What Is the Definition of an NIC?

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An NIC is a network interface controller, or network interface card, that is built into the computer in order for the computer to access networking and data. Find out how each NIC is associated with a number that is used when a computer connects to the Internet with information from a computer specialist in this free video on computer hardware.

Part of the Video Series: Computer Hardware
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Gary Malec, and in this video I'm going to discuss to you exactly what a NIC card is for a computer. Now NIC stands for Network Interface Controller, or Network Interface Card, depending on who you ask, basically, it doesn't really matter, they're interchangeable. They come basically in every computer these days built in. Years ago there would be a separate card that you would have to add, but see on this computer here, you've got your network card insert right here. For another example, this laptop's got one here, I mean, all computer's have them built right in now-a-days. Here, we've got another one on this one. They all carry their own MAC address, it's called. It's genuine to each, each one has their own number burned in to them, so if you're on the internet, you can be tracked, basically, you leave your number where ever you go. That's basically it, it's, I mean with out it, we wouldn't be able to network and share files, go on the internet. It's been the, it's been the staple since the mid 1990's as the what is used to access networking and data. There used to be a couple different versions, but that one kind of stuck, and now it's what we have. So, you have a cable modem, most likely you're plugged in to a NIC card. That's it.

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