Ethernet is a term that has come to have two meanings when discussing modern wired networks. In a loose usage it is a colloquialism used to refer to using a wired network cable to connect a desktop or laptop computer to an office network. There is also a more rigorous definition of Ethernet as a standard networking protocol defined under IEEE 802.3 and ISO 8802-3. These formal standards define how devices can communicate with the Ethernet protocol. This communication does not need to be over the “Ethernet cables” that the colloquial use of the term refers to.

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