Network Adapters Basics
Using network adapters to connect to your networkComputer network adapters vary due to different types of computers and the evolution of technology. Newer computers come with various types of networking ability built in, but older computers require network adapters. Since you use different technologies, it’s beneficial to understand network adapters basics.
There are several solutions for connecting a computer to a network, depending on your network, the type of computer you have and where you intend to use it. Types of network adapters include:
1. A basic Ethernet connection, which can be a simple Ethernet cable plugged into a part already built into your laptop or desktop computer;
2. A wireless network adapter using WiFi technology to transmit data wirelessly from your computer to a wireless network hub or router;
3. Or a network that connects computers simultaneously by cable and a wireless connection.
Use a PCI network adapter to connect your desktop computer to a network
Opt for the easy installation of a USB network adapterUSB adapters plug right into the USB slot on a computer and are easy to install. If you are uncomfortable opening your computer to install an internal card, this is an easy way to install network capability to either a desktop or a laptop PC. The downside is that it's a bit more expensive than other options, and it will result in an extra device either sitting on your desktop or sticking out of the side of your laptop.
Connect your laptop to a network with a PCMCIA network adapterPCMCIA stands for personal computer memory card international association, but those words don't really explain what this type of network adapters for notebooks actually do. PCMCIA cards are a type of card that you can insert in a PCMCIA slot on a computer to add functionality, and the most common use of this is to add wireless networking capability to notebook computers. Newer notebook computers come with wireless capability built in, but if you have an older laptop or if your built-in wireless adapter breaks, these cards are a good solution.
Work with Bluetooth-enabled devices using a Bluetooth serial communication adapterBluetooth is a wireless technology that enables connection over a short distance. Bluetooth serial communication adapters can enable you to connect to a cell phone or a projector to pass data from one device to another. Industrial networking capability is another possibility with this technology.
- The fastest and least expensive network connection is generally a wired Ethernet connection. Even if you have wireless capability on your network, it isn't necessary to have wireless network adapters for each computer. You may opt to connect the computers nearest the network by Ethernet cable.
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