Connectivity devices

Network card (NIC)

A network card is used to connect a computer to a network using a cable.

Connecting a desktop PC to a network uses an ethernet cable.

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Wireless network card

A wireless card is used to connect a computer to a network using Wi-Fi / radio waves.

Tablet computers do not normally have a socket for a cable connection so tablets use wireless NICs.

Wireless network cards are also present in smartphones.

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Router

A router directs network traffic to correct computer or device and connects different networks together and to the internet.

These are used to connect a business network to the internet.

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Switch

Switches allow many computers or devices to connect into a network.

These are used in large networks to connect devices and to direct network traffic so the network runs efficiently.

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Modem

Modems are used to convert analogue signals to and from digital signals for connection to the internet.

They connect laptops or other computers to the internet using ordinary telephone lines - this is a dial up connection.

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Wireless Access Point (WAP)

WAP is used to connect devices to a network using wireless connections / Wi-Fi. 

It allows laptops or other computing devices, eg. printers, to use Wi-Fi to connect into an existing network.

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