Friday, June 24, 2011

What is Ethernet

Ethernet is a computer networking technology primarily used for Local Area Network (LAN). It was invented by Robert Metcalfe in 1970’s while he worked at Xerox.

In LAN architecture you have, two or more computers connected with each other and sharing resources such as Internet, fax, scanners etc. Each computer or a workstation has a NIC (Network Interface card). This NIC is connected to Ethernet cable which in turn is connected to the central hub or a Local server, which directs all the communication processes and enables sharing of resources.

Initially Ethernet used twisted pair or co-axial cables to connect to the Internet or a network. CSMA/CD (carrier Sense Multiple Access/ Collision Detection) technology was used to transmit the data and it employed the use of co-axial cable for this transmission. But nowadays Ethernet uses full duplex transmission via twisted copper cables or fiber optical cables.

Ethernet is the most popular LAN protocol and has evolved over the period of time. When invented its data transmission capability was few Mbps like 10 Mbps but now we have Ethernet cables with data transmission capability of over 1000Mbps or it is called as Gigabit Ethernet. In fact Ethernet cables with capability of 10Gbps have now been introduced. The length of the cable used may vary depending upon the usage. It may be few meters in length or might spread over entire school and universities campuses.

The formal standardization of Ethernet by IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is known as IEEE 802.3

Ethernet Cable

Though we have been seeing increase in wireless network platform but still Ethernet is a faster, reliable and secure source of internet connectivity.

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