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Updated September 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Intel Network Card
Intel
Network Card
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Bottom Line

A network card that uses state-of-the-art technology to help you maximize system performance and boost your productivity.

Pros

Leverages auto-negotiation to ensure the card runs at the highest available network speed. Maintains full bandwidth capacity with a dedicated bandwidth of a PCI Express input and output. Boasts a low-cost, low-power, and compact profile.

Cons

Low maximum operating temperature. Sometimes fails due to high volume or large file transfers.

Best Bang for the Buck
Rosewill Network Card
Rosewill
Network Card
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Bottom Line

A highly integrated and cost-effective network card that ensures you can efficiently utilize network bandwidth for maximum data throughput.

Pros

Supports 10, 100, and 1000 Mbps throughput. Features an LED indicator that displays the status of data transmission. Offers an excellent choice for those who want to upgrade a network for a high-traffic power server and video-conferencing workstation.

Cons

Does not work on Windows 10. Does not properly or securely seat Ethernet cables.

UGREEN Network Card
UGREEN
Network Card
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Bottom Line

A high-quality network card that offers a simple way to add or expand Gigabit Ethernet connectivity to a computer.

Pros

Suitable for any PCI-enabled client, server, or workstation. Compatible with a broad range of operating systems, including Windows. Includes an 8-centimeter profile bracket that makes it easy to install the card in a small form factor or low profile computer.

Cons

Does not always fit properly into a computer slot and match up to an external chassis mount.

TP-Link Network Card
TP-Link
Network Card
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Bottom Line

A top-notch network card that allows you to quickly connect a desktop computer to a high-speed wired network.

Pros

Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. Delivers power down-link power-saving capabilities. Comes with a full-sized bracket attached and a spare low profile bracket for easy installation. More affordable than many comparable options.

Cons

Installing drivers may prove to be a long, arduous process. Not compatible with Windows 10.

Broadcom NetXtreme
Broadcom
NetXtreme
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Bottom Line

A network card that delivers a quick, flawless performance time and time again.

Pros

Easy to install and set up. Provides a high-performing, auto-negotiating Mbps connection. Delivers seamless Gigabit Ethernet over existing CAT-5 cabling. Offers a great combination of quality and affordability. Boasts on-chip voltage regulation for added safety.

Cons

Not intended for use with all system configurations.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

51
Models
Considered
60
Consumers
Consulted
18
Hours
Researched
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These days, it’s crucial that a computer can connect to the Internet and your company’s local area network (LAN). That makes a quality PCI network card, which allows a physical Ethernet connection to your PC, an important component in any computer you build. The standard speeds network cards can handle are 10 and 100 Mbps, though more are now supporting 1000 Mbps. Some cards require that you download drivers while others don’t. The majority of network cards are for Windows systems, though not all support Windows 10. The network card should continue to function properly even when there’s a lot of data being transferred. It should be easy to physically install and fit into the NIC slot in your PC tower.

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