What is Ethernet?

What is EthernetIf you're thinking of setting up a home network, one of the first terms you will hear is Ethernet.  To allow your computers to communicate you will need to setup an Ethernet network.

But what is Ethernet?

Ethernet is currently one of the most common type of networking technologies in use today.  Ethernet has become very inexpensive and is fairly easy to setup, and is what is known as a broadcast media.    As the name infers, Ethernet comes form the root word Ether, meaning air or AIR NETWORK.

How Ethernet works

Ethernet works, in many ways, the same way that people communicate.  Think of an Ethernet network as a giant room.  If two people walk into this room and start talking they can hear each other and can easily start a conversation.  As more and more people enter the room, all of those new people can hear the existing conversation going on between the first two people.  These new people can even join in on the conversation if they would like.

The problem with ethernet, just like the problems with having a conversation in a crowded room is that it can get very loud.  Each conversation trying to occur at the same time until eventually you can't hear other.

How Switches and Routers Enable Ethernet to Work Better

When a network becomes too large or too over-crowded by too many computers, collisions start to occur.  Just like in our example above, in our large room with too many people, conversations start to collide and you can't hear each other.  In these situations, what do you do?  You go to a smaller room to have a private conversation.  That what routers and switches do.

Router and Switches segment networks into smaller "rooms" to allow for better communication between computers.   The bigger the network becomes the more routers and switches you might need.   For most home networks however all that is usually needed is a single switch to ensure your network in running smoothly.

Still Wondering What Ethernet Is?

If you still have questions and are unsure as to what is Ethernet, leave us a question in the comment box below!

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