"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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