Introduction Have you ever listened or sat in on a concept or network design meeting and been fed an alphabet soup of acronyms and words or technical jargon that just didn’t make sense to you? Well, the chances are that Ethernet, Token Ring, FDDI, and Wireless were among some of those being spoken. In this writing, the author plans to help one understand, in simple terms (where possible), what exactly these technologies are and where they may belong. He provides an overview of each, explains the differences between them, and outlines the advantages and disadvantages of using them. His goal is to provide you, the reader, with the ability to understand at a high-level what these technologies are, and how they can be used. What are Ethernet, Token Ring, FDDI, and Wireless? They are all Local Area Network (LAN) technologies or standards for communication across different medium. In the past decades the essence of internet working has vastly increased.
As always, demand breeds supply, and several different LAN technologies have emerged. LANs can be implemented in several ways. They can be divided into several subgroups based on e. g. physical implementation or standardized technologies. Choosing the right kind of LAN solution for a particular purpose always depends on several issues, e.
g. size of the network, location of the terminals, and cost. Let us look a little deeper in the details. Ethernet Ethernet is the most widely used local area network (LAN) technology. The original and most popular version of Ethernet supports a data transmission rate of 10 Mb / s . Newer versions of Ethernet called ‘Fast Ethernet’ and ‘Gigabit Ethernet’s up port data rates of 100 Mb / s and 1 Gb / s (1000 Mb / s ).
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An Ethernet LAN may use coaxial cable, special grades of twisted pair wiring, or fiber optic cable. ‘Bus’ and ‘Star’ wiring topologies are supported. Ethernet devices compete for access to the network using a protocol called Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD).
token ring & Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) Ethernet CSMA/CD networks provide a relatively simple way of passing data. However, many industry observers correctly note that CSMA/CD breaks down under the pressure exerted by many computers on a network segment. These observers are correct; the constant contention for bandwidth that is part and parcel of Ethernet does not always scale efficiently.
In an attempt to circumvent this problem, IBM and the IEEE created another networking standard called 802. 5. IEEE 802. 5 is more commonly identified with token ring; FDDI also uses the 802.
5 method of moving data around networks. Token ring works very differently from Ethernet. In Ethernet, any computer on a given network segment can transmit until it senses a collision with another computer. In token ring and FDDI networks, by contrast, a single special packet called a token is generated when the network starts up and is passed around the network. When a computer has data to transmit, it waits until the token is available. The computer then takes control of the token and transmits a data packet.
When it is done, it releases the token to the network, and the next computer grabs the token if it has data to transmit In comparison to the contentious nature of Ethernet; token ring and FDDI appear quite civilized. These two logical topologies do not have collisions in which multiple stations try to send data; instead, every computer waits its turn. Although similar to Token Ring; FDDI uses dual-ring architecture with traffic on each ring flowing in opposite directions (called counter-rotating).
The dual rings consist of a primary and a secondary ring.
During normal operation, the primary ring is used for data transmission, and the secondary ring remains idle. The primary purpose of the dual rings is to provide superior reliability and robustness. Wireless This is a technology that provides the ability to send data between computing devices without the need for cables. The most common form of wireless technology of recent years has been IEEE 802.
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11 x (Wi-Fi standard for Wireless LAN (WLAN) applications. ) Wi-Fi has become increasingly popular; enabling people to link computers to wireless LANs, either to give greater flexibility in offices, to reduce cost by not having to install wired networks, or simply to access a computer when using a “hot spot” in a coffee shop of Internet Caf’e, this technology has become a major force in the wireless industry. Another well-known wireless technology is “Bluetooth.” One would typically be involved with this technology when using hand held devices such as cell phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDA. ) Among other things, it provides the ability to un-tether one’s self from the often inconvenient need for head-phone wires. This is accomplished by using a “Bluetooth” capable cell-phone and an equally capable earpiece. Although still quite large, it is often preferred over the alternative.
Conclusion Each of the aforementioned technologies has their place, and each appears to have been developed to overcome weaknesses in the other. Ethernet is the most widely used and understood. It is typically used to provide both backbone traffic and local workstation access, Token Ring and FDDI networks are not used so much for workstation access, but are more commonly recognized as robust backbone technologies or protocols. In recent years it has become apparent that being restricted to physical medium is not going to help improve our ability to be more effective or mobile. Although it has a long way to go, I believe wireless to be the way of the future at least for user access to backbone networks.
... access points and the wired network. Even More Secure 9. Implement Virtual Private Networking (VPN) over wireless LAN.This technology ... wireless AP to an existing wired network (such as an Ethernet backbone). o A wireless network device with which it creates wireless ... between the wireless and wired networks. The wireless AP is similar to a cellular phone network's base station.Wireless clients ...
Maybe sometime in the not too distant future we will all connect to an invisible global network to share our ideas, play games, and convenience our lives.