|A laptop network interface card, or NIC, is an internal circuit board, inserted into the device to connect to one or more networks. The card provides an interface to the media, using an external transceiver or an internal integrated transceiver mounted on the card itself. The network adapter card fits into one of the laptop’s expansion slots. The notebook network card is equipped with one or more accessible ports, with select connection options for the network-cabling medium. A laptop network interface card goes by various names, including "Network Adapter", "Wireless Network Card", "Ethernet Card", "NIC Card", and "LAN Card".|
A notebook network card is also referred to as a MAC driver. NDIS and ODI standards provide a common interface for all units, with cards available in ISA or PCI versions. These standards also enable a single laptop NIC to support multiple protocols, and make one protocol accessible to multiple devices at once. A laptop network card features an internal driver, managing the device with integrated software. The transfer rate is specified in megabits per second (Mbps), with most cards supporting up to 100 Mbps. There are also more expensive and high-powered devices, that support up to 1,000 Mbps or 1 gigabits per second (Gbps).
The notebook wireless network card's driver is vital to the operation of the device. It is responsible for converting the parallel data, sent from the internal bus, into the serial form required for transmission. The duties of the notebook NIC card are to send data to the network, as well as receive data from the network. In order for two computers to exchange data, the two devices must agree on a transmission rate. Many laptop network interface cards are also compatible with lower rate units, allowing the device to communicate at a slower speed.