Wireless internet card, also known as a wireless adapter, is a device that enables a wireless connection. Find out more about the device.
Wireless Internet Card
You could also find a name wireless network interface controller or WNIC. It is build for desktop and laptop computers.
Three Types of the Wireless Interface Cards
There are three types of the wireless interface cards:
- Wi-Fi Adapters
- Cellular Adapters
- Bluetooth Adapters
Wi-Fi adapters provide connectivity to the Wi-Fi network. You could use them for the following purposes:
- Adding wireless connectivity to desktop computers.
- Adding wireless connectivity to the old laptops without a built-in WiFi card.
- Increasing the speed of wireless connection for the laptops by using a newer Wi-Fi adapter.
Usually they are for the desktop computers. All the laptops have the built-in WiFi card for last few years. You could increase the speed of your WiFi network by using new wireless internet cards that are working on higher data rate.
There are five generations of Wi-Fi 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n and the latest generation 802.11ac. A comparison between these different WLAN standards you can read about what does WLAN stand for.
You can find WiFi adapters in different variations:
- PCI wireless network card – for desktop (newer versions are PCIe)
- PCMCIA WiFi adapter – for laptop
- USB wireless network adapter – for both laptop and desktop
WiFi adapter can work in two modes:
- Ad-hoc mode
- Infrastructure mode
WiFi Adapter in an Infrastructure Mode
When WiFi adapter runs in the infrastructure mode, wireless access point or wireless router should be present in the WiFi network. Transfer of all packets between wireless interface cards is going via the access point or the wireless router.
WiFi Adapter in an Ad-Hoc Mode
In the ad-hoc mode, there is no need for an access point. Data traffic goes directly from one WiFi adapter to another. All devices need to have the same channel and SSID.
This type of wireless internet card provides 3G and 4G wireless internet connection to your computers. They are mostly used on laptop computers, but they can also work for desktop.
Cellular adapter can be in two different versions:
- USB cellular adapter
- PCMCIA cellular adapter
Bluetooth adapters provide short range wireless connectivity to laptop and desktop computers. Mostly they are used for wireless connection with the mouse, keyboard and smartphone.
Bluetooth adapters can be:
- USB Bluetooth adapter – for both laptops and desktop computers
- PCI Bluetooth adapter – for desktop computers
Learn how to setup your wireless internet card in the article Setting up Wireless Card.
WiFi technology can be uses in combination with the RFID technology. More about this combination you can find out in RFID Application in a Wireless Networks and RTLS Systems.
Read more about the wireless internet card in How Wireless Internet Cards Work.