What is the difference between 10Base-T and 100Base-T?

Question

What is the difference between 10Base-T and 100Base-T?

Answer

This question was answered on May 5, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Both of these terms refer to a networking standard called "Ethernet" which is the most common way of connecting computers together. The terms 10Base-T (Ethernet) and 100Base-T (Fast Ethernet) refer to the performance capability of the Network Interface Card (NIC). 10Base-T has a rated transfer speed of 10 Megabits per second and 100Base-T is rated at 100 Megabits per second. This, however, does not mean that a 100Base-T network is 10 times faster than a 10Base-T network. It does mean that the computer with the 100Base-T card can communicate with the server or other machines on the network at a faster rate. Whether you notice any difference at the desktop level, depends upon many factors. You should have CAT5 (Category 5) grade data cables for connecting all systems. You must have a 100Base-T Hub and your server must have a 100Base-T card installed. In most disk intensive applications such as Accounting, Database, Point-of-Sale or Contact Management, upgrading to 100Base-T can have a dramatic impact. On networks that work mainly in Word Processing, Spreadsheet or other "Single Data File" environments, upgrading would probably not result in much of a performance gain, since the overhead for these situations is already pretty low.

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on May 5, 2000