Local Area Network (LAN) card is used to provide wireless
Internet access to computer users in home or roaming networks.
It works by exchanging signals with a router, which transmits
the signals over a physically wired line. The LAN card became
ubiquitous in Western society in the early part of the twenty
first century, when the cards became affordable due to wireless
networks springing up everywhere, from coffee shops to airports.
home Internet users use a LAN card for wireless Internet access
so that multiple residents can be on the Internet at the same
time. The router is placed in a central location in the home
to provide even signal across the household. Wireless networks
are also widespread on college campuses, so that students
with laptops can use the Internet wherever they may be. The
value of wireless to attract customers has been recognized
by restaurants and other such businesses, who usually provide
network access in exchange for a small fee or purchase of
LAN card communicates with the router using radio waves and
an antenna. The computer converts data into binary form and
sends it to the LAN card, which in turn broadcasts the signal
to be picked up by the router. The router sends the information
on in the form of packets of information, and bundles information
for return to the computer via the LAN card in the same way.
Usually wireless networks transmit at a relatively high frequency,
ranging between 2.4 and 5Ghz, designed to accommodate the
more rapid transfer of large amounts of data. When purchasing
a router or LAN card, the packaging will indicate the frequency
of the signal it uses.
users can maintain a connection to the router on different
bands, to avoid interference, and are assigned unique identities
by the router in the form of an IP address. Each user attempting
to access the network will need a LAN card, which is either
available built into the computer or as an external attachment
which can be connected through a Universal Serial Bus port
or PC card slot in a laptop.
have a variety of security settings, with some being accessible
to all users and other requiring a password to access the
router. Even when a network is secured, a LAN card will be
able to see it and list it as an available network, but when
asked to connect will prompt the user for a password. It is
recommended that wireless networks be secured to prevent the
exploitation of vulnerabilities, and that users never connect
to an unknown network.