The Importance of CSMA/CD in Ethernet Networks and Its Evolution to CSMA/CA

Which data link layer media access control method does Ethernet use?

Ethernet uses a media access control method known as Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD).

CSMA/CD is a protocol that governs how devices connected to an Ethernet network contend for access to the network transmission medium, such as a copper or fiber optic cable.

In CSMA/CD, devices listen for a carrier signal on the network before transmitting their own data. If no carrier is detected, the device can transmit its data. However, if two devices transmit their data simultaneously and a collision occurs, both devices stop transmitting and wait for a random amount of time before attempting to transmit again. This random backoff period helps to minimize the chances of another collision occurring.

Ethernet uses CSMA/CD to effectively manage the shared medium, allowing multiple devices to send and receive data on the network. While CSMA/CD was the primary method used in Ethernet networks for many years, modern Ethernet networks now use a variant called Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) or other more advanced techniques to further improve network efficiency.

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