How Ethernet Works

Ethernet Medium

Since a signal on the Ethernet medium reaches every attached node, the destination address is critical to identify the intended recipient of the frame.

For example, in the figure above, when computer B transmits to printer C, computers A and D will still receive and examine the frame. However, when a station first receives a frame, it checks the destination address to see if the frame is intended for itself. If it is not, the station discards the frame without even examining its contents.


One interesting thing about Ethernet addressing is the implementation of a broadcast address. A frame with a destination address equal to the broadcast address (simply called a broadcast, for short) is intended for every node on the network, and every node will both receive and process this type of frame.