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Ethernet, a mix of software and hardware, is the most popular technology used to connect digital devices within a small geographical area. Office buildings and homes alike use Ethernet cables and ports to connect to the Internet and to link between different devices such as printers and scanners. This entry first discusses the history of Ethernet and how it came to occupy a central place in global computer networks. It concludes by discussing the contemporary usefulness of the technology as well as research on the topic and potential research directions.

In the 1980s, Ethernet became the standard for local area network (LAN) technologies, and these LANs were instrumental in laying the groundwork for the wide-scale popularity of the Internet in the late 20th century and since. ...

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