How do I Configure a Network Card?

G. Wiesen

How you configure a network card will depend a great deal on the type of card you have and what sort of tools or utilities were included with the card. You will usually need to install or update drivers for any network card you have installed for the first time or when existing drivers have become corrupted. Beyond that, you should also install any software that was included with the card you are using, since this will usually work best for your card. You may want to configure a network card that you do not have software for, in which case you may want to download a third-party program that will help you connect to a network.

Cat5 cable, which is used with networks.
Cat5 cable, which is used with networks.

The process required to configure a network card will often vary depending on the type of network card you are using. A network card that is for connecting to a wired network through an Ethernet cable or similar connection often needs little configuration, while you may need to spend more time to properly configure a network card for a wireless connection. In either case, it is often best to update or install drivers specifically made for your network card. These drivers are usually included on a disc that should come with your card, or they can often be downloaded directly from the website of the card’s manufacturer.

A wireless router, which is used with a network card.
A wireless router, which is used with a network card.

Once you have the proper drivers for your card, it should be able to connect to a network, especially a wired network. You may have to configure a network card to connect to a wireless network, however, and this can be slightly more complicated. Most cards will come with additional software to help you properly connect to wireless networks. Otherwise, you can usually find third-party programs that will help you configure a network card to connect wirelessly.

The default settings for this type of program are often sufficient when trying to configure a network card, though you may need to make a few adjustments. These will usually include entering any passwords and network names for the wireless network to which you are trying to connect. You should also be sure that you are using the same type of security protocols used with the wireless router or device to which you are connecting. Common protocols include Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Media Access Control (MAC) address filtering, and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).

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