What is Ethernet?

“There are two different answers to this question.”


Initially Ethernet was the interconnection of different computers. A network of devices usually in the same organisation in relative proximity to one another. The connecting of these computers to form local area networks (LAN) allow for efficient, fast and safe data sharing.


What has developed on from answer #1 is the use of Ethernet to connect networks to the internet – not just connecting between their own networks.

Businesses whatever their size depend on fast internet access. SMEs are using technology to give themselves competitive edge by offering improved customer comms and data sharing between departments as a couple of examples.

Basically – you have two choices when connecting your business to the internet

Broadband or Ethernet

“What’s best for my business?”

As with so many options there are pros and cons to both technologies.

We’ve listed a few pointers below. But before you read on, visualise a motorway.

I like this analogy…

Broadband is a public motorway – runs well most of the time but can get clogged up with other travellers making you drive slowly or even come to a standstill. It can therefore be unreliable and leads to frustrations but is cheaper than going on a toll road.

Ethernet is a toll motorway – runs well all the time as there are less cars on the road. The toll charge means there are less drivers as some don’t want to pay for the extra cost, but you are guaranteed a fast, regular drive with no interruptions.



  • Inc fixed line, wireless, mobile
  • Good UK wide availability
  • Delivered via existing telephony infrastructure
  • Speeds up to 24Mb/s for downloading
  • Reasonable pricing


  • Delivered over copper so can lose signal
  • Signal loss gets worse the further you are from an exchange
  • Slower speeds the further you are from an exchange
  • Affected by environmental conditions such as flooding and storms
  • A shared public network so speeds can slow during peak times
  • A shared public network so security is a factor



  • Flexible
  • Secure
  • Scalable
  • Robust technology
  • Designed for business
  • Dedicated, high capacity fibre optics
  • High speeds
  • Reliable
  • Great performance
  • Backed by stringent SLAs – for example a 6 hour fix time. Standard broadband doesn’t have a fix time!
  • Symmetrical data transfer technology for faster emails and uploading
  • Enables the seamless use of cloud services
  • Minimal faults
  • Few dropped connections
  • Tends to have quicker repair times
  • 9% availability is commonplace


  • More costly than traditional broadband

And remember

Like with other IT services, you only appreciate the service when something goes wrong. Many businesses only place a true value on their internet connection when they lose it or have poor performance. So, think ahead – what value do you place on dropped calls, slow upload speeds, security risk or poor-quality video conferencing? Once you understand what these interruptions mean for your business, you can then justify or indeed reject ethernet as a connectivity option.

For further information please click here to download 4 FREE infographics the explain connectivity and the best option to suit your business!

If you have any questions and want Crystaline to demystify all the tech talk then please contact us on 0344 8464 222.