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Virtual Network Adapter

Definition - What does Virtual Network Adapter mean?

A virtual network adapter is the logical or software instance of a physical network adapter that allows a physical computer, virtual machine or other computer to simultaneously connect to a network or the Internet. A virtual network adapter works like a typical network standard designed for various networking environments, application and services.

Techopedia explains Virtual Network Adapter

A virtual network adapter uses the host physical network adapter to initiate and manage network communications. It is created by the operating system or a purpose-built software application. Once created, it can be used for different applications and networking services. For instance, a virtual network adapter enables a computer to connect to a VPN while being simultaneously connected to another network. Each of the virtual network adapters is considered a unique device, and each has its own separate IP address and network configuration. In virtualization environments, each virtual machine is generally installed with a virtual network adapter for communication between other virtual machines or with the network itself.

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