What Is Ethernet? A Look Into the Basics of Network Communication

Ethernet is a form of communication technology responsible for establishing connections between multiple network devices. It is preferred for establishing LAN-type channels and is also used for WAN network channels. In this tutorial on ‘What Is Ethernet?’, you will understand all the parts that make up the functioning and working of Ethernet in a network channel.

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What Is Ethernet?


Ethernet is designed for the transmission of data over the channel using wired technology and is used for high-speed data transmission. It is also responsible for applying some protocols for smooth and efficient data transmission over the network.

Ethernet uses cables to transmit data in a network model, such as LAN and, in some cases, WAN. It is more reliable and secure, providing better network connectivity.

Why Use Ethernet?


Ethernet technology is used for establishing connections and is preferred for network channels. It is used in industry networks, college campuses, and medical institutions because it provides services to the data being transmitted. 

  • Ethernet provides high-speed data transmission in the network.
  • It establishes a secure connection for transferring data in the network.
  • Ethernet is reliable, as the possibility of outside interference is very low as cable data is difficult to hack into.

Types of Ethernet

Depending on the network requirements, the type of ethernet networks applied in the communication also varies. The different types of ethernet connections are mentioned below:

  • Fast Ethernet: This Ethernet type is used for transferring data around the network at a speed of 100 Mbps through twisted-pair cables or optical cables. This type of data transmitted can be done without applying protocols.

  • Gigabit Ethernet: This type of Ethernet also uses optical and twisted pair cables for data transmission at 1000 Mbps. This is also one of the most preferred Ethernet networks.

  • Switched Ethernet: This Ethernet type installs network devices such as switches or hubs to improve the network transmission. The transmission range for this type ranges from 1000Mbps to 10Gbps.

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Working of Ethernet Network

The Ethernet network is designed to work in the 1st layer (physical layer) and 2nd layer (Data Link Layer) of the OSI model. 

Ethernet divides the transmission of data into two parts: packets and frames. 

  • Packet–Refers to a unit of data in the network.
  • Frame–Refers to the collection of data packets being transmitted.


The data to be transmitted is converted into data packets in the network and then transferred to the channel. At a point, multiple data packets are collected to form a data frame, which is then transmitted further in the network channel. 

During data transmission, Ethernet applies various services over the data being transmitted, such as security checks, traffic control services & other protocols.

Next in the tutorial titled ‘What Is Ethernet?’, you will look into the advantages and disadvantages of applying Ethernet,

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethernet



1. The cost of installing an Ethernet connection is affordable.

Ethernet networks are more suited for short-distance connections.

2. Provides high-speed data transmission for data in the network.

Troubleshooting faults in the ethernet connection is difficult.

3. It maintains data quality and also provides a secure channel for data transmission.

Increased cases of network traffic in the network channel.

Ethernet vs Internet

Network Model



Ethernet is preferred for small distance network connections, such as schools, hospitals, etc.

Internet connections are available for all distance network channels.

Network Security and Reliability



Ethernet connections are secure and are less prone to external interference and provide data security.

The Internet is an open format network connection, so it is affected more because of external interference.

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Network Control



Ethernet is less complex due to being wired in connection and provides much better transmission of data.

The Internet is a connection of multiple networks, so it requires a regular inspection from network administrators.

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In this tutorial on ‘What Is Ethernet?’, you learned about the Ethernet connection and the working steps involved in establishing the connection. The Ethernet network is preferred for small area network connections and provides different types of Ethernet connections for data transmission, which can be selected depending on your requirements.

If you want to learn more about implementing an Ethernet network in the system for establishing a stable and secure connection, you can refer to Simplilearn’s Cyber Security Expert course. By the end of this professional course, you will be able to perform Ethernet network-related tasks much more efficiently.

Do you have any questions about this tutorial on ‘What Is Ethernet?’ If yes, feel free to mention them in the comment section at the bottom of this page. Our team will help you solve your queries ASAP.

About the Author


Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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