Definition: Ethernet is a physical and data link layer technology for local area networks (LANs). Ethernet was invented by engineer Robert Metcalfe.
When first widely deployed in the 1980s, Ethernet supported a maximum theoretical data rate of 10 megabits per second (Mbps). Later, Fast Ethernet standards increased this maximum data rate to 100 Mbps. Today, Gigabit Ethernet technology further extends peak performance up to 1000 Mbps.