What is a network adapter?

Network adapters today have become extremely important as the world keeps coming closer through internet technology. We will discuss briefly what a network adaptor is and how it plays its part in connecting the world to form what we call the “global village”.

A network adaptor is a component in a computer’s internal hardware that is used to communicate over a network with other computers that are present on that network. It allows a computer to connect to the server, LAN connected to a networking device or another computer. It can be used easily with a wireless and wired connection. Basic network adapters are used in laptops, PCs, and other home and office equipment, but professional adapters like CVR-QSFP-SFP10G Cisco are usually used in powerful servers.

Significance of a Network Adaptor:

A network adaptor is the only piece of the computer’s hardware that is usually required to connect and engage with the interface of a network. It is normally found on the circuit board and has jumpers that connect it with the motherboard of the computer. An RJ-45 port is used for wired networks. It uses a tangled pair of cables for connectivity. The cables can also be untwisted. On the other hand, wireless connections require an external or built-in antenna to connect with the network. Both of these adapters support TCP/IP protocols that are prevalent LAN protocols.

Types of Network Adapters:

Besides being available in the wired and wireless form, network adapters can be of the following types:

MoCA Adapters:

MoCA adapters use the existing TV wiring in people’s houses to create fast and dependable home networks. The wiring must be coaxial for this purpose. Such a connection is called “Ethernet over coax“. Unlike straight WiFi or wall plugs, these adapters are not disturbed by interference. Thus, a consistent, fast-paced internet connection is established between your access point and router.

Powerline Adapters:

These adapters can simply be plugged into electrical outlets in the home and extend the WiFi through the home’s wiring. This adaptor, however, is slower than the MoCA adaptor as it has more interference and can result in random disconnections and slow speeds. It is also noted that in many cases, electric wiring in the home is not properly compatible with Powerline Ethernet. Other problems may include a large distance to the plugs, interference in the power lines. In most cases, it is hard to identify the exact issue that might be disturbing the connection.

Industry players:

Some major network adapter companies include HP, IBM, Intel, Cisco, and Transition Networks. These adapters are known for maximizing performance and increasing the productivity of end-users. They also come equipped with a feature called “auto-negotiation,” which is used to maintain full-bandwidth capacity and highest network speed. HP adapters are built for performance scalability, especially when the servers are consolidated. Cisco adapters, on the other hand, have integrated service routers.


Network adapters are an integral part of a computer system because they are the major component that helps you communicate with the internet world. Network adapters are platforms where large amounts of data are sent and received between computers in a network.