What is Ethernet

In light of advancing technologies (cloud computing, VoIP, mobile devices) within business, greater consideration needs to be paid to how data is shared throughout the business.

There are a number of considerations to be made when looking at the network within a business- such as number of users, type of data being shared and geographic location of relevant offices.

Ethernet is a networking option for connecting all the users of a single network. Generally these networks fall under two types – Local Area Networks (LAN) or Wide Area Networks (WAN). LAN’s are commonly found where the network of users are located in a similar geographic location, usually in the same premise. A WAN generally applies to a larger geographic location, in excess of ten kilometres.

Ethernet cabling, which is made from fibre optics, is able to achieve transfer speeds of between 10mb/ps and 100 mb/ps. Within business operations it is feasible to consider data transfer of up to 1,000 mb/ps.

An alternative to Ethernet is the use of ADSL –whereby data is transferred over the traditional telephone, copper wire network. In order to send data over the existing copper network, data is sent at a different frequency to phone calls. This does not generate many problems for personal users, as internet download speeds can range from anywhere between 1.5mb/ps and 12 mb/ps. However, there are limitations to the effectiveness of ADSL. Firstly, download speeds and upload speeds vary – generally with download speeds being higher than upload. Again, this does not generally impact personal users, but businesses who are transferring large amounts of data are just as reliant on uploads as downloads. Secondly, ADSL transfers lose effectiveness over longer lines of communication.

While Ethernet transfer rates can be impacted by the length of the cable, there are ways to enhance the distances data can travel without being reduced – these include superior fibre optic cable (which can improve lengths to up to 10 km) and the use of a network bridge (which can enhance the signal strength of device messages).

An Ethernet network would prove to be useful in a business that transfers a lot of data (i.e data feeds/video) and shares data amongst employees who all access the same network. It would also be useful for incorporating into a business that has a large number of employees and network devices, such as computers and printers. Finally an Ethernet network could be an ideal option for a business that is looking at rapid expansion in the future, as it is relatively easy to scale up and improve the network as more users are added.

To find out more information about Ethernet and other IT services can be utilised to improve your business check out our Business IT Solutions page.

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