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Computer networking technology has changed the way the world communicates. Conducting business and various other transactions and setting up communications links to almost any corner of the world have all become so comfortable with the advent and advancements of networking technology. A computer network is merely a collection of hardware like computers which integrated into one entity with the use of communication channels. There are many types of systems classified according to the scope of the organization, the scale and the communications protocol that they use. Communications protocols define the various rules that will govern information exchange within a computer network.
One of the types of computer networking technology is Ethernet. This networking standard is also known as a physical and data link layer technology. This technology introduced in the year 1980 after which it was standardized in the year 1985. Robert Metcalfe is the pioneer and driving force behind the development of the Ethernet. Ethernet technology is also used to connect appliances in industries and sectors like telecommunications too. Ethernet standard has also become almost all-pervasive and when people talk about network, LAN or local area network and so on, it is the Ethernet that provides connectivity.
1980 saw the commencement of standardization of Ethernet under the aegis of IEEE or Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The project was dubbed Project 802 and worked towards standardizing local area networks. Ethernet attained international standard approval with integration between the International Organization for Standardization or ISO and IEEE. The technology has seen constant evolution and today is capable of delivering better connectivity, more bandwidth, and enhanced media access control. Hardware manufacturers also include Ethernet into their machines thus eliminating the need for an additional network card.
Though this hardware has changed the way the world communicates and connects, it brings in some advantages and disadvantages too.
Advantages of Ethernet for Business
Pricing – Ethernet offers perhaps the lowest costs of setting up a LAN connection. One of the reasons why it is this inexpensive is because it is simple to install.
The diversity of topology – can work with star and bus topology
Simple installation – the Ethernet installation can be done with a simple coaxial cable and T-adapters. It does not require a plethora of devices to do its job when installed.
Reliable – if the Ethernet network is using a coaxial or coaxes cable, then it is almost immune to the noise produced by other electrical devices outside the system.
Versatile – can be used in an office and home.
Disadvantages for Business
Challenging to change – Ethernet networks do not lend themselves too easily to being reconfigured and altered even if it is to correct a fault. When and if the system has to change, it will involve breaking the topology of the network and then building in a new section, and this is a time-consuming process that will see the system going through some downtime.
Delay if there is too much traffic – the Ethernet could get bogged down if there is too much traffic coming through all at once. Also, if there is a failure to any of the components of Ethernet – such as hubs - then the chances are that it will bring the entire network down. The network administrator has to then identify and correct this fault through a process of elimination which is potentially time-consuming.
Not too good with voice signals – Ethernet is not the most ideal of technologies to deal with voice signals.
Fiber optic Ethernet – this is an option or alternative to traditional metal wire systems, but this may have the disadvantage of high costs and complex installations.
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