Ethernet is a type of wired network media that allows data to be transferred between devices connected to both LANs (Local Area Network) and WANs (Wide Area Network. It is the most common type of wired connection within a LAN.

Ethernet Cables

Ethernet cables use copper wires to transfer data¬† between devices. These wires are organised into ‘twisted pairs’ each enclosed inside it’s own non-conductive shield.

The two main types of ethernet cable in use today are:

CAT 5 – Contains 5 pairs of wires

CAT 6 – Contains 6 pairs of wires

The main difference between the two types of ethernet cable is the bandwidth (the volume of data that can be transferred at once). Whilst CAT5 transfer at 100 Mbps, CAT6 transfers data at 1000Mbps – that’s quite a significant difference!

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What is a benefit of using Ethernet?

(Compared to Fibre Optic)
Ethernet is cheaper, and easier to install than fibreoptic. It's also less fragile which means that you can create bends & coils without damaging it.

What is a disadvantage of using Ethernet?

(Compared to Fibre Optic)
Ethernet is slower than fibre optic. It also has a limited signal length (of around 1Km) - because Fibre uses light, the signal doesn't degrade.