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Ethernet Local Area Networks
Fundamentals overview LANs, MAC and Frames
In modern environments you will find that, at a general level, computer data networks can be categorized in two types:
  • Local Area Networks - connecting nearby devices, in the same room, building or campus of buildings
  • Wide Area Networks - devices are somewhat geographically separated
The aggregate use of these two types of networks covers most of the communication requirements of modern businesses, they deliver data from one endpoint to another.

The Ethernet or Wired LAN

Ethernet is a general reference to any cable that conforms to any of several Ethernet Standards. However, the cables used for the links use copper wires more often than not.
In contrast to the Wired LAN, the Wireless LAN or WLAN uses radio-frequencies to transmit data between nodes instead of wires for the links.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) define the required elements to build an Ethernet-based Local Area Network. These elements, among others include:

Devices

Assuming an Ethernet-only Local Area Network we would need an Ethernet LAN _switch, _the switch's purpose is to increase the amount of ports that can be used to connect wires terminating into the client machines - this concept is also known as port density. These client machines are connected via their network interface card's Ethernet port using an Ethernet cable.

Cabling

Ethernet standards from Wikipedia's page on IEEE 802.3:
"IEEE 802.3 is a working group and a collection of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards produced by the working group defining the physical layer and data link layer's media access control (MAC) of wired Ethernet. This is generally a local area network (LAN) technology with some wide area network (WAN) applications. Physical connections are made between nodes and/or infrastructure devices (hubs, switches, routers) by various types of copper or fiber cable.
802.3 is a technology that supports the IEEE 802.1 network architecture.
802.3 also defines LAN access method using CSMA/CD."
Ethernet standard
Date
Description
Experimental Ethernet
1973
2.94 Mbit/s (367 kB/s) over coaxial cable (coax) bus. Single byte node address unique only to individual network.
Ethernet I (DIX v1.0)
1980
10 Mbit/s (1.25 MB/s) over thick coax. Frames have a Type field. This frame format is used on all forms of Ethernet by protocols in the Internet protocol suite. Six byte MAC address.
Ethernet II (DIX v2.0)
1982
IEEE 802.3 standard
1983
10BASE5 10 Mbit/s (1.25 MB/s) over thick coax. Same as Ethernet II (above) except Type field is replaced by Length, and an 802.2 LLC header follows the 802.3 header. Based on the CSMA/CD Process.
802.3a
1985
10BASE2 10 Mbit/s (1.25 MB/s) over thin Coax (a.k.a. thinnet or cheapernet)
802.3b
1985
10BROAD36
802.3c
1985
10 Mbit/s (1.25 MB/s) repeater specs
802.3-1985
1985
a revision of the base standard from 1983
802.3e
1987
1BASE5 or StarLAN
802.3i
1990
10BASE-T 10 Mbit/s (1.25 MB/s) over twisted pair
802.3j
1993
10BASE-F 10 Mbit/s (1.25 MB/s) over Fiber-Optic
802.3q
1993
GDMO (ISO 10164-4) format for Layer Managed Objects
802.3u
1995
100BASE-TX, 100BASE-T4, 100BASE-FX Fast Ethernet at 100 Mbit/s (12.5 MB/s) with autonegotiation
802.3x
1997
Full Duplex and flow control; also incorporates DIX framing, so there's no longer a DIX/802.3 split
802.3y
1998
100BASE-T2 100 Mbit/s (12.5 MB/s) over voice-grade twisted pair
802.3z
1998-07
1000BASE-X Gbit/s Ethernet over Fiber-Optic at 1 Gbit/s (125 MB/s)
802.3-1998
1998-07
(802.3aa) A revision of base standard incorporating the above amendments and errata
802.3ab
1999-06
1000BASE-T Gbit/s Ethernet over twisted pair at 1 Gbit/s (125 MB/s)
802.3ac
1998-09
Max frame size extended to 1522 bytes (to allow "Q-tag") The Q-tag includes 802.1Q VLAN information and 802.1p priority information.

Connector Terminals or Interfaces

Protocol Rules