A network interface is presented that receives packet data from a shared medium and accomplishes the signal processing required to convert the data packet to host computer formatted data separately from receiving the data packet. The network interface receives the data packet, converts the analog signal to a digitized signal, and stores the resulting sample packet in a storage queue. An off-line processor, which may be the host computer itself, performs the signal processing required to interpret the sample packet. In transmission, the off-line process converts host-formatted data to a digitized version of a transmission data packet and stores that in a transmission queue. A transmitter converts the transmission data packet format and transmits the data to the shared medium.