Ethernet vs. Token Ring

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Ethernet vs. Token Ring Topology

Ethernet and Token Ring LAN technologies operate in different ways and both systems have their inherent advantages and disadvantages. The decision on which topology to use can be influenced by a number of factors. The most common factors to consider are cost, reliability, speed, size, administration, security and growth.

Ethernet is a frame-based computer networking technology for local area networks (LANs). It defines wiring and signaling for the physical layer, and frame formats and protocols for the media access control (MAC)/data link layer of the OSI model. Ethernet is mostly standardized as IEEE 802.3. It has become the most widespread LAN technology in use during the 1990s to the present day. Each network peer has a globally unique 48-bit key known as the MAC address factory-assigned to the network interface card (NIC), to ensure that all systems in an Ethernet LAN have distinct addresses. Due to the ubiquity of Ethernet, many manufacturers build the functionality of an Ethernet card directly into a motherboard.

Ethernet LAN

The advantages of Ethernet are cost, availability of materials, the fact that most PCs come with network cards that support Ethernet connectivity and speed. Data transfer rates can range from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps. The main disadvantages are as network loads increase performance goes down and troubleshooting network issues can be difficult if you are using a bus topology.

The token ring architecture was developed by IBM in the mid 1980s and provides users with fast, reliable data transport. Token ring is based upon the IEEE 802.5 standard and the networks are wired in a star topology configuration but act as a logical ring.

The main advantages that token ring offers over Ethernet are a more efficient use of network resources between users, better network stability and network expansion can be achieved without a significant drop in performance. The ring topology allows for users to...
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