Computers Computer Networking

What Is a Wireless Network Adapter?


Wireless network adapter is an adapter which allows a device to join the LAN (wireless). There is built in radio transmitter and receiver. There are some of the standards which are followed by wireless network adapter and these are 802.11a, 802.11b, or 802.11g Wi-Fi standards. Wireless network adapters are found in different form factors for example the traditional PCI wireless adapters. These are add in cards which are designed for the installation in some desktop computers. These desktop computers have PCI bus. There are some of the USB wireless network adapters which are connected to the external USB port of your computer.


There are some kinds of wireless network adapters like PC card or PCMCIA wireless network adapters which insert into a narrow open bay which are inserted on the notebook computers. There are some of the examples of PC card wireless network adapters and one of them is Linksys WPC54G (compare prices). The wireless network adapters are small in size. They are of size less than 6 inches or 0.5 m long. According to the wi-fi standards of wireless network adapters, they provide equivalent wireless capability. There are some of the notebook computers which have built in wireless networking. They are manufactured by having these capabilities by default. The equivalent functions of a network adapter are provided by the small chip inside the computers. The separate installation of separate wireless network adapter is not required by these computers.


There is another type of wireless network adapters which use USB in them. These are known as Wireless USB network adapters. They use wi-fi connection. The standard USB port available on the back of most of the computers is used to connect with the adapters. The size of USB network adapters is very small as compared to the PC card adapters. There are two LED lights on the adapter which indicates the power and the status of the network link. You can easily install the wireless network adapter. There is a short USB cable which is used to connect the adapter to the computer. Separate power cord is not required in this case. The USB cable is used to draw the power from the host computers. There is a wireless antenna and circuitry in the wireless adapter which remain external to the computer always. The antenna can also be adjusted manually on some units and hence the wireless reception can be improved. An equivalent function is served by the accompanying sevice driver software. There are basically two types of wireless USB network adapters which are used in the market and these are a basic model and the compact model. Compact model is designed for the travellers. These adapters are available in very small size. Their setup is really easy to install. The network can be simplified by using the wireless USB network adapter.

Tips and comments

There are some kinds of wireless network adapters and these are PCI, PCMCIA or card bus, Mini PCI, USB, ethernet port and compact flash etc. There is another type of adapter like USB infrared adapter.

By Ali Javed, published at 04/05/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
What Is a Wireless Network Adapter?. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.


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