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Since the Internet has become an important aspect of our day-to-day lives, the WiFi card has gained popularity. Users often wonder if they need to buy a WiFi card separately or does it come integrated into their laptops.
If you are planning to purchase a laptop, you may not be concerned with the WiFi card specifications. However, if you are willing to get a new desktop assembled, you need to understand everything that can make a major difference to device performance.
The article explains everything you need to know about WiFi cards and how they work. So, if you wish to learn what a WiFi card is, keep reading.
What Is a WiFi Card?
A WiFi card, also known as a wireless card, is a wireless terminal chip that facilitates internet connectivity on the device. The network card makes it possible through a wireless network under the coverage of a wireless LAN (local area network).
In general, the WiFi cards connect to the laptop through a USB port or a card slot. The wireless card comes pre-installed in all the latest laptops and desktop computers; you may need to buy it separately if you have an old computer.
With the advent of edge computing and IoT technology, wireless cards have become important as they enable seamless connectivity. Let’s not move on to learning how these wireless cards work.
How Do WiFi Cards Work?
The wireless network card uses radio wave frequency for transmitting data wirelessly. That’s when the routers come to play their part in giving the users access to the internet network. Wireless routers act as an access point for WiFi cards that first receive signals from the Internet through a wired connection.
The routers then convert signals from binary to radio waves at a particular frequency. Further, when the radio frequency broadcasts, the WiFi card integrated into the computer receives the signals and interprets them into a language that the computer can understand. So, that is how the user receives the WiFi signals to access the Internet.
How to Install a WiFi Card in a Computer?
First things first, you need to find a suitable connector. The WiFi cards come with a wide range of connectors. Before you get one, ensure that the selected model is compatible with your computer and the operating system.
Generally, wireless network cards connect into mPCIe, mSATA, and M.2 slots. Once you place them into slots, they are ready to install. The motherboard and the network card must have corresponding connections to ensure proper connectivity.
To access the Internet on your laptop, you need to install the WiFi card properly. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s manual carefully. After installing the card, if the WiFi is not working appropriately, check your Wi-Fi connection and try to fix it.
What are the Types of Wireless Network Cards?
The three major types of network cards include PCIe cards, USB wireless cards, and 3G cards. Let’s learn about these three network cards in detail.
A PCI adapter card connects seamlessly to the PCI bus in your desktop computer. You need to open the desktop tower to install this network adapter card since the PCI bus is placed inside the tower. It’s easy to install but make sure to handle the card firmly to avoid damage.
A USB wireless network card allows you to connect to the network wirelessly. When your device lacks an integrated network card, and there’s no provision to install one inside the computer, the USB wireless cards can be used to access the Internet.
3G, as we all know, is the 3rd generation of wireless communication technology. You can install a 3G wireless network card on your laptop for faster internet access. For more advanced options, you can get a 4G or 5G card if your laptop supports it.
What Are the Top 3 Wireless Network Cards?
If you are looking to buy a wireless network card for your computer, here is the list of top picks for better internet performance.
This high-speed wireless network card is an ideal option for gamers who are looking for uninterrupted internet connectivity. It provides up to 1300 Mbps of high-speed Internet that allows you to play high-end games without network lags.
For graphic designers and video editors, the TP-Link AC 1200 can be the best option. The heat dissipation technology prevents laptop overheating when you are working on a big project for quite long hours. Beamforming technology helps enhance network coverage.
The dual-band wireless network technology integrated into ASUS AC3100 gives you access to high-speed Internet. Not only do you get up to 2100 Mbps speed, but you also have first-class coverage. It is an excellent wireless card for graphic designers and gamers.
So, if you don’t have a WiFi card installed inside your computer, you can still get faster Internet by installing one externally. Though your budget plays a great role in selecting a network card for your laptop, don’t forget to check the compatibility factor.