-45 Connector: The RJ-45 connector looks much like a normal
telephone cable connector, but larger. It uses twisted-pair
cabling with four pairs of wires. A normal telephone jack
uses a RJ-11 connector, which is a twisted pair with two pairs
The speed of your network
network can work at various speeds depending on the kind of
Ethernet. Here are a few common Ethernet standards.
Ethernet: Ethernet is the first and least expensive
high-speed LAN technology. The Ethernet adapters transmit
and receive data at speeds of 10 MBPS through up to 300 feet
of telephone wire to a hub or a switching device.
Fast Ethernet: This is the second in the series of
Ethernet. Fast Ethernet adapters run a network at speeds of
100 MBPS as compared to 10 MBPS of Ethernet. This LAN technology
is expensive than Ethernet.
Gigabit Ethernet: There are two-Gigabit Ethernet standards,
which describe Ethernet systems that operate at a speed of
1000 Mbps. The 802.3z standard describes the specifications
for the 1000BASE-X Gigabit Ethernet system for networks based
on fiber optic and the 802.3ab standard, which describes the
specifications for the 1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet system
for twisted pair networks.
Mahesh Rathod can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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