Ethernet is the computer networking family most widely used in Local Area Networks (LAN). Local Area Network covers the computers that are available in the home, small office or a room. Similar like to LAN, a Wide Area Network also utilizes the in a larger geographical area.
Commercially came into existence on 1980 but the standardization was given in 1983 by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.3. Ethernet had replaced quite a few technologies like FDDI, ARCNET, and Token ring.
How Ethernet Works
You don’t require a Masters in computer science to understand about Ethernet but requires some basic knowledge in computing to clearly get the concepts and working mechanism behind Ethernet protocol.
Use of Ethernet is very much simplified when Machine A on the network wants to send a data to the Machine N. First checks, it’s Free or not, then sends the packets and all the other Machines from A to Z checks if they are the recipient or not. Then the recipient consumes the packets.
If some packet is already transferring in the network then the device needs to wait for a few second to try again.
Each Ethernet connected will help a modem or router to assign IP Address to the devices that help in the formation of the network but the default gateway is assigned to the system which is directly connected to the router so accessing the router settings via IP 192.168.1.1 can be done only through this machine.
- One of the least expensive device to make high-speed LAN connection between two devices that are under 300 feet.
- Ethernet network is a fast connectively protocol which has the ability to produce the high-speed connection.
- For Data transformation through Ethernet, frames are used and length of data is 64 to 1518 bytes excluding the 18 bytes for header and CRC.
- Ethernet also secure your data with the detect collision. By using Ethernet data loss won’t occur at all.
- Since its commercial release, Ethernet has retained a good degree of backward compatibility.
- 48-bit MAC address and Ethernet frame format have influenced other networking protocols.
Ethernet Data Rates
During the course of time, Ethernet has grown drastically supporting 10 megabits per second (Mbps). After that “Fast Ethernet” uses a minimum data rate of 100 Mbps. Now Gigabit Ethernet which can extend up to 1000 Mbps. Even 10 Gigabit Ethernet for faster speed does exist.
- 10 Mbps10Base-T Ethernet
- 100 MbpsFast Ethernet
- 1,000 Mbps—Gigabit Ethernet
- 10,000 Mbps—10 Gigabit Ethernet
An Alternative way to setup LAN without Ethernet is only through WiFi which does follow the IEEE Standards. But almost 85% of the LAN-connected networks PCs and workstations is using Ethernet.
Types of Ethernet Cables
A crossover cable connects two ethernet supporting devices to each other. The cables are designed in a way to connect to a computer to a router or switch.
Ethernet cables normally support industry standards which are classified into Category 5 (CAT5) and Category 6 (CAT6).
Shielded (STP) vs. Unshielded (UTP)
In General, Ethernet Cables are twisted, Manufactures use shielding to protect the cable from Interference so shielded cables are used in areas of high electronic Interference that runs outdoors and in the wall
Unshielded Twisted pair Cables are used directly from computer to wall but mostly not used in such place that can be prone to disturbances.
Solid vs. Stranded
Solid Cables are made up of a single piece of copper cable but it’s not flexible but very durable which makes it ideal for wall mounting and outdoors.
Stranded Cables are made up of series of copper cables twisted together so it is more flexible and can be used for persons that most often travel and move around.
Limitations of Ethernet
If you are using a single ethernet cable then its can be used only for a maximum length because after that signal loss will occur.
In a Single CAT5 Cable after 342 feet attenuation occurs. But CAT6 Cable after 700 feet will suffer signal loss. Do Keep in mind cable will suffer loss if they pass over electrical appliances.