Originally known as Alto Aloha Network, Ethernet is a widely used local-area network (LAN) protocol originally created by Xerox PARC in 1973 by Robert Metcalfe and others (U.S. Patent # 4,063,220). Being the first network to provide Carrier Sense Multiple Access / Collision Detection (CSMA/CD), Ethernet is a fast and reliable network solution that is still widely used today. Below is a listing of different standards of Ethernet and additional information about each of them.
Ethernet II / DIX / 802.3
Fast Ethernet / 100BASE-T / 802.3u
Fast Ethernet is also referred to as 100BASE-T or 802.3u and is a communications protocol that enables computers on a local-area network to share information with one another at rates of 100 million bits per second instead of the standard 10 million BPS. Fast Ethernet works over Category 5 twisted-pair wiring.
There are two available 100BASE-T standards. The first standard known as 100BASE-T utilizes CSMA/CD. The second standard, known as 100VG-AnyLAN or 802.12, is similar to the other standard; however, it utilizes a different Ethernet frame to send its data.
100BASE-T is available in three different cable technologies:
- 100BASE-T4 = Utilizes four pairs of telephone-grade twisted-pair wire and is used for networks that need a low-quality twisted-pair on a 100-Mbps Ethernet.
- 100BASE-TX = Developed by ANSI 100BASE-TX is also known as 100BASE-X, 100BASE-TX uses two wire data grade twisted-pair wire
- 100BASE-FX = Developed by ANSI, 100BASE-FX utilizes 2 stands of fiber cable.
Ethernet SNAP is short for Ethernet SubNetwork Access Protocol and is an Ethernet protocol that enabled old and new protocols to be encapsulated in a type 1 LLC.
Gigabit Ethernet / 1000BASE-T / 802.3z / 802.ab
Gigabit Ethernet is also known as 1000BASE-T or 802.3z / 802.3ab is a later Ethernet technology that utilizes all four copper wires in a Category 5 (Cat 5 & Cat 5e) capable of transferring 1 Gbps
10 Gigabit Ethernet / 802.3ae
10 Gigabit Ethernet is also known as 802.3ae is a new standard that supports 10.000 Gb/s.
A copper cable gigabit Ethernet standard that is no longer used. This standard has been replaced by 1000BASE-T.
A fiber optic gigabit Ethernet standard that operates over single-mode fiber.
A fiber optic gigabit Ethernet standard that operates over multi-mode fiber with typical distances of up to 550 meters (1804 feet)
An Ethernet adapter or Ethernet controller is a term used to describe an Ethernet network card used to connect a desktop computer to a network. If you are looking for network adapter drivers, you can find them through our network drivers page.