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LinuxPlanet: Net Gains: Networking Adapters

May 23, 2000, 14:38 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by William Wong)

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"Why the focus on Ethernet cards? Because they are the most frequently used network cards in Linuxdom. Other NICs or network adapters that are occasionally encountered support Token Ring and Arcnet. Token Ring shows up in corporate networks. Arcnet used to be king of networking but its 2.5Mbps transfer rate didn't keep up with Ethernet. Because of Ethernet's popularity and support, these and other networking adapters like ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) adapters are extremely rare in home or small business networks. These types of NICs are normally connected via a hub or switch..."

"Two new types of network adapter that are showing up in homes and small businesses include telephone wiring-based solutions and wireless solutions. The telephone wiring-based solutions are supported by the HPNA (Home Phoneline Networking Alliance). HPNA uses Tut Systems HomeRun technology. It operates at 1Mbps over telephone lines at high frequency so the telephone line can still be used with a conventional telephone. The HPNA 2 specification runs at 10Mbps that is comparable to 10BaseT Ethernet. Unfortunately HPNA drivers for Linux seem to be extremely scarce but this may change in the future. The support necessary for HPNA adapters is comparable to Ethernet adapters."

"Wireless networking solutions can be divided into three categories: proprietary, 802.11, and Bluetooth. The proprietary category includes products like Proxim's Symphony. 802.11 is a standard that encompasses most wireless products that cover 1, 2, and 11Mbps transfer rates. The Bluetooth standard is designed for small networks such as two adjacent rooms in a home. It is also designed to link portable products like HPCs to desktops."

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