LAN Technologies Ethernet, Advantages of Ethernet, Bandwidth speed of Ethernet

Ethernet, FastEthernet and Gigabit Ethernet are the LAN technologies most commonly used today. Ethernet Version 1 was developed by Xerox Corporation during the early 1970s. Later in 1982 Xerox, Intel and DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) together released Ethernet Version 2. Since then, Ethernet is the most popular LAN technology used in networking.

The network topology on which all the latest Ethernet technologies built is Star Topology.

Main advantages of Ethernet are listed below.

• Widely used LAN standard.
• Easily available components.
• Low cost components.
• Easy to install.
• Easy to troubleshoot.

Before reading further, I strongly recommend you to read following lessons thoroughly to understand the core concepts of Ethernet based Local Area Networks (LAN).

Local Area Networks (LAN) and Wide Area Networks (WAN), Difference between LAN and WAN
What is Bus Topology, Advantages and Disadvantages of Bus Topology
What is Star Topology, Advantages and Disadvantages of Star Topology
Half-duplex and Full-duplex Ethernet
Types of network communication - Unicast, Multicast and Broadcast
Collision domain and broadcast domain
What is a network hub, Function of a network Hub
What is a network Bridge, What is a network Switch
Coaxial cables, Twisted Pair STP and UTP cables, Twisted Pair Cable Categories (CAT)

In early Ethernet networks, all the devices (Servers, Workstations, Printers, Scanners etc.) in an Ethernet network had a shared transmission medium. Those days, devices were connected in bus topology using coaxial cables, or by using network hubs. The devices connected using network hub or using bus topology were using a shared medium. In a shared medium local area network (LAN), total available bandwidth is shared between all devices in the LAN.

The main issue with network hubs were, only one computer can transmit data at a time. Other words, when a network hub was used to connect devices together, the network became a half-duplex shared medium Ethernet network.

When in a shared medium LAN, Ethernet uses Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) for determining when a computer can transmit data to the medium. Using Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection (CSMA/CD), all the computers monitor the transmission medium and wait until the medium is free before transmitting. If two computers try to transmit at the same time, a collision occurs. The computers then stop, wait for a random time interval, and attempt to transmit again.

Collisions were common in Ethernet network when connected together in a shared media. Ethernet Hubs had small LED lights on their front panel, that blink when collisions happen in the network.

These days, all the business networks are installed and connected using switches instead of hubs. There is no collision when devices are connected using switches.

Switches operate in full-duplex mode. In full-duplex mode, there are separate channels to send and receive Ethernet frames.

Unlike hubs, switches can send and receive Ethernet frames simultaneously.

Please visit next link to learn the difference between full-duplex and half-duplex Ethernet.

Pictures of RJ45 jack, cable and ports used in Ethernet networks are shown below.

RJ45 Jack

Twisted Pair Ethernet Cable

RJ45 wall plate

Original Ethernet (called as Ethernet) had a bandwidth speed of 10 Mbps (Megabits per second). Today’s Ethernet networks typically operate at baseband speeds of either 100 Mbps (FastEthernet), 1,000 Mbps (Gigabit Ethernet) or 10,000 Mbps (10 Gigabit Ethernet). Gigabit Ethernet provides a data transmission speed of 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet provides a data transmission speed of 10,000 Mbps (10 Gbps). Both Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbps) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 Gbps) works well using both fiber optic cable and copper twisted pair cable media.

Gigabit Ethernet was first designed and developed as a high-speed backbone medium for large LANs. But almost all latest LANs are Gigabit Ethernet capable and Category 5e, Category 6, Category 6a and Category 7 copper twisted pair cable types are usually used as LAN Gigabit Ethernet medium.

Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps), Gigabit Ethernet (1 Gbps) or 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 Gbps) cannot operate using a Ethernet Hub, Ethernet Switches and network interface cards designed for a 10 Mbps Ethernet network. Today’s Ethernet Switches and Ethernet network interface cards are capable to operate at different Ethernet speeds, 10 Mbps or 100 Mbps or 1000 Mbps (10/100/1000) or at 10 Gbps.

Related Tutorials
Introduction to Computer Networking
Responsibilities of a network engineer
What is a Computer Network?
Why we need computer networks?
Different types devices used to create a computer network
Client Operating Systems and Network Operating Systems (NOS)
Common Network Application Software
Local Area Networks (LAN) and Wide Area Networks (WAN)
Campus Area Networks (CAN) and Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
Logical Classification of Computer Networks - Peer to Peer Networks and Client/Server Networks
Logical Classification of Computer Networks - Centralized and Distributed Computer Network Models
Internetworks, Internet, Intranet and Extranet
What is a Network Protocol
Difference between Proprietary and Standard Protocols
What are RFCs (Request for Comments)
Organizations which control Internet, Network Protocols and Standards
What is network topology
Difference between physical topology and logical topology
Network Topologies - Bus Topology
Network Topologies - Star Topology
Network Topologies - Mesh, Ring and Hybrid Topologies
Network Topologies - Partial-Mesh Topology
Network Topologies - Full-Mesh Topology
Advantages and disadvantages of full-mesh topology
Network Topologies - Ring Topology
Network Topologies - Dual Ring Topology
Network Topologies - Hybrid Topology
Network Topologies - Tree Topology
Point-to-point Topology and Point-to-multipoint Topology
What are wireless networks? Advantages and disadvantages of wireless networks.
Ad hoc Wireless Topology
Infrastructure Wireless Topology
Wireless Mesh Topology
Network Infrastructure Devices and Icons
Network Infrastructure Devices - What is a Hub?
Network Infrastructure Devices - What are Bridges and Switches?
Network Infrastructure Devices - What is a Router?
Network Infrastructure devices - What is a Firewall
Main office (Head Office) and Branch Office Networks
Site-to-Site Network Topologies - Hub and Spoke Toplogy
Site-to-Site Network Topologies - Partial-Mesh Toplogy
Site-to-Site Network Topologies - Full Mesh Topology
What is NIC (Network Interface Card)
Common Network Cable types
Differences between STP and UTP twisted pair cables
Twisted pair cable bandwidth and frequency range
Different types of shields used in STP (shielded twisted pair cable)
TIA/EIA 568A and TIA/EIA-568B standards
Straight-Through and Cross-Over cables
What is Auto-MDIX feature in ethernet switches
Difference between Baseband and Broadband
Network Access Methods - CSMA/CD, CSMA/CA and Token Passing
IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
IEEE 802 Standards
IEEE 802.11 Standards
Ethernet Media Standards
100Base-TX Ethernet Media Standard
100Base-FX Ethernet Media Standard
4D-PAM5 encoding in Gigabit Ethernet
1000Base-T Ethernet Media Standard
1000Base-SX Ethernet Media Standard
1000Base-LX Ethernet Media Standard
10GBase-T 10 Gigabit Ethernet Media Standard
10GBase-SR 10 Gigabit Optical Fiber Ethernet Media Standard
Meaning of 10/100/1000 Ethernet
Twisted pair Cable categories for 1 Gigbit and 10 Gigabit networks
Broadband over Power Line (IEEE 1901-2010 standard)
What is Power over Ethernet (PoE)
What is PoE (Power over Ethernet) Switch
LAN Technologies - Token Ring
Advantages and disadvantages of Fiber optic cable
Structure of fiber optic cable (FOC)
Single Mode Fiber Optic Cable (SMF fiber cable)
Multimode Fiber Optic Cable (MMF fiber cable)
Different types of fiber optic cables
Fiber optic transceivers
Fiber optic connectors
LAN Technologies - Fibre Distributed Data Interface (FDDI)