Updated April 6, 2023
Introduction to Ethernet uses
Ethernet is a technology that is used for connecting devices in a wired wide area network or local area network. It is used to enable communication between the devices through a set of rules called protocol or common network language. Ethernet defines the way to format and transmit data between the network devices in the local or wide area network and can be recognized by the devices present in the network range. A cable is used for the data transmission; the cable is an encased wiring called an ethernet cable. In this article, we will understand ethernet and study the uses of ethernet.
Uses of Ethernet
The most basic use of ethernet is to connect different devices present in a network, and ethernet is also considered as one of the most popular forms of network connection. Ethernet is generally used for its reliability, speed, and security for local area networks, which any school can use, college, company, offices, and hospitals.
Ethernet came into the picture majorly because of its low pricing compared to its counterparts, including IBM’s Token Ring at the time of its arrival in the industry. Ethernet became popular with time as a result of its ability to deliver and evolve to greater levels of performance, and at the same time, it maintained its compatibility with the earlier versions. At the time of its arrival, ethernet used to give a throughput of 10 megabits per second, and with time it has increased to 100 Megabits per second till the 1990s. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. is popularly known as IEEE, is always on its toes to provide the best updates to enhance ethernet’s performance. Nowadays, ethernet can support a throughput of up to 400 gigabits per second.
There are various topologies that ethernet uses. Some of them are explained below:
1. Bus topology
When all of the nodes of a network are connected with a single cable, then it is called a bus topology. The single cable which is used in bus topology is called the backbone. Initially, bus topology was used with 10Base-5 Thick Net and 10Base-2, Thin Net coaxial cable ethernet networks. This topology broadcasts the message sent by one node to all the other nodes connected to the cable. Once the message is sent, then the target node only can process the message. Bus topology is one of the easiest and inexpensive to install topologies.
2. Ring and Double Ring Topology
When all the nodes of a network are connected in a circle, then it’s called a ring topology. Here each and every node also works as a repeater to keep the signal strong and prevent it from attenuation while it travels within the network. While sending a piece of information within the network, the transmitter computer sends the message which is directed towards a particular computer, and then the signal is sent through the circular network either anticlockwise or clockwise.
All of the signals traveling in the network have to travel in a single direction. This is done to avoid data collisions and noise in the network. Sometimes, one of the nodes may be disrupted, and the network fails. So, a double ring topology is used to solve this, which adds another cable to the network to avoid failures.
3. Star and Extended Star topology
For ethernet, star and extended star topology has been the most popular. Star topology and extended star topology is very easy to set up and is also comparatively at a lower side of the price, and have higher redundancy than the other topologies. In star topology, all of the nodes are connected to the central device in the network. The central connection makes sure that the network keeps on working even if any node fails or a cable fails. The only problem with this topology is that what if the central device fails as it will make the network cease to function.
Star topology is generally suitable for centralized and small networks. Extended star topology is used for large networks where sub-central devices are added and connected to the central device. This makes it advantageous for large networks and allows the subnetting the allocation of IP addresses in the network.
4. Tree/Hierarchical topology
Multiple star topologies are configured on a bus topology, and a central node is used for making a tree or hierarchical topology. Here, the major problem is that if the central root node fails, the networks cease to function or become unstable. This topology is majorly suitable for those networks that would have to expand in the future and makes it advantageous over star or bus topologies. However, tree or hierarchical topology is not very much used as a result of its vulnerability.
5. Mesh Topology
There are two mesh topology types: one is a partial mesh, and another is a full mesh. In a full mesh topology, each and every node is connected to each other. This makes the network fully redundant and enhances its reliability when compared to other networks. In this topology, even if a link or node disrupts, there are other paths to transfer the data. The major problem with the implementation of this topology is its complexity in configuration, and the topology is on the higher side of the price.
Majorly this topology is used in networks with fewer nodes or a smaller network. Different alternate routes are provided from each node to each other in a partial mesh topology. Some redundancy is provided in this type of topology, and it is majorly used in backbone environments or networks where the services are very important and are also used in wide area networks. Internet is an example of partial mesh topology.
On the basis of the above article, we understood the concept of ethernet and its uses. Various topology in which ethernet is used has been explained in this article in detail to understand how the data is transferred in a network and how it can be transformed for increasing efficiency.
This is a guide to Ethernet uses. Here we discuss the concept of ethernet and the various topologies that ethernet uses. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –