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Chapter 16. Introduction to XP Networking > Network Hardware Options

Network Hardware Options

As you know, a LAN consists of a group of computers connected together using some sort of electrical medium. The signals transmitted across a LAN are generated and interpreted by electronics in each computer. Some computers have built-in network interfaces; otherwise, each computer in a LAN needs a network interface card, or NIC. I also refer to them as network cards or network adapters.

These electrical signals have to be carried from computer to computer somehow. The original design for Ethernet used a very expensive 1/2-inch thick cable that could carry a 10Mbps Ethernet signal up to 500 meters. (It was named 10BASE5 for reasons that only make sense to an engineer.)


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