Ethernet is the traditional technology for connecting wired local area networks (LANs), enabling devices to communicate with each other via a protocol -- a set of rules or common network language.
Any device accessing a geographically localized network using a cable -- i.e., with a wired rather than wireless connection -- likely uses Ethernet -- whether in a home, school or office setting. From businesses to gamers, diverse end users depend on the benefits of Ethernet connectivity, including reliability and security.As a data-link layer protocol in the TCP/IP stack, Ethernet describes how network devices can format and transmit data packets so other devices on the same local or campus area network segment can recognize, receive and process them. An Ethernet cable is the physical, encased wiring over which the data travels.
Compared to wireless LAN technology, Ethernet is typically less vulnerable to disruptions -- whether from radio wave interference, physical barriers or bandwidth hogs. It can also offer a greater degree of network security and control than wireless technology, as devices must connect using physical cabling -- making it difficult for outsiders to access network data or hijack bandwidth for unsanctioned devices.