A CDE Definition
See Ethernet adapter.
Also called a "network interface card" (NIC), an Ethernet adapter is a card that plugs into a slot on the motherboard and enables a computer to access an Ethernet network (LAN). In the past, desktop computers always used cards. Today, Ethernet cards (NICs) are generally only used in servers and high-end workstations, because Ethernet circuitry is built onto the motherboard of every desktop and laptop computer (see teaming NICs).
Adding Ethernet to Old Machines
All new computers have Ethernet built in, but old desktop computers can be retrofitted with an adapter that plugs into an available PCI slot. A USB-based Ethernet adapter can retrofit both laptop and desktop, and very old non-USB laptops can also be updated (see PC Card). See Ethernet, LAN, Wi-Fi and auto negotiate.
Type of Supported Speeds
Adapter 10 Mbps 100 Mbps 1 Gbps
10/100 * *
10/100/1000 * * *
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