Cable is the plumbing of your network. In fact, working with network cable is a lot like working with pipe: You have to use the right pipe (cable), the right
Network cables have one more advantage over pipes: You don't get wet when they leak.
Ethernet is a standardized way of connecting computers to create a network.
A networking book wouldn't be complete without the usual
A bus is the simplest type of topology, but it has some drawbacks. If the cable breaks somewhere in the middle, the whole network breaks.
A second type of topology is the ring:
A ring is very much like a bus except with no end to the line: The last node on the line is connected to the first node, forming an endless loop.
A third type of topology is a star:
In a star network, all the nodes are connected to a central hub. In effect, each node has an independent connection to the network, so a break in one cable doesn't affect the others.
Ethernet networks are based on a bus design. However, fancy cabling tricks make an Ethernet network appear to be wired like a star when twisted-pair cable is used.
You can think of Ethernet as a kind of municipal building code for networks: It specifies what kind of cables to use, how to connect the cables, how long the cables can be, how computers transmit data to one another by using the cables, and more.
Although Ethernet is now the overwhelming choice for networking, that wasn't always the case. In ye olde days, Ethernet had two significant
But the vast majority of business networks use Ethernet. You can purchase inexpensive Ethernet
Here are a few tidbits you're likely to run into at parties where the conversation is about Ethernet standards:
Ethernet is a set of standards for the infrastructure on which a network is built. All the network operating systems that I discuss in this book-including all versions of Windows, NetWare, Linux, and Macintosh OS/X-can
Ethernet is often referred to by network gurus as 802.3 (pronounced "eight-oh-two-dot-three"), which is the official designation used by the
(pronounced "eye-triple-e," not "aieeee!"), a
Ethernet's transmission speed has nothing to do with how fast electrical signals move on the cable. The electrical signals travel at about 70 percent of the speed of light, or as Captain Picard would say, "Warp factor point-seven-oh."
An even faster version of Ethernet, known as
is also available. Gigabit Ethernet components were once expensive enough that they were used only for speed-critical
Most networking components that you can buy these days support both 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps Ethernet. These components are called 10/100 Mbps components because they support both speeds. Network components that support all three speeds are called 10/100/1000 Mbps components .