Network Interface Cards

A computer must have a network interface card (NIC) to connect to a network. Currently, there are several topologies (ways of connecting computers) for network connections. These topologies range from the old and mostly outdated 10BASE-2 to the much newer and popular wireless Wi-Fi or 802.11 networking.

Each NIC has a unique address (the hardware address, known as Media Access Control [MAC]), which identifies that NIC. This address is six pairs of hexadecimal bits separated by colons (:). A MAC address looks similar to this: 00:60:08:8F:5A:D9. The hardware address is used by DHCP (see the section “Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol,” later in this chapter) to identify a specific host. It is also used by the Address Resolution ...

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