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How often you should update a network card depends on what types of updates you are doing, and on your computer and networking needs. You should update your network card drivers fairly regularly, or at least check for updated drivers to be sure you still have the most recent ones available. As far as updating the actual network card itself, this depends on the performance you are getting from your network card and your needs. If your Internet seems to be running especially slowly, for example, or if you need to be able to access a wireless network and do not have the proper card, then you may need to update a network card or other piece of hardware to increase your performance.
When you should update a network card depends on what type of update you are looking to perform and how well your current hardware is running. If you are having connectivity issues, for example, such as frequent loss of signal on a wireless network or losing connection on a wired network, then you may have one of several possible problems. The modem and router you are using could have potential issues, so you may want to begin by considering updating or replacing those devices.
If the modem and router are both working well, however, then you may want to update a network card either through a software or hardware upgrade. A software update is typically fairly easy and you may only need to know what manufacturer made your network card. You should then look for newer versions of drivers for your network card on the website of the manufacturer. Updating a network card through new drivers may solve many problems, but if issues persist then you may need to physically update a network card through the installation of a newer card.
This solution can be especially useful if you are having issues with slow Internet speeds that should not otherwise exist. It is possible that your network card is simply older and cannot handle higher speeds of modern Internet services. If you have a new computer or recently installed a new network card, then this type of update should not be necessary until around the same time you are updating other components within your computer. To update a network card in a physical way, you should be sure that your new card can properly connect to your motherboard through the same type of port, and try to find a card that can connect to your type of network and take advantage of the speed of your Internet connection.