Network Card: Definition, Use and Types

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Network card, maybe someone who works in the IT field is familiar with the name of this hardware device. We often encounter this card in PC computers, laptops, and other mobile devices for LAN needs and so on. There are several related things to add to your insight, starting from the meaning, function, to the types below.

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Definition of Network Card

NIC (Network Interface Card) or network card is a component of a computer network device that has the function of connecting computer devices to other network devices.

Network Card Function

The following are some of the functions of the NIC or network card:

Converting Parallel Data Streams to Serial

This card has several functions, one of which is to change the parallel data flow on the bus of a computer into a serial data stream. With this serial data transmitted to each other in a computer network;

Control Data Flow between Computer and Network Cable System

Network card are used to control data flow on a computer network, especially those using cable media. Then the existing data flow will not be accepted and issued to exceed capacity or be redundant.

Then the card will prevent the occurrence of density of information flow and data flow that exist on wired media networks.

Sending Data from One Computer to Another Computer

This card can transmit data from one computer to another. With this card, the server can work properly, namely providing and processing the data needed by the user and then sending it to the user. The beginning of the network card on the server is forwarded via a network cable and then received by the network card to the user.

Data Recipients from Other Computers

The function on the client side is to receive data and information transmitted by servers in a network. The result is that any data sent by the server will be received by the client computer.

Translate Data into Bit Form

Network cards have the ability to convert data streams within a network into bits. What are beets? Bit is a form or format that can be read and managed by a computer where the data can be sent into the information needed so that it can be processed by the sending computer and the receiving computer.

Local Network Liaison Media with Internet Network

As previously explained, this card plays an important role in a network, namely building connections in the internet network. Especially in terms of merging between local networks into the internet network connection.

For example, an internet network in a company or computer lab, where every computer in the room is connected to a local network and also connected to the internet network. So there is no need for every computer to be paired with a modem, but only the server is connected to the internet and every computer that uses the card will also be connected to the internet.

Types of Network Cards

Apart from its meaning and function, now we will discuss what are the types of network cards, let’s look at the following explanation.

Physical Network Interface (Physical Network Card)

Physical Network Interface or physical card is a type of physical card, hardware, expansion card, which is installed in the PCI slot of the computer’s motherboard.

This physical card has an RJ-45 port which is used to connect a computer to a network with cable media.


LAN Card ISA is the first type of card created by a company engaged in computer networks. This LAN card has a black port and has one or three ports. The feature of this LAN card is its output connector for BNC and RJ-45.


PCI LAN Card was produced in 1992 and is still widely used today. This PCI LAN Card is a development to replace the ISA LAN Card type. PCI LAN Cards began to be used on Pentium 1 generation computers and are still used up to the current generation of computers.

Maybe the difference is that the old PCI LAN cards had many ports, the difference is that nowadays there is only 1 slot.


Besides having a PCI LAN card, now there is LAN card technology for USB ports whose purpose is to make it easier to use a LAN card in a computer network without having to open a computer case that only plugs it into a USB port.

PCI Wireless LAN Card

A wireless LAN card is a type of LAN card that can use wireless technology, aka wireless. Usually this LAN card uses a counter antenna that can spread the signal or the advantages of this wireless LAN card without using cables, making it easier and more practical to install.

USB Wireless Adapters

A usb wireless adapter is a device that is similar to the wireless LAN card that we discussed earlier, but the difference is that this device is only connected via a USB port. This USB wireless adapter function can connect a computer or laptop to be able to capture the WiFi signal around it.

BUS Cards

This bus card is a type of network card which is the newest model of PCMCIA or express card. However, the difference between this model is that it uses a 32-bit data line and bus mastering or the ability to master the bus and also the cardbus supports devices with low voltage. Cardbus is designed to be multitasking.

Express Cards

Express card or another name is PCMCIA, which stands for Personal Computer Memory Card International Association of memory manufacturers in the United States. Express cards are software interfaces that are small in size and can provide additional capabilities to laptops or other mobile devices.

Logical Network Interface (Logical Network Card)

Logical card or Logical Network Interface is the opposite of this previous physical card which is a type of network card that cannot be defined physically because it has software or a program that was created to be similar to its function.

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