How Ethernet Works


The first popular Ethernet medium was a copper coaxial cable known as "thicknet." The maximum length of a thicknet cable was 500 meters. In large building or campus environments, a 500-meter cable could not always reach every network device. A repeater addresses this problem.

Repeaters connect multiple Ethernet segments, listening to each segment and repeating the signal heard on one segment onto every other segment connected to the repeater. By running multiple cables and joining them with repeaters, you can significantly increase your network diameter.