Cisco® CCNA Exam Cram Notes : Connections (Ethernet shared media and point-to-point)

I. Networking Fundamentals

3. Compare physical interface and cabling types

3.2 Connections (Ethernet shared media and point-to-point)


  • Computers connected by communication channels that each connect Exactly two computers with access to full channel bandwidth.

  • Forms a mesh or point-to-point network.

  • Allows flexibility in communication hardware, packet formats, etc.

  • Provides security and privacy because communication channel is not shared.

  • Number of channels grows as square of number of computers

Shared or Broadcast Channel:

  • All computers connected to a shared broadcast-based communication channel and share the channel bandwidth.

  • Security issues as a result of broadcasting to all computers.

  • Cost effective due to reduced number of channels and interface hardware components.

Ethernet: Ethernet is the most widely used LAN technology. Invented at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) in 1970s. Defined in a standard by Xerox, Intel and Digital - DIX standard. Standard is now managed by IEEE - defines formats, voltages, cable lengths, etc., IEEE 802.3:

  • 10BASE-T: Standard Ethernet 10Mbps.

  • 100-BASE-T: Fast Ethernet 100Mbps.

  • 1000-BASE-T: Gigabit Ethernet 1000Mbps.

  • One Ethernet cable is sometimes called a segment.

  • Limited to 500 meters in length for 10BASE-T.


  • Bus Topology: Single coax, cable forming a segment - the ether

  • Star Topology: Using hubs or switches (several segments).

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