What is Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet – Learn Everything About Them

Ethernet is a network communication protocol that allows network appliances, switches, and routers to communicate with one another. Ethernet may be used in both wired and wireless networks, such as wide area networks (WAN) and local area networks (LAN) (LAN). Normally, two types of ethernet are popular, fast ethernet and gigabit ethernet.

Ethernet technology progressed as a consequence of a variety of network requirements, including system application on both big and small platforms, security concerns, network reliability, and capacity requirements. The creation of Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet was prompted by the desire for larger bandwidth capacity for high-quality video transmission and continuous video streaming.

A Quick Analysis of Difference Between Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet

Features To CompareFast EthernetGigabit Ethernet
CostCheapExpensive
ConfigurationEasy To ConfigureDifficult To Configure
CompatibilityHigh CompatibilityGood Compatibility
ScalabilityLess ScalableMore Scalable
Speed100 Mbps1 Gbps
SpaceTakes More SpaceTakes Less Space
Distance10 Km70 Km
Virtual NetworksDifficult To Manage Due To Low BandwidthEasy To Manage

In this article, we’ll go over what is fast and gigabit ethernet and, the differences between the fast ethernet and gigabit ethernet and what to look for when choosing an Ethernet data protocol.


WHat is Fast Ethernet

what is fast ethernet

What is fast ethernet? Well, Ethernet was established as IEEE 802.3 in the mid-80s and has continued to evolve and improve in terms of reliability and speed. Standard Ethernet rates were around 10 megabits per second and climbed up to 15 megabits per second in some cases.

Fast Ethernet is an Ethernet standard that was first introduced in 1995 as IEEE 802.3u. Over ordinary Ethernet and Ethernet devices, Fast Ethernet focused on increasing network and network appliance speed. Fast Ethernet ensured consistent data transfer speeds of above 100 megabits per second.

It is designed for 100 Base T networks but is also compatible with 10 Base T networks, allowing users to benefit from greater Ethernet speeds without having to entirely replace their network infrastructure (where compatible switches are used).

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Fast Ethernet transmission is at least 10 times faster than standard Ethernet, and it’s useful for keeping compatible connections to high-speed servers, reducing bandwidth bottlenecks for network systems running multiple IP video cameras and IoT, and supporting complex networks that run multiple bandwidth-intensive software packages at the same time.

Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cabling, such as Category 5 and higher rated connections, can be used to connect Fast Ethernet appliances and devices. However, UTP cabling has a maximum length and efficacy of 100 meters, and bandwidth is restricted. Over UTP cabling, fiber optic transmission enables for higher distance and bandwidth capacity, allowing Fast Ethernet network appliances and devices to perform to their full potential.


What is Gigabit Ethernet

what is gigabit ethernet

The Gigabit Ethernet standard was created to give a greater transmission rate of up to 1 Gbps. The initial goal was to create a system that could function with existing networking equipment. It is built on top of Ethernet protocols like CSMA/CD. It supports both full duplex and half duplex modes, similar to fast ethernet.

Gigabit Ethernet is the most recent version of Ethernet standards, first introduced in 1999 as IEEE 802.3ab and then renamed IEEE 802.3ah in 2004. Gigabit Ethernet established consistent specifications for network communication at 1000 megabits per second (or 1 gigabit per second). IEEE 802.3ab established the applicability of Gigabit Ethernet for 1000 Base T networks and permitted the use of existing UTP cabling.

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Working with existing Category 5 connections, the IEEE 802.3ab standard validated Gigabit Ethernet applicability for both industry and desktop consumers. Additional 1000 Base T network protocols have been certified by IEEE 802.3ah, including 1000 Base LX10 and 1000 Base BX10 for multi-mode fiber and fiber optic communications, respectively.

A Gigabit Ethernet switch, on the other hand, can transport data packets 100 times faster than a Fast Ethernet switch. Gigabit Ethernet can handle increasingly sophisticated network needs including connecting several bandwidth-hungry devices and video streaming over high-speed internet connections.

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Gigabit Ethernet applications include gigabit switches that handle video and other high-quality signal transfer between home servers and high-definition televisions and monitors, as well as gigabit switches that manage data transfer between many IP security cameras and network appliances.


Which One to Choose Between Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet

Users and businesses should consider which Ethernet data protocol is best for their needs. Small businesses may be able to satisfy their network requirements while also benefiting from the lower-cost Fast Ethernet upgrade. However, if a small business wants to use high-quality IP security cameras with on-demand high-quality video streaming, it may profit from Gigabit Ethernet equipment.

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When picking the correct Ethernet data protocol, consider the existing network system, available bandwidth, operational demands, future network design, anticipated network system improvements, and facility limits.


Key Difference Between Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet

Here is the general difference between fast ethernet and gigabit ethernet

  • Fast ethernet provides a data throughput of up to 100 Mbps. Gigabit ethernet, on the other hand, can deliver speeds of up to 1 Gbps.
  • In Gigabit ethernet, the delay decreases as the speed increases, but fast ethernet causes greater delay.
  • Fast ethernet is less complicated to set up than gigabit ethernet.
  • Fast ethernet can only reach a distance of up to 10 kilometres. The gigabit ethernet, on the other hand, has a range of 70 kilometres.
  • Fast ethernet has a round trip latency of 100-500 bit times. Gigabit ethernet, on the other hand, has a 4000 bit time delay.


Fast Ethervent Vs Gigabit Ethernet Video Explaination

Check out this visual explanation of fast ethernet and gigabit ethernet .

YouTube video

Final Words

Fast Ethernet and gigabit ethernet are two different varieties of ethernet, with fast ethernet being slower than gigabit ethernet and providing data speeds of up to 100 Mbps. By increasing cabling technologies, the MAC layer, flow control protocols, and quality of service, gigabit ethernet has increased its maximum speed to 1 Gbps.


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John Stewart

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