Your Computer’s Network Interface Card
Your PC requires Ethernet networking hardware to connect to the network, specifically a network information card, or NIC. Your NIC may also be called an Ethernet card or a network adapter. The NIC circuitry is most often part of the chipset on the motherboard.
There are two types of NICs:
A traditional NIC: Uses the RJ-45 adapter (the standard network jack, shown in this figure).
The standard wired NIC is measured by its speed in Mbps, or megabits per second: 10 Mbps is too slow, 100 Mbps is faster, and 1000 Mbps (1 gigabit) is the fastest and bestest.
A wireless NIC: May or may not be visible as a tiny antenna sticking out the back of your PC. A wireless NIC can also be added by using a special USB adapter.
A laptop equipped with built-in wireless networking rarely has an external antenna; the antenna is there — it’s just inside the laptop’s case.
If your PC doesn’t have a NIC, adding one is easy. You can find a variety at any computer or office supply store.
You can have both wireless and standard NICs inside your PC.