An adapter in regard to computing can be either a hardware component (device) or software that allows two or more incompatible devices to be linked together for the purpose of transmitting and receiving data. Given an input, an adapter alters it in order to provide a compatible connection between the components of a system. Both software and hardware adapters are used in many different devices such as mobile phones, personal computers, servers and telecommunications networks for a wide range of purposes. Some adapters are built into devices, while the others can be installed on a computer's motherboard or connected as external devices.
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