Network card: Meet the best of 2021
We are very grateful to have you here, home to the best product reviews. Feel very welcome! Technology travels fast these days, and you need to be up to date. To do this, a network card can be of great value.
It is almost impossible for a person today not to have any contact with the internet, or even information networks. And for that to happen, it is necessary to have a device with access to the “web”.
This access can be wired, or wireless (famous wi-fi or wireless). But, it needs to happen. And network cards are alternatives for this access, when the technology does not come from the factory (or does not satisfy you). Continue reading to know everything about them, even to identify the need to own one!
First, the most important
- The network card is an essential accessory for you to access any available network by wires. Whether to communicate with other equipment or to connect to the internet.
- Although wireless technology is steadily gaining ground, it is not uncommon to use cables in certain places. The wireless signal can be affected by material blockages and suffer interference from other waves, which is not the case with cables.
- There are different types and models of network cards, including wireless options. They are great options when you need to improve your connection limit, without wasting computer time for technical assistance.
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Best network cards: Our recommendations
In the market for a long time, any research will lead you to a ton of network card options. And you need to stay tuned for the ones that provide the most value for money. We’ll make the job easier by giving you some of the best choices.
- TP-Link TL-WN881ND network card
- Gigabit network card TG-3468
- Adapter with board-like function
As technology advances, new improvements are constantly launched. Thanks to this, choosing a network card turned out to be a complicated task. Different in size, connections and characteristics, you will need to know them well to make the best choice.
That’s why we want to bring all the information about the network card throughout this Guide. Keep up with us!
Network card: Why is it needed?
Since wireless technology is gaining momentum in the market, and a lot of connections are made with it, then why a network card?
A very common question when talking about network cards, and that may even be yours. However, understand that not all computer equipment comes with the possibility of connection, that is, access to the network or internet.
In addition, in cases of incompatibility or even being disabled “the part” that connects to the internet, do you intend to change the whole equipment? Network cards also end up having this replacement function, when things go wrong.
Now that you understand part of why they still exist, let’s move on to the next step. Network cards exist to allow the exchange of information between one machine – usually a computer – and another (s).
Before wireless systems, integrating with networks involved connecting via a cable. It served as a path to information, where it sent data to the network, and received it back, in a two-way road. Want to know the advantages of having a network card
lthough you have some good advantages in using a network card, you need to be aware of its characteristics. Otherwise, you may end up choosing a model that is incompatible with what you want or need.
What are the different types of network card?
With so much technology on the market, it is a mistake to imagine that a network card is a specific term. In fact, there are several types of network card, defined mainly by the connection they are capable of providing.
A network card does not only allow connection by cables (of the most varied types, such as the little blue known as RJ-45 to fiber optic cables). Some models allow wireless transmission, as well.
They can be Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, wireless and fiber optics. Check out the details:
It is the most common type on the market, generally used in residential and small businesses. They are usually compatible with standard RJ-45 cables, and are usually fitted in a PCI slot.
PCI is a specific plug-in nomenclature, mainly available on computers. A double fitting, where two bars are fixed (one very wide and one thin).
A characteristic of cards of this type is the transmission capacity, which can be as much as 10 or even 100 Mb per second. A card compatible with practically every desktop computer and common servers.
The name itself indicates a truth: they are very similar to the Ethernet models in connection with the machine and cables. However, the great advantage is the ability to operate.
These cards are capable of transferring data at an incredible speed of up to 1 Gb per second. And, some models are even compatible with fiber optic technology.
Network cards also have the option of wireless connection, greatly increasing the connectivity potential of the card. It is common, even, that it comes with the option of cable and also with the antenna, to capture the wi-fi signal.
Versatility also ends up taking a toll. Generally, the data transmission rate of these beauties is lower than in other models, the default being the range of 54 Mb per second.
Of course, a larger investment will allow you to access cards with a higher transmission range. And this is very interesting if you have high speed internet at home.
Boards with this technology are capable of transferring information at speeds between 10 and 100 Gb per second. Depending on the existing network, the technology will not reach you directly.
For example, a company hiring a fiber optic connection will not connect computers directly to this fiber. It will power a switch or server, which will connect via other means to the company’s computers.
The reason? Boards with a fiber optic connection usually cost more than five times the price of a “normal” one. The fiber cables for connection themselves cost much more than the standard RJ-45.
To make it easier, we will pass the main characteristics of each type in a comparison. This will definitely help you with any decision:
It is worth remembering that, with the technology constantly improving, you can find on the market plates with connection and speed even higher than those mentioned! Another important factor is that: the transfer speed depends on the capacity of the network as a whole.
