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Similar to most laptops, I have both wifi and wired LAN. Does this mean I have two NICs, or is it one NIC shared between both.

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migrated from serverfault.com Jan 5 '12 at 21:40

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

    
Two, Zwei, Dos, Ni –  kobaltz Jan 5 '12 at 21:59

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

It's definitely two NICs. Though they both carry IP as people would expect, they are not the same at the MAC or (especially) PHY layers. Ethernet follows the 802.3 standards; and most people are familiar with the 802.11 standards for WiFi.

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I suppose someone could do something evil with a switch on the MII bus to make it talk to different PHYs, but I've never seen this myself... –  voretaq7 Jan 5 '12 at 21:38
    
s/evil/awesome/ –  MikeyB Jan 5 '12 at 22:14

Pull up a linux terminal and type ifconfig -a for all the gory details. If on Windows, pull up a command prompt and type ipconfig /all.

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That's ipconfig -a for a Windows box... The default output of ifconfig on *nix boxen usually shows all the most pertinent details. –  Chris S Jan 5 '12 at 21:41
    
doh. clicked over here from serverfault, did not realize I had switched to superuser. still assuming *nix. :) –  darkuncle Jan 5 '12 at 21:43

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