The network card is essential to connect our devices to the Internet. Each of the computers, mobiles or any device with access to the network will have one. It is very common for computers to have two. We can even install an external one, beyond the one incorporated into the motherboard. However, it is sometimes necessary to change it. In this way we can achieve an improvement in terms of speed and quality of the connection. In this article we will see what to consider when buying a network card .
How should a network card be that we are going to buy
There are many factors that influence when connecting to the Internet. For everything to go smoothly, it is necessary to have a device prepared, which is safe and free of threats. It is also essential that it is up to date to avoid vulnerabilities. But beyond level software aspects, it will be the hardware key. The network card here plays a very important role. Ultimately, it is what will allow us to connect to the router or access point.
Therefore we can say that it is necessary to choose well the network card that we are going to use. Modern computers usually come with generic network cards, which offer acceptable performance for browsing both wired and Wi-Fi. But sometimes it may be necessary to buy a new one if we want to have more powerful resources and navigate at a better speed.
Let’s see what are some important points to take into account if we have decided to buy a network card for our laptop or desktop computer.
If we want to connect devices in a local network at maximum speed, such as through a network switch, it is important to have cards that are compatible with 10G . These cards are 10 times higher than the Gigabit Ethernet that are normally incorporated with laptops.
This also means that our Internet connection will be limited to 1 Gbps. It is true that today in Spain it is the maximum that we can contract, but when in the future we can contract rates of 2 Gbps or even more, we will need a compatible network card.
Multigigabit with the NBASE-T standard
Another very important point is that the network card has to be Multigigabit . This means that it will allow all speeds between 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps. It is essential if we want to take advantage of the maximum resources of some devices such as NAS servers or network switches.
Let’s say we have a NAS server that can run at 2.5 Gbps or 5 Gbps. When using a network card that is not Multigigabit and when these devices do not reach 10 Gbps, it automatically limits the speed to 1 Gbps. On the other hand, if we have a Multigigabit network card, we can use these devices at their maximum speed, which could be 2.5 Gbps or 5 Gbps.
Therefore, to be able to synchronize at intermediate speeds between 1 and 10 Gbps, it is necessary to have Multigabit, with the NBASE-T standard .
Another feature that some users may need is being able to have a network card that has more than one Gigabit Ethernet port . Generally notebook computers and also most desktop computers have a network card with a single port. This is more than enough for most users who are simply connecting their computer to the router.
However, we must bear in mind that we have the option of buying a network card that can have 2 or more Gigabit Ethernet ports. At the level of companies and organizations this is very useful.
Passive cooling or fan
For those more demanding users who are going to install the network card in servers or computer equipment where they are going to make the most of the resources, it is interesting to have cooling . It can be passive or have a fan. If we want it not to make noise, without a doubt the first option is the best.
In this way, through heatsinks, we can avoid having to use fans that cause noise. In addition, this way the network card will work at its maximum performance without problems of overheating.
Internal or external network cards
We must take into account where we are going to use the network card. In laptops it is more common to use external network cards that are connected through USB ports, due to its ease of use. On the other hand, in desktop computers and also in servers we can find more variety depending on the type of bus you use. We can find PCI, PCI-x or PCIe network cards. The latter is the most suitable option for modern cards.
In short, these are some factors that we must take into account if we want to buy a new network card and thus achieve maximum speed.