Ethernet is a popular and commonly used wired network technology. It uses a protocol that is compatible with all other devices that use Ethernet, such as computers, laptops, televisions nearby if they have a port on them. Ethernet was widely used in the 1990s to connect multiple devices in a network to communicate with each other. It was conceptualized on a basic idea to connect computers in a network so that they send information any time. It is an easy method for transferring data from one device to another in a small area.

If we compare LAN (Local Area Network) and WAN (Wide Area Network), the WAN can cover much larger areas than LAN. Additionally, Ethernet uses a protocol that can regulate the process of transferring the information through LAN. Also, it indicates how the connecting devices can transfer or format data packets so that other devices in the network can receive, process, and recognize them.

A user of Ethernet must take into account that if the two computers send data simultaneously, a collision will happen. In this case, the sent data is not usable as both these computers will stop sending data and try again after a random amount of time. To deal with such problems, a special protocol was designed, called CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection).

What will we learn?

  • Ethernet Networks
  • Fast Ethernet
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Switch Ethernet
  • Functionality
  • History
  • Common Issues and Solutions

If you look at your surroundings, you will find that any computer or device connected to a local network will most probably be connected through Ethernet. Most offices, schools, buildings and other setups use Ethernet to communicate with each other in a small area. But these cables also have some disadvantages, such as it is limited to a distance. This is why there are different types of Ethernet cables available designed to do certain tasks. Here are the different types of Ethernet cables:

  • 10Base2 - thin Ethernet
  • 10Base 5 - thin Ethernet
  • 10Base-T - Twisted-pair cable. It can provide a speed of 10 Mbps
  • 100Base-FX- Multimode fibre optic. It can provide a speed of almost 100 Mbps
  • 100Base-TX- Just like a Twisted-pair cable. It has a 10 X faster speed.
  • 1000Base-T- Double Twisted-pair cable of category 5 cables. It permits a speed of up to one Gigabit per second.
  • 1000Base-SX- Multimode Fiber Optic. It uses a short wavelength signal of 850 nanometers.
  • 1000Base-LX - It is also Multimode Fiber Optic but uses a long-wavelength signal.

Ethernet Networks

Here are the different types of Ethernet networks:

Fast Ethernet

Fast internet is a type of Ethernet network that can transfer data at a rate of 100 Mbps using a fibre-optic cable or twisted-pair cable. Through this type of Ethernet, data can be transferred from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps without protocol translation or changes in the networking software and application.

Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit networks can provide a data transferring rate of 1000 Mbps. It uses a fibre-optic cable or twisted-pair cable, even though it is the most popular network among other types of Ethernet cables.

Switch Ethernet

It is basically a piece of the network which is needed for multiple network devices in a LAN. For this type of Ethernet network, a regular cable is used instead of a crossover cable. It forwards the information from one computer to another computer in the same network. Usually, this cable can support different data transfer rates. It is widely used as network technology because it is not too expensive.


If you want to fully understand the concept of Ethernet protocol, then it needed some technical knowledge and information about CS, i.e. Computer Science. For instance, suppose a device in a network wants to send information to another device in the network, then it senses the carrier, which is the main wire that connects all the devices in the network.

In order to move data on the Internet, you need to be able to identify which devices are sending and which ones are receiving. When a device wants to send information over the Internet but there is another user streaming or downloading something, they have to wait for some time before figuring out where their information will go next.

However, there are also certain restrictions or limitations of Ethernet cables. The Ethernet cable is just like an electric power cable that can reach up to a certain distance. This means Ethernet cables have an upper limit as to how long they can be stretched that it does not affect the signal strength. Be sure the cable ends must be close enough to each other to receive the signals faster. But ensure that they are also away from electrical interference to avoid any kind of interruptions.

When using an Ethernet network, the router acts as a bridge for both Ethernet and the internet. This device transfers data to and from the router. In case a network is not in use, this device will connect to cable modem through an ethernet cord.


The Ethernet was developed by Xerox Corporation between the years of 1973 and 1974 at their PARC (Palo Alto Research Center in California). In 1973, this idea of Ethernet was documented in a memo written by Metcalfe. After the luminiferous aether postulated the existence of an omnipresent, completely passive medium for the propagation of the electromagnetic waves, Metcalfe coined it.

With Token Ring and other proprietary protocols, Ethernet is completed. Through this, it was able to adjust to market realities and move to inexpensive thin coaxial cable and ubiquitous twisted pair writing. By 1980, Ethernet became a popular network technology. And from that year, this technology has evolved to meet new market requirements and bandwidth.

Nowadays, Ethernet technology is used to connect appliances and other personal devices in a network. By 2010, this technology became the market of $16 billion per year.

Common Issues and Solutions

Today, most of the devices are mobile, like smartphones, tablets, netbooks and portable gaming that suits WiFi, and if the person only goes with Ethernet, they would face problems.

This is why most LAN setups include additional Wi-Fi connectivity. It is because today a person has different needs. For instance, one needs Wi-Fi for his phone and at the same time needs LAN for a faster internet connection on the computer.

If you love browsing the internet for HD streaming, a dual-band Wi-Fi router is required. If you need a network for online gaming, business, then you should go with a wired Ethernet connection.