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Local area networks (LANs) are typically shared by a number of attached systems, and only one system at a time may use the network cable to transmit data. An access method defines how a system gains access to a shared network in a cooperative way so its transmissions do not interfere with the transmissions of other systems. Simultaneous access to the cable is either prevented by using a token-passing method or controlled with a carrier sensing and collision detection method.
The primary access methods listed below. The first is used by Ethernet. The last is used by Token ring networks.
Carrier sensing methods tend to be faster than token-passing methods, but collisions can bog down the network if it is heavily populated with devices. Token ring does not suffer from collision problems, but the current throughput rates on token ring networks are restrictive when compared to new high-speed Ethernet networks.
Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.