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Is Ethernet a logical topology or a protocol?

Could you please advise me regarding Ethernet? Is it a logical topology or a protocol? Whenever I browse Web sites in this regard, each has its own explanation. I would also appreciate information regarding various Ethernet standards.

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Ethernet is a very broad term. I would consider the true definition of Ethernet to be the standards set by the IEEE. So, I would call it neither a topology nor a protocol, but a set of Layer 1 and Layer 2 standards. There are flavors of Ethernet for Category 5 cable, coaxial cable, fiber optic cables and wireless transmissions, among other conduits. With that said, there are several topologies and protocols related to different Ethernet standards.

Editor's Note: Here is an official definition of Ethernet from the online technology encyclopedia WhatIs.com.

This was first published in February 2003

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