Internet or just LAN (internal network for computers and peripherals), the speed of the set will be determined by the communication “central”. If it’s high speed, great. Otherwise, your card will not be able to “work miracles”.
How does the network card installation work?
Depending on the card you wish to purchase, installation can be extremely easy, or require at least a screwdriver. If you choose models whose connection can be made via USB – very common in wireless cards – just connect it.
Generally computers are configured to self-recognize the device, already entering the information into the system and enabling it for use. In the worst case, you will need to use the installation software that will come with the equipment.
If you purchase a card that has a PCI or PCIe slot (or some other weird acronym), you will need to have the screwdriver ready. Needing a direct connection to the card, it needs to be accessible for fitting. Check out how an installation on the Sayro Digital channel works:
Usually protected by a cabinet, you will need to open it. As for the identification of the location, it is not that difficult. If you ever put puzzles together or played tetris you will kill the puzzle: connect where it fits exactly. But we’ll give you a hint.
In this case, the recommendation is always to install with the main power source turned off. This will avoid any fright, if any component is shorted, or even if you touch the wrong place.
Once the machine is started, it tends to automatically recognize the new connection made. If it doesn’t, go to the good old installation software.
There are network cards available even for printers. In this case, they are very specific, and usually in the “connect and use” system. If not, the instruction manuals will explain step by step how to place your printing machine on the company network.
Researching on network cards can raise many questions, but the price issue is not exactly a worrying factor. Depending on the connection you have at home (internet speed), for R $ 20 you get one.
The price factor has to do directly with the connection speed that the network card allows you to access. And also with the number of connections and their type.
There are cards that work as “network distributors”, where more than one connection allows the equipment to be “in several places at the same time”. This is especially important in companies, not at home, as we clarify.
Where to buy?
If you plan to buy your network card at the utility store on the corner, it is best to think a little more about it. Accessories used in the area of information technology and technology, you will find them in stores in this branch.
Some major department brands may also offer good options for purchase.
However, you will have the best large-scale research on the internet. Online stores like Amazon have a huge amount of these accessories, in the most varied models and speeds. This will allow you to make the necessary comparisons, choose the best product, and receive it in the comfort of home.
Purchasing criteria: Factors for comparing network card models
Now that you know more about the uses and functions of a network card, it’s time to be introduced to their main characteristics.
After all, there are different connections, models, characteristics. Quantity information that can make you choose an accessory different from the one you were needing at that time.
We will give you here the main features that you should keep in mind when choosing a network card. Not to miss:
- Transmission speed
- Connection way
- Installation and size
Check below about each item mentioned:
It is basically what you need to really focus on when researching network cards. The transmission speed will dictate the time required for the tasks you require from the network.
Speed to return searches, to download files, to watch streaming videos (such as on Youtube and Netflix). To transfer files between computers on the same network, the card will define as much as possible, and the cables will obey.
However, the transmission speed, when we put another component in the middle, such as the internet, is measured by the weakest link. Let’s assume that you have subscribed to an internet with a 50 Mb / s connection, this is the maximum transmission you will have.
Even buying a card capable of delivering 1 Gb / s. The measure will always be linked to the weakest link in the chain. Not that a speed like this is bad. But when we compare, for example, to 3G, we are talking about up to 3 Gb / s.
We have already introduced you to the four main models of network cards, serving different purposes and with different characteristics.
Setting the speed is just as important as setting the model you want to use. After all, the connections can vary widely according to each one, and this will be directly conditioned to the portability of the accessory.
If you choose a model with a USB connection, you can charge it everywhere, and use it on any device that is compatible. On the other hand, a model with a PCI connection will require a little more work to uninstall and re-install.
Another subject that we are stressing again, for the sake of a great choice! Network cards connect devices by different means. It can be using cables or also on wireless models.
Defining your need (use of cables, or ease of wireless connection), will lead you to choose the model and the way of connection. Choosing network cards with a composite connection can be a very interesting alternative.
These are models that have more than one connection option connected to the board. For example, you can have the wireless antenna and also the entry for the RJ-45 cable. This will leave the equipment with twice the connection possibilities.
Installation and size
Everything to do with portability, cherishing a network card whose installation is practical (USB), for example, will bring good benefits.
The advantage is that cards with a USB connection are usually quite small, which facilitates transport. But it can complicate forgetting in any corner.
On the other hand, boards with a PCI or PCIe connection have a certain size, to precisely contain this plug-in model. They are also usually “open”, without a plastic cover, leaving the components all exposed.
It is important to know where you intend to install the network card, and the space that the location has. There are several types that will demand different sizes, and if you have a computer full of accessories and cables, having space can be a challenge.