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What does a network card do?

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2010 3:08:21 PM

I want to buy a network card because i am only getting a 100mbps connection but what i want to know is what will a network card such as http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... do for me it says it is 1000mbps will this make my internet 10x faster ??? thanks in advance

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2010 8:21:29 PM

Before you buy a Gigabit (100 Mbps) NIC, what system do you have and where is it connected? If it's connected to a 100 Mbps switch, then it will never run at Gigabit speed.

Edit: Unless you have an Internet connection that's faster than 100 Mbps (unless you're filthy rich, you definitely don't), using a faster NIC won't help at all. Your Internet connection probably is less than 10 Mbps.
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January 17, 2010 9:37:31 PM

for most uses a 100Mb\s NIC is fine since as GhislainG mentioned your internet connection is probably only in the 1-20Mb\s range which means only about 1/5 of your connection is being used - the only reason to have a 1gb NIC is if you are connected to a network with say 20 or more systems all exchanging info with each other and the internet which might overload a 100Mb\s connection slowing things down. but for a small home network 100Mb\s connections will do in most cases so no real need to upgrade.

EDIT : corrected typos noted in post below !!
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January 17, 2010 11:31:07 PM

JDFan said:
for most uses a 100MB\s NIC is fine since as GhislainG mentioned your internet connection is probably only in the 1-20MB\s range which means only about 1/5 of your connection is being used - the only reason to have a 1gb NIC is if you are connected to a network with say 20 or more systems all exchanging info with each other and the internet which might overload a 100MB\s connection slowing things down. but for a small home network 100MB\s connections will do in most cases so no real need to upgrade.


Basically agree with above... except correct typo of MB/s to Mb/s (Bytes vs bits and bits is the correct one ie: lower case b) and remember that the number stated is theoretical max bandwidth which is not the same as throughput even with the TCP/IP overhead no matter how one looks at it. Other limiting factors to actual throughput, include but are not limited to max throughput of your OS (including drivers), entire HW path inside your computer (CPU, mem, disk, PCI bus, PCI cards, the NIC to the network "wire" connected to your computer), the switch(s) and/or router(s) between you and the other computers you are communicating with, similar path as above inside that/those computers, the protocol being used, if internet then 1st connection to the internet, etc., etc., etc.

Recommend that you understand your requirements and of course the infrastructure limitations some of which may be outside your control before spending any money. If you find that you can take advantage of a faster NIC and/or upgrade your Internet connection's bandwidth, then spend the money. Of course, budget is usually a large part of your requirements or in most cases a limiting factor to meeting requirements.
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January 18, 2010 3:01:45 AM

If you want to increase your internet speed, contact your ISP
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