Ethernet is a type of network cabling and signaling specifications developed by Xerox in the late 1970. While Internet is a global network, Ethernet is a local area network (LAN). No computer should be an island. With Ethernet, file sharing and printer sharing among machines became possible. The term "ether" was coined by Greek philosopher Aristotle to describe the "divine element" in the heaven. In the 17th century, French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes theorized that the universe has no void; all space, including the heaven and the earth, is filled with ether, which is composed of very fine particles. In short, "ether" is said to be a kind of substance that exists everywhere. Although this is a misconception, network developers still adopted the term "ether" and therefore "Ethernet" means "a network of everywhere."
Ethernet uses a communication concept called datagrams to get messages across the network. The Ethernet datagrams take the form of self-contained packets of information. These packages have fields containing information about the data, their origin, their destination and the type of data. The data field in each package can contain up to 1500 bytes. Take mailing as a metaphor. An Ethernet package is not just a letter. It is also provided with the sender address, the receiver address, the stamp indicating what the package's contents are.
Ethernet suffers from collision when it is running in half-duplex mode. What is half-duplex? CB radio is a typical example of half-duplex. When using a CB radio, you can either send a message or receive a message at one time. When two or more computers attempt to send data at the same time, a collision occurs. Nevertheless, switches make it possible to run Ethernet in full-duplex mode. In this mode, two computers establish a point-to-point connection in full-duplex and thus collisions are avoided.
Upgradability: There are several other superfast network protocols. Some of them must use Fiber optics and thus its price is much greater than that of Ethernet. But some superfast networks, such as 100G BaseT Ethernet, are based upon more affordable technologies. Therefore, installing BaseT Ethernet may make the upgrade to a faster network easier in the future.