What is Ethernet?

The term Ethernet refers to an entire family of standards that define wiring, signaling, connectors, frame formats, protocol rules, etc. Ethernet is standardized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as the 802.3 standard. The standard defines several wiring variants, such as coaxial, twisted pair and fiber optic cabling. Coaxial cables are rarely used anymore, while twisted pair cables are usually used in SOHO environments. Optical fibers are the most expensive option, but they allow longer cabling distances and greater speeds.

Ethernet uses the Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) access method and supports speeds up to 100 Gbps. It is by far the most popular LAN technology today.


The term Ethernet LAN refers to a combination of computers, switches, and different kinds of cables that use the Ethernet standard to communicate over the network.
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