If you have the need to connect to the Internet or even other computers within a specific network you cannot do so without network drivers. Even within a company's Intranet it is necessary to have network drivers to "drive" the hardware that connects those computers to and runs the hardware. At the same hand to allow that communication requires more than a simple piece of software - it must be designed specifically to operate the hardware that is installed on the computer and based upon the operating system.
Choosing the right network driver involves not just knowing your operating system but also the type of device that runs your network such as NetGear, Linksys, U.S. Robotics or any number of others. Most people today connect through a router either wired or wireless with Linksys, NetGear and U.S. Robotics being very popular. Certainly there are many others, but these three seem to be the most popular in many stores that carry network hardware devices.
The most common place to find network drivers is with either the software package that came with your operating system or your router. If you are only running a modem instead of a modem and router, it may also be part of the software that comes with your modem. When you buy a new computer system you need to make sure you keep all of the software, especially your operating system and drivers. Being able to connect to the network is more than just a network card - it also requires external hardware devices as well. The importance of network drivers can never be stated too many times because without the drivers you will not be able to connect to the Internet or other outside means of communication.
What if your original drivers have become corrupt or damaged? In reality you want to make sure you always have updated drivers and that those drivers are either burned to a CD or installed on your computer with the other hardware device drivers. However, if you failed to do that you can go to another computer, download the proper drivers, burn them to a CD and then install them on your computer. It is surely much easier to have them available on a CD in case your computer itself should go down as in the case of a virus that may attack your hard drive.
Searching online is the easiest way to find updated drivers for your computer, but this means you have to be able to access those websites that have downloads for the drivers you need. In addition to knowing your operating system, you will also need to know the type of system you re running (for example Dell and the model number) and the type of network device (Linksys, NetGear, U.S. Robotics, etc.). By having all of the information in front of you before you begin to search, you will have an easier time finding just the network drivers you need for your system based on the installed hardware.