FAQ About Wired Network Cards
Unless you plan on tucking your desktop computer under your arm and lugging it to the local coffee shop a few times a week, a wired network connection is still the fastest, most reliable, and most secure option for connecting your computer to the internet. All you need is the right wired network card.
What is a wired network card?
A wired network card (sometimes called a network interface card or NIC) is a small PC component that allows your computer to transfer data with a local area network (LAN) or router by way of an Ethernet cable. If you want to connect your computer to the internet or a local network through a wired connection it will need to have a wireless network card installed.
What are the advantages of a wired network card?
Wired network connections offer higher data transfer speeds and better security than wireless network connections, which can be accessed by anyone within wireless range. Wired network connections are also more reliable than wireless connections, which can drop or disconnect periodically due to weak or unpredictable signal strength.
Which type of wired network card do I need?
The type of card you need depends on whether you're installing it in a desktop computer or a laptop. PCI cards are installed internally in a desktop computer's expansion slot, whereas PC cards (sometimes called Ethernet cards) are plugged into an ExpressCard slot that's available on some models of laptops.
What should I look for when buying a wired network card?
Take into consideration how many RJ-45 ports you'll need, as well as how important the maximum data transfer speed is. Most cards offer speeds of 10/100/1000Mpbs, but Gigabit network cards, which have the ability to handle a far greater amount of data per second, are also available.
Want more info on wired networking options? Check out some of our resources:
Build Your Own PC Buying Guide
Networking Buying Guide