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What Is Ethernet?

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Ethernet is a standard of network communication using twisted pair cable although coaxial cable was used in older versions of Ethernet. Ethernet was developed in 1973 by Bob Metcalfe at Xerox. It is the most widely used standard in network communication and run at 10 to 1000 megabytes per second (Mbps) with faster versions on the horizon.

The IEEE standard 802.3 is used for Ethernet but it has several different types or versions starting with the original 10base5 version. The 10 stands for 10Mbps and base describes the Baseband communications it uses. The 5 stands for a maximum distance of 500 meters which is how far the signal can travel before having to be repeated or regenerated. This type of Ethernet used coaxial wiring instead of the newer versions that use twisted pair cabling. Other types of Ethernet include 10Base2, 10BaseT and 100BaseT which is the most common type in use today. 10BaseT offers 100 Mbps with a distance of 100 meters and uses twisted pair cabling.

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