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Ethernet

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974945 BB 00 FB.EPS 1000

The Apple Ethernet Adapter, which is used to connect MacBook Airs to the internet.

Ethernet is a family of computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs) commercially introduced in 1980. Standardized in IEEE 802.3, Ethernet has largely replaced competing wired LAN technologies. Systems communicating over Ethernet divide a stream of data into individual packets called frames. Each frame contains source and destination addresses and error-checking data so that damaged data can be detected and re-transmitted. The standards define several wiring and signaling variants. The original 10BASE5 Ethernet used coaxial cable as a shared medium. Later the coaxial cables were replaced by twisted pair and fiber optic links in conjunction with hubs or switches. Data rates were periodically increased from the original 10 megabits per second, to 100 gigabits per second. Since its commercial release, Ethernet has retained a good degree of compatibility. Features such as the 48-bit MAC address and Ethernet frame format have influenced other networking protocols.

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