Ethernet has been had numerous form since the start of the early 1970’s. The IEEE standard of the Ethernet is known as 802.3. The many variations of the Ethernet use different types of speeds and are compatible with each other. Standard Ethernet transmits at 10Mbps, Fast Ethernet transmits at 100Mbps, and Gigabit Ethernet transmits at speeds of 1,000Mbps. While this speed is a massive improvement from where Ethernet started off, due to new technologies such as virtualization and cloud-based memory, we will need even faster speeds and higher capacity. By 2020. The technology could have as many as 12 speeds according to the Ethernet Alliance. 6 of these speeds could be approved within the next few years. There is currently hardware that can support 40 to 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) which is a huge step forward in being able to keep up with the fast rate of growth of technology. There have been rumors that 400 Gbe will be the new standard shortly according to the IEEE- the organization in charge of creating global networking specifications.
There are many benefits and drawbacks of the different types of Ethernet. LAN Ethernet offers high reliability, fast speeds (100 Mbps for Fast Ethernet (100BaseT) and 1000 Mbps for Gigabit Ethernet. 100 BASE-T is used mostly for the connection of computers and printers. 1000 BASE-T is typically used for servers and storage. Data security is also a benefit as it uses common firewalls for data security. The cons for LAN Ethernet are that they are used for short distance networks which can only reach around 350 feet without daisy-chaining switches together. High installation costs are also prevalent as Ethernet requires cables, hubs, routers, and switches to connect the networked computers. Limited crosstalk is also a problem. Fiber Optic Ethernet has numerous pros and cons as well. It has faster high bandwidth speeds which are generally in the 10-100 Gigabit range. It has a very secure data system as it has a low tendency to lose any data through both signal degradation and interference. Fiber Optic Ethernet also offers no crosstalk, more extended range, and higher bandwidth, as well as being able to be installed next to power lines flammable material. Some of the drawbacks include a high-cost difficulty of installation, a lack of compatible standards and it is more susceptible to fiber fuse at high optical intensities.