A network adapter is a hardware interface allowing a device of some sort, usually a computer, to be connected to a network of some sort. It “adapts” or converts from the physical protocols and requirements of the network to those used by the computer internally.
In most modern personal computers, network adapters are typically built in, but additional adapters can often be added using the computer’s assorted expansion interfaces.
Typical network adapters are either ethernet (wired) adapters or wireless adapters.
|Connects to||Motherboard via one of:
Network via one of:
|Speeds||Full-duplex or half-duplex:|
Broadcom (includes former Avago, Emulex)
Marvell Technology Group
Cavium (formerly QLogic)
A network interface controller (NIC, also known as a network interface card, network adapter, LAN adapter or physical network interface, and by similar terms) is a computer hardware component that connects a computer to a computer network.
Early network interface controllers were commonly implemented on expansion cards that plugged into a computer bus. The low cost and ubiquity of the Ethernet standard means that most newer computers have a network interface built into the motherboard, or is contained into a USB-connected dongle.
Modern network interface controllers offer advanced features such as interrupt and DMA interfaces to the host processors, support for multiple receive and transmit queues, partitioning into multiple logical interfaces, and on-controller network traffic processing such as the TCP offload engine.