What is Ethernet, Networks, History, and Common Issues

Want to have communication between devices? Ethernet is the one for you. The devices are connected together via Local Area Network ( LAN ) or Wide Area Network ( WAN ) through a protocol. A protocol is nothing but a set of rules that helps to communicate between networks.

Communication between devices happens over a protocol that has a common network language. Local Area Network ( LAN ) is connected from computers to computers or devices over a small area network like schools, residence, office. Whereas, Wide Area Network ( WAN ) is connected over more range.

The work of Ethernet comes in picture when the data is transmitted over the network through LAN, it controls the processes on the data. The data packets are transmitted and formatted from one device and when they are received by other network devices in their locality then the network segments are processed and recognized.

What is Ethernet

Ethernet cable is used for wired connection, but Ethernet can be used over a specific distance only because it is a physical cable. Hence, to reach a specific distance there are various types of Ethernet cable to perform the required task. Below is the list of various Ethernet cables.

What is Ethernet

1. Type 1- 10Base 2– Thin coaxial cable is used in this. Local area networks are built with terminated BNC connectors.

2. Type 2- 10Base 5– This Ethernet was the first that came on the market. Thick and stiff coaxial cable is used.

3. Type 3- 10Base-T– Twisted-pair cable and can achieve a speed of 10 Mps

4. Type 4- 100Base-FX- It is Fast Ethernet. It achieves a speed of 100 Mbps through multimode fiber optic. Used for campus wiring backbones.

5. Type 5- 100Base-TX- It has 10 times greater speed and is similar to twisted-pair cable.

6. Type 6- 1000Base-T- It is used to transmit Ethernet also it is known as Gigabit Ethernet.

7. Type 7- 1000Base-SX- This is based on a multimode fiber optic that uses a short wavelength signal of 850 nanometers.

8. Type 8- 1000Base-LX– This is also based on multimode fiber optic but uses a long wavelength signal.

Read Also:

  1. Internet Speed Test Apps
  2. Mbps: What It Means and How It’s Defined
  3. What Is the Difference Between a Router and a Modem

Ethernet Networks

There are many Ethernet networks available. We have listed it below.

1. Fast Ethernet

Fast Ethernet is one of the Ethernet networks that have the ability to transmit the data up to 100 Mbps, via a fiber-optic cable or twisted-pair cable. Data transmission can happen between 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps. While transmission there are no changes in protocol translation or any changes in the application or in the network software.

2. Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet transfers the data with the help of twisted-pair cable or fiber-optic cable. The data transmission capacity of Gigabit Ethernet is 1000 Mbps. Gigabit Ethernet cable is famous among others and used by many.

3. Switch Ethernet

If multiple devices are to be connected then LAN networks should be used. Do not use crossover cable instead use a regular network cable. Using an Ethernet cable the data is transferred from one device to another device.

But the transferred rates might differ according to it. Ethernet is commonly used for network technology because the functions it provides are quite good and cost too much.

Ethernet Functionality

Ethernet is not that difficult to understand; some basic technical information is more than enough. Suppose, if a device is sending a data packet over a network to another device, it will first see the carrier that is connected to the main wire and to all the devices.

If the network line is free and no data packets are sent, then the data packets are sent to all the other devices via the main wire connected to them. The packet will be for any recipient and they get the packet.

Ethernet cables also have some limitations. Ethernet cable can cover a large area, which means it has an upper limit that can run before any single loss occurs, and eventually it will affect the performance. For receiving the signals fast the cable ends should be close to each other but far from the electrical interface so that there will be no interruptions.

Consider ethernet and internet, if an Ethernet network is used the bridge between them is a network router to the internet. The router is connected to the modem, modem function is it carries the signals, routing data packets to other computers, sending and receiving data packets on the network.

If the network is free or not being used your computer will still connect to Ethernet cable via modem.

