all about ethernet

A couple of words about Ethernet

There are few people today who don’t know what Internet is, and they probably live in Siberia or somewhere near. Everyone these days knows what Internet is; I bet even your 80 years old grandma does. But what about Ethernet, Do you know what that is? Not even asking about your grandma this time. Not so many people can tell the difference between Ethernet and Internet, it’s not difficult to get confused when these two words seem so alike. However, there is a huge and very significant difference between them.

Xerox PARC Company developed Ethernet in 1974, but this technology was officially accepted by IEEE Standards Association (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association) only in 1985. The name “Ethernet” comes from the passive substance called “luminiferous ether” that some physics believe pervaded the universe and carried the light.

USB Ethernet
Robert Metcalfe, who came up with this name, believed in symbolic meaning of it, for Ethernet carries information throughout the world.

Ethernet is a communication protocol or in other words, the Local Area Network (LAN) technology used for networking today. During the communication process a stream of data is divided into many independent packages called frames. Each package has its own source and address, that helps to identify this package from others in case of data damage and re-transmit the information again. In simple words, so that your grandma could understand what we’re saying here, Ethernet is a standard model for LANs everywhere around the world.

If we have two or more computers, we can connect them together using a local network. To do so, we would need a network interface card, which every computer has by default, Ethernet cable to link them together, an Ethernet hub, that is a central component of a LAN and networking software. The Ethernet hub handles network traffic, what it does is basically receiving and transferring data from all our linked computers through the networking cable. With technical progress today, Ethernet doesn’t have to use cables, since it can also be wireless. In a wireless Ethernet network the role of cables plays a wireless NIC that uses radio waves for transferring the data to a wireless switch or Ethernet hub. These wireless networks are more practical in use; however they require some additional attention in security settings.

Another popular technology using Ethernet is the ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) technology. It creates wide area network (WAN) and allows the computers to connect over very far distances. But using ATM technology isn’t advisable if you want to create a network in a single office or building. The main reason is the cost; it’s cheaper to create a network with Ethernet standard.

How does Ethernet future look to us? Well, this technology will stay with us for many decades to come, developing into something more complex and improved with every day.
Like, for example, there are still encountered some transmission errors and latencies in transferring data process that need be fixed, and most definitely will be.