What Is NIC (Network Interface Card)?

The NIC or Network Inteface Card is hardware that is used to connect a system, computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc. into a computer network. As its name suggests the NIC provides an interface to the network and runs required operations for network connectivity. There are different types of NICs for different network types and use cases.

NIC Network Types

Computer networks are defined with standards for different types. Some networks require cables whereas other networks require wireless communication. According to these network types, there are different NIC network types listed below.

File:ForeRunnerLE 25 ATM Network Interface (1).jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Ethernet NIC
  • Wireless NIC is one of the most popular network and NIC type. Wireless networks provides the ability to transfer data and communication via air which make the user free. The radio waves are used to transfer data. A lot of different systems like laptop, tablet, server, smarphone use the wireless NIC.
  • Ethernet (Wired) NIC is another popular NIC network type where the data is transmitted over ehtneret cable. The ethernet cable provides cheap cabling but it is generally used for fixed station which is for enterprise usage. Home users generally does not prefers the Ehtneret NIC recent times.
  • Fiber (Wired) NIC is less used NIC network type but provides more reliable and faster connection. Fiber NIC is preferred as enterprise or datacenter systems for reliability and high data transmission with low latency.
  • USB NIC is not a conventioanl NIC type where it is used reraly.
File:WLAN PCI Card cleaned.png - Wikimedia Commons
Wireless NIC

NIC Features

The main duty of a NIC is making the communication of hosts and servers over the network. But in order to accomplish this, they provide different features which are listed below.

  • Bandwidth is the capacity of the NIC connection which is simpily referred as the speed. Different NIc types or connections have different speeds.
  • Mac Address is used to identify the NIC uniquely and used to communicate with other NICs and network devices in a computer network.
  • IP Address is assigned to a NIC to address it in a computer network for communication.
  • Router or Modem is used to make connection to the internet where the NIC communicates with these devices for network or internet connection.

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