I"m preparing because that an exam, and this question has actually come increase a couple of times. Ns cannot gain a directly answer. I"ve searched the internet and find supporting arguments for both answers, and also some that simply say it"s both. 

I know it have the right to be interpreted either way, however what is the test going come want? Is it also going come ask?The exam I"m examining for is the CompTIA Net+ exam. 


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Ethan6123

NICs are absolutely layer 1; it"s hard to conflict that. NICs typically offload lot of the protocol taking care of from the CPU and also have MAC addresses so I can understand them being considered both layer 1 and also layer 2. I"m not certain who would consider them class 2 but not layer 1.Given the an option I"d prize "Both" or "Layer 1" in that order.


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Pete ITProFL

Layer 1 is the voltage, current, and also wires. Obviously, the NIC demands to understand what voltage is a 1 and what is a 0. That"s class 1.

The reasonable sitting over there on the NIC and watching the voltage is interpreting the in part way. When it looks at the separation, personal, instance bits together a frame, that"s class 2/3.


I don"t know how Cisco will certainly answer but, I will certainly say the both great 1 and also layer 2 as it plays and inherent its role in both osi layers


If you"re strictly talking about the physical NIC itself (and for this reason it"s infection of data onto a physical medium) climate it"s fully Layer 1 due to the fact that it"s law the sending and receiving of raw bit streams.

However if the a question asks "What level is the network interface on?", they could actually it is in trying (in a rather inarticulate way) to refer to Layer 2 due to the fact that "network interface" is likewise a term supplied in the context of the OS and the OS is only going to handle the transmission of frames because that that interface (consisting that a header and also encapsulated data) to part device. A an equipment that the OS will communicate with in a manner established by the appropriate an equipment drivers that correspond to it.

Edited Feb 7, 2019 in ~ 15:32 UTC

Thanks because that the responses everyone. I doubt the test will certainly actually questioning this question straight (at least I expect it won"t), yet you"re helping me much better understand what defines the difference between one and also two. 


Matt2257 wrote:

Thanks because that the responses everyone. Ns doubt the test will certainly actually questioning this question directly (at the very least I hope it won"t), however you"re help me far better understand what specifies the difference in between one and also two. 

Really? i would completely expect a vaguely worded inquiry that is open to interpretation to be on one exam. Happens all the time.

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Matt2257 wrote:

Thanks for the responses everyone. I doubt the test will certainly actually questioning this question directly (at least I expect it won"t), however you"re helping me better understand what specifies the difference in between one and two. 

I would certainly think there may be examples or statements before the concern to define the duties of the NIC....else the prize is ~ above in the file itself.

- NIC is physical : OSI class 1

- NIC MAC : Data connect OSI layer 2

- NIC chauffeurs : This gave many answers together it is chicken and also egg....modern NICs might not work without its drivers and sometimes specific software and applications. 

The slight conversation (or debate) using SLR camera where lens manage the focus and zoom etc....but modern smartphone mainly uses solved lens...so just how does the smart phone camera manage zoom and also focus etc....software over hardware ?