Ethernet History

The Developer of Ethernet is Xerox Corporation at Palo Alto Research Center in California ( PARC ), around the year of 1973 and 1974.

The first idea to be documented in the memo and it was Metcalfe who wrote it on May 22, 1973, is named after the luminiferous aether once postulated to exist as an omnipresent, completely-passive medium for the propagation of electromagnetic waves.

It also got down in the field and competed with Token Ring and also with other proprietary protocols. It adapted market realities and changed to thin inexpensive coaxial cable and later on to ubiquitous twisted pair writing. In the year 1980, Ethernet was leading among all the others and was known for its network technology.

From 1980, Ethernet technology got vast. It evolved many things, and new bandwidth and market requirements were achieved. Now, Ethernet is being used for connecting different devices. In the year 2010, the market price of Ethernet equipment’s was over $16 billion per year.

Ethernet Common Issues and Solutions

Apart from Ethernet cable, Wi-fi connectivity is also required. Because devices like tablets, phones, laptops, netbooks, and portable gaming need WiFi. Hence, LAN gives you WiFi connectivity. Still, if you prefer to use Ethernet then that is totally your wish. If you have a habit of HD streaming then dual band WiFi is necessary.

How Ethernet Works in Networks

Ethernet works by connecting devices to a central hub or switch using Ethernet cables. Each device on the network has a unique MAC (Media Access Control) address, ensuring data packets are delivered to the correct destination. In a typical setup, an Ethernet cable connects a device’s Ethernet port to a port on the network router or switch, facilitating communication within the network.

Types of Ethernet Cables

Several types of Ethernet cables are used to set up networks, including:

  1. Cat5e: Supports speeds up to 1 Gbps.
  2. Cat6: Provides higher performance with speeds up to 10 Gbps over short distances.
  3. Cat6a and Cat7: Suitable for industrial environments and support higher speeds and bandwidth.

Common Ethernet Network Configurations

  1. Star Topology: The most common form, where each device is connected to a central hub or switch.
  2. Daisy Chain: Devices are connected in sequence, one after the other.
  3. Mesh Topology: Each device is connected to several others, enhancing reliability and redundancy.

Ethernet in Home and Business Networks

In home networks, Ethernet provides a stable and high-speed connection for devices like PCs, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. In business environments, Ethernet is crucial for connecting workstations, servers, and other critical hardware in an office network.

Common Issues with Ethernet Networks

  1. Cable Quality and Damage: Poor quality or damaged cables can lead to connectivity issues.
  2. Configuration Errors: Incorrect network settings can prevent devices from communicating properly.
  3. Compatibility: Older Ethernet devices may not be compatible with newer network standards.
  4. Interference: External interference can affect the integrity of data transmission.

Troubleshooting Ethernet Network Issues

Common troubleshooting steps include checking cable connections, ensuring proper network configuration, updating hardware firmware, and replacing outdated or damaged cables.


  1. Is Ethernet better than WiFi? Ethernet typically offers faster speeds and more stable connections than WiFi, though WiFi provides greater mobility.
  2. Can Ethernet and WiFi work together? Yes, many networks use both Ethernet and WiFi to connect different devices according to their needs.
  3. How long can an Ethernet cable be? The maximum length for standard Ethernet cables (Cat5e and Cat6) is 100 meters or 328 feet.

In summary, Ethernet is a fundamental technology in networking, providing a reliable and high-speed method of connecting devices in a network. Its continual evolution and adaptation to new speeds and technologies have made it a backbone of both personal and business networks, ensuring efficient and stable communication in a variety of settings.

Read Also:

  1. ICMP
  2. Kbps and Mbps
  3. What is a Router and How Does it Work


Hence, if you wish to and have a budget for Ethernet cable then go for it and have one for you. Ethernet cable will make your wish easy by connecting devices with each other. Although Ethernet has evolved from time to time for better experience. Hope this was helpful for you. If you have any queries then let us know. See you, until next time! Ciao!

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