How to Choose a Network Interface Card?

Network interface cards, which are also called NIC cards or fiber LAN cards. Nowadays, there are a variety of network interface cards in the market. Various network interface cards differ in transmission rate, prices and other aspects. And using different network interface cards may get different network performance. So how to choose different network interface cards is important. This post will give you some tips on choosing network interface card, which is likely to help you to choose the most suitable one.

Types of Network Interface Card

According to the bus interface type of the network card, it can be generally divided into ISA interface network cards, PCI interface network cards, PCI-X bus interface network cards and PCIe network cards. Based on different interface, it can be grouped into Ethernet RJ-45 interface network cards, BNC interface network cards, AUI interface network card, FDDI interface network cards and ATM interface network cards. In terms of transmission speed, there are gigabit network cards, 10G fiber network cards, 25G fiber network cards and 40G fiber network cards. As you can see, there are many types of network interface card. So how can we choose different types of network interface card, some tips will be given in the following part.

Tips on Choosing Suitable Network Interface Card

In the following part, some useful suggestions about selecting different types of network interface cards will be elaborated in detail.

Checking Supported Connector Types

Due to different network transmission media, common network interface cards have three different connector types. some network interface cards provide two ports on one card at the same time, and some network interface cards also provide three ports on the card at the same time. These ports are AUI port, BNC port and RJ-45 port. The AUI connector is often used with the thick coaxial cable, the BNC connector IS often used with thin coaxial cable and the RJ-45 port connector is often used with the unshielded twisted pair. Many small local area networks use a thin coaxial cable and a bus network with a BNC connector. The cost of this connector is low, but it is not easy to manage, especially for a large local area network. So you need to choose different types of network interfaces card according to different supported connectors.

network interface card

Determining the Transmission Rate

Take Ethernet network cards for example, there are 10Mbps, 10/100Mbps, 1000Mbps, even 10Gbps network interface cards in the market. In general, people is more likely to think that the network interface cards which have higher transmission rate will be the better network card. but it is not true. For example, if you insert a 1000Mbps card network card into your computer which connected with the 100Mbps twisted pair, the maximum transmission rate can only reach 100Mbps, so it is a waste to use this type of network interface card. In order to avoid unnecessary waste, you need to be careful when selecting network interfaces with different transmission rate.

Considering Prices and Brands

The prices of network interface cards in different brands is various. But there are some well-known brands, such as Intel, Netgear, Mellanox, FSand so on. Those brands are popular in customers because their products have good quality and perfect network performance, which is more likely to meet your requirements for network interface cards. Since the prices of different interface cards are effected by many factors, such as transmission rate, different ports and so on. When you comparing different network interface cards, you should not only consider the prices, but also you need to take each parameter of network cards in different companies into consideration, then make a wise choice.

Paying Attention to the Bus Type

PCI, PCI-X or PCI-E bus intelligent card are commonly used by servers and workstations. And the ISA connector is no longer support the PC. So when you purchase network card for you PC, what you should choose is the PCI-X and PCI-E or PCI card instead of the outdated ISA network card. And the PCIe network interface cards are now widely used in the customers. Here gives several types of PCI-E network cards in FS. Just show as the below picture.

10G base-T, network interface card

Figure1: Different types of 10G  PCI-E network cards in FS

Compatibility of Operating System

If you want to buy a network interface card, you need to consider which network interface can support your operating system. In general, most network interface cards can support Microsoft® Windows®, but not every interface card will support Linux or Apple’s Mac OS X. So you need to make sure that the network interface is compatible with the operating system that you are using.


As is known to all, the performance of network interface card can greatly affects the network performance and the data transfer rate of overall network. With the tips mentioned above, we hope this post can give you some inspirations in choosing the proper network interface cards. If you need any help, feel free to contact us at

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