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Gigabit Ethernet

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Definition: Gigabit Ethernet is part of the family of Ethernet computer networking and communication standards. The Gigabit Ethernet standard supports a theoretical maximum data rate of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) (1000 Mbps).

When first developed, some thought achieving gigabit speeds with Ethernet would require using fiber optic or other special cables. However, today's Gigabit Ethernet works using twisted pair copper cable (specifically, the CAT5e and CAT6 cabling standards) similar to older 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet (that works over CAT5 cables).

Newer home broadband routers now support Gigabit Ethernet along with other mainstream computer network equipment. Gigabit Ethernet also provides backward compatibility to older 100 Mbps and 10 Mbps legacy Ethernet devices: Connections to these devices function normally but perform at the lower speed.

Also Known As: 1000 Mbps Ethernet

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