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LAN Technologies

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter we learned the differences between ring, star, and LAN topologies. You should know how each is used in the network, and that Token Ring uses a ring topology, while Ethernet uses a star topology when using CAT 5 cabling.

Remember that some of the advantages of LAN segmentation are achieved by separating the network using various devices. You can create smaller broadcast domains by using routers throughout the network. Also, using switching in the network can drastically reduce the number of collisions and create smaller collision and broadcast domains. Switching allows for high-end devices or demanding applications to be placed on the network with dedicated circuits and less congestion. You can see that it's important to know which devices help you best utilize a network's bandwidth.

A variety of LAN topologies are available to fit any network:

  • Ethernet technology is most widely used because of its efficiency and its cost. Ethernet technology is constantly evolving to maintain its status and to stay ahead of the network demands. Ethernet is fairly easy to install because of the wide variety of equipment on the market and the standards that accompany it. Ethernet speed ranges from 10Mbps to 10,000Mbps, for a wide variety of networks.

  • Token Ring is the second most widely used technology in today's networks. Token Ring uses a ring topology and a Token-passing method to access the physical medium, which consist of a virtual ring.

  • ATM is great for high-speed technologies, such as video and voice. Most companies, however, do not pass large amounts of video or sound, sending mainly straight data. Because of ATM's large overhead, these companies don't need to pay the extra money for ATM simply because they won't fully utilize its capabilities.

  • Wireless LANs are very convenient and will likely be highly considered for short-distance WANs and LANs. Wireless LANs will almost always be connected to a wired network. Although wireless technology boast speeds as high as 11Mbps, they are probably running at a speed of 5Mbps to 7Mbps in reality.

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