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Chapter 5: Network adapters > Introduction - Pg. 63

CHAPTER Network adapters 5 INTRODUCTION Network adapters are used to enable connectivity on a single network link and typ- ically implement a single protocol stack. Network adapters provide the system implementation where that protocol stack is executed. The dependency of the adapter on the physical medium of the attached network usually influences the specification and naming of the adapter in the market. For example, off-the-shelf adapters are known as Ethernet adapters, Wi-Fi adapters, etc. Importantly, because adapters implement single protocol stacks, they are often considered and used as building blocks for multistack systems, such as bridges, routers, and gateways, implementing stacks of appropriate sizes, as described in Chapter 2. Despite the use of adapters in both end systems and network systems, we focus on adapters