If you have surmised Ethernet as some kind of networking technology, you have guessed it right. To be more precise, Ethernet may be considered as a family of computer networking technologies that are used in (a) Local area networks [LAN}; (b) Metropolitan area networks [MAN] and (c) Wide area networks [WAN]. Being commercially instituted in 1980, Ethernet was standardized in 1983 as IEEE802.3 and has since been used to support higher bit rates and longer link distances. However, Ethernet became quite popular in recent years because it is considered as one of the most common types of broadband connection to the Internet.
Ethernet, incidentally, allows many computers to connect to one another into a network. This is done with the help of special Ethernet hardware and Ethernet protocols, which are enumerated below.
Importance of networking
While the Internet may be considered as the grand daddy of all computer networking, linking numerous computers around the world, smaller networks do play important roles in accessing information on daily basis. For instance, most public libraries have now replaced card catalogs with computer terminals, thus allowing members to search for reference books and magazines far more quickly and effortlessly. Airports provide many screens displaying arrival and departure schedules that are instantly made available through LAN.
Ethernet hardware comprises three essential components such as Ethernet Cards (also called Adapters), Ethernet Cables and Ethernet hubs and routers. When Ethernet Cards are plugged into the computer and Ethernet Cable connects them to the rest of the network, the computer becomes able to send and receive data packets from the sundry other segments of the network as well as the Internet.
Ethernet cables are used as the medium that carries data packets to and from the computers, hubs, and routers in the Ethernet. There are many Ethernet cable types, such as copper and Fiber Channel, to name a few.
Ethernet hubs and Ethernet routers serve as dispatchers in an Ethernet network as they direct data to the appropriate recipient. Hubs and routers can be connected to other devices, not only to computers and depending on the way they are connected, there are different Ethernet topologies.
Apart from Ethernet hardware, another component that is needed for Ethernet to perform comprises a set of rules that define the communication within the Ethernet with external networks. This is called Ethernet protocols, and there are tens of them used for communication within the Ethernet.
Even though there are numerous protocols that surround the Ethernet, the one that matters most is the Carrier-Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) protocol which ensures that there are no collisions on the network.
Ethernet and the Internet
While using the Ethernet network, the network's router also serves as a bridge to the Internet. As a matter of fact, the router connects to the modem, which carries the Internet signal, sending and receiving data packet requests and routing them to the appropriate computers on the network. Even if a network isn't being used and only a single computer is functioning, that computer will connect to the modem by means of an Ethernet cable (if a wireless router is being used, the router will be connected to the modem).
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