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Chapter 15. Overview of Windows XP Netwo... > Network Connection Technologies - Pg. 448

Overview of Windows XP Networking 448 Network Connection Technologies As you know, a LAN consists of a group of computers connected together using some sort of elec- trical medium. You can choose from several different electrical media. They differ in the way they format and electrically represent the data sent between computers. Network devices have to use some standardized way of organizing the data signals they transmit between computers. You might have heard of some of these already: · Ethernet was developed by Xerox, Intel, and Digital Equipment Corporation. Ethernet has grown so popular and common that you hardly need to use the word anymore: Most networks are Ethernet networks. · Asynchronous Transfer Mode, or ATM , is a networking technology widely used in the telecom- munications and Internet industries for very high-speed backbone networks. Backbone is a term for an ultra-fast connection between the separate parts or sites of a large network. For example, it might refer to the set of links between major network sites of a corporation, the national network of a telephone carrier, or the high-speed Internet links between major ISPs. ATM is often used behind-the-scenes by Internet service providers to route data to DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) modems. However, ATM is only rarely used to connect directly to individual user's computers, except for some very specialized graphics workstations and other ultra-high-tech situations. Other technologies are waning in popularity and you won't be hearing of them again, so don't feel any need to memorize: · ARCnet, AppleTalk , and StarLan were early network technologies but are hardly used now be- cause they are so much slower than modern technologies. AppleTalk is still occasionally used to connect older Macintoshes to printers. ARCNet is still used in some industrial settings, for example, to control factory equipment.