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What are the Different Kinds of Network Card Software?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2016
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There are a number of different types of network card software, though the different types will often depend on the kind of network card used and preferences of the computer user. One of the most common types of software for network cards are drivers that allow the operating system (OS) on a computer to properly recognize and work with the card once it is installed. While wired network cards do not always have other programs that work with them, a wireless network card can often utilize other types of network card software for connecting to and managing various wireless networks.

Network card software typically consists of computer programs used in conjunction with a network card that is installed in or connected to a computer. A network card is a device that can be installed internally onto the motherboard of a computer or connected to a computer through a port, often a universal serial bus (USB) port, to allow that computer to connect to a network. There are generally two major types of network cards: wired cards that allow the computer to connect to a network through a physical connection like an Ethernet cable, and wireless cards that allow the computer to connect to a wireless network.

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Both types of network cards will typically use network card software called drivers to ensure proper functionality of the card once installed or connected. Drivers are computer programs or files that identify a device for the OS on a computer, allowing that OS to recognize the device and then communicate and work with it properly. Wired network cards will not typically use much software other than the drivers needed for proper functioning, though wireless cards can often take advantage of other network card software. These programs are often used to connect to and manage different wireless networks.

One of the most common types of network card software for a wireless card is a program that allows the user of a computer to oversee the connection of that system to a wireless network. This will usually allow the computer user to identify different networks, usually by the names of each network, and choose what network he or she wishes to connect to. These programs will typically allow the user to input passwords and other security features for such networks as well. There are also network card software programs that make managing different networks easier, allowing a computer user to organize and save profiles for different networks. These programs are often used for laptops, which may be used to connect to multiple networks throughout a single day.

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