Network Cards (NICs)
NICs—sometimes called network cards—are the mechanisms by which computers connect to a network. NICs come in all shapes and sizes, and they come in prices to suit all budgets. You need to consider the following when buying an NIC:
Network compatibility— Perhaps this is a little obvious, but sometimes people order the wrong type of NIC for the network. Given the prevalence of Ethernet networks, you are likely to have to specify network compatibility only when buying an NIC for another networking system.
Bus compatibility— Newly purchased NICs will almost certainly use the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus, although if you are replacing a card in an older system, you might have to specify an Industry Standard Architecture ...