An Ethernet network card is a device typically connected to a computer to allow that computer to then connect to other networking hardware. This can be either an internal or external device, and often comes with installation software such as device drivers or networking tools and utilities. Once connected, the card allows a computer or similar device to connect to other networking hardware through an Ethernet cable. An Ethernet network card is typically used to connect directly to a modem, giving the connected device Internet access, or to networking equipment such as a router or hub.
Sometimes simply called an Ethernet card, an Ethernet network card is a piece of hardware used to connect an Ethernet cable to a computer or other electronic device. This card can be quite small, and usually features an Ethernet port and some way for the card to be connected to a device. An internal Ethernet network card usually connects inside of a device, typically a desktop computer tower, and connects directly to the motherboard.
External cards are also available, and such cards usually connect to a computer or other device through a universal serial bus (USB) port. This can cause problems with bottlenecking, however, since data transfer rates may be greater through the Ethernet cable itself than through the USB connection. While this does not make such cards useless, it can have a negative impact on data transfer.
An Ethernet network card is typically used to enable connectivity with a computer or other device and a wired network. Once the card is properly installed or connected, additional software may need to be installed on the connected computer. This can include device drivers for the Ethernet network card, as well as networking software and utilities that can increase connection speeds and organize different network connections.
Ethernet cables are commonly used for connecting computers directly to modems or routers. The high transfer rates of Ethernet usually allow high speed or broadband Internet connections to more effectively transfer data to and from a computer than other connection types may allow. Ethernet cables can also be used to connect multiple computers and devices through a networking router or hub, which can be used to create multiple Internet connections and a local area network (LAN). Other devices and electronics can also include an Ethernet network card to allow connections between such devices, though USB connections and other types of cables are frequently used as well.