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computer hardware
network interface cards
internet wirelessly
thumb drive
local area network
What Computer Hardware Receives Internet?
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I recently posted an article on the benefits of modulator-demodulators and their ability to grant Internet access. There is something that I did refrain from mentioning that is very significant in the process of utilizing the Internet: NICs (Network Interface Controllers)

NICs are also considered Network Interface Cards, Network Adapters, LAN (Local Area Network) Adapters and other similar terms. What they basically are is a computer hardware component that connected any computer to a computer network.

Early History Legacy NICs were these decently sized circuitry boards that connected to a BUS slot on the motherboard to grant the PC user the ability to receive an Ethernet input which would ultimately lead back to the Modem and voila – the World Wide Web at your fingertips!

There are no two alike NICs, in the sense that each one has a unique 48-bit serial number called a MAC Address (Media Access Control). These MAC addresses are generally assigned by the manufacturer of the NIC and they are stored on its hardware.

The intention of having a burned-in address was to create a globally unique identifier, however, now a days it is possible to alter the contents and entirely change the MAC address, which is referred to as MAC Spoofing.

Modern History Modern NICs are still created as circuitry boards that connect to the inside of the PC, however they now have them without Ethernet ports and instead have antennas sticking out of them to accept waves to access the internet wirelessly.

In addition there are also small thumb drive devices that have a tiny built in antenna to connect wirelessly as well. These are extremely convenient and flexible in the sense that they can just fit right into a USB port, without having to turn off the PC, unplug it, ground yourself, remove the case and place a card into a slot.

Modern Computing There are cell phones these days that have built in wi-fi access, such as laptops, except extremely smaller and still tremendously efficient. There is little need to lug around huge PCs to conduct normal tasks anymore like web browsing; there are miniature devices that already have their own built in antennas so they can connect to the internet wherever there is a router.

Even so, every device that contains a NIC has a MAC address that uniquely identifies it as a tool that may connect to the Internet. And if anyone wants to access this wonderful tool, the World Wide Web, they most definitely need a NIC to allow them.


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