Network Interface Card or NICShort for Network Interface Card, the NIC is also referred to as an Ethernet card and network adapter. It is an expansion card that enables a computer to connect to a network; such as a home network, or the Internet using an Ethernet cable with an RJ-45 connector.

Wireless network cardDue to the popularity and low cost of the Ethernet standard, most new computers have a network interface build directly into the motherboard. The top image shows the SMC EZ Card 10/100 PCI network card, one of the more common examples.

The bottom picture shows a PC Card, more specifically the SMC EZ Card 10/100 wireless network card; found in laptop computers that do not have onboard wireless capabilities.

Related pages

Also see: Connection, LAN, Network terms, Processing device