In August of this year, we opened the new THG networking section with a first look at
When we first started working on this article, we knew this was going to be quite a challenge. With all of the different types of network interface cards available, we had to establish a few ground rules with the vendors in order to be able to provide you with the best information based on the input from the PCI NIC review.
First, we asked vendors to ship us at least one PC-Card NIC and one CardBus NIC. We also asked every vendor to ship a Mini-PCI NIC, if they had one to offer. As you will find out later in the article where we explain the Mini-PCI technology, Mini-PCI products are normally sold to notebook manufacturers as an OEM product, so this created some obstacles in getting enough Mini-PCI products to test. Because of this, a decision was made to postpone the tests of Mini-PCI products until we had a sufficient amount of cards to test. When requesting the cards from the vendors, we specified two cards based on information from each company's Web site. We explained to each company that only the two cards that we specified would be assured a testing spot in this review.
Secondly, we explained to the vendors that if they elected to ship a NIC card that was a combo-card, then the modem section of the card would not be tested. Although we feel that including a modem with the card does add value, we also felt that, as this was not the focus of this review, any testing of the modem would not be as in-depth as we would like. If reader interest does exist, we will explore the possibility of doing a modem only review at a later date. In products that included a modem, we only verified the ability of the modem to dial and connect to a remote system. Although we do select a winner in the "combo" category, it should be noted that we considered all modem performance equal.