Physical Layers for Ethernet

In this lesson, we'll look at various types of physical layers and their limitations and benefits to Ethernet.

Several physical layers have been defined for Ethernet networks.


The first type of physical layer, usually called 10Base5, provided 1010 Mbps over a thick coaxial cable. The characteristics of the cable and transceivers that were used then enabled the utilization of 500 meter long segments. A 10Base5 network can also include repeaters between segments.


The second type of physical layer was 10Base2. 10Base2 used a thin coaxial cable that was easier to install than the 10Base5 cable but could not be longer than 185 meters.


A 10BaseF type of physical layer was also defined to transport Ethernet over point-to-point optical links.

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