Ethernet icon is a family of computer network
Computer network
A computer network, often simply referred to as a network, is a collection of hardware components and computers interconnected by communication channels that allow sharing of resources and information....

ing technologies for local area network
Local area network
A local area network is a computer network that interconnects computers in a limited area such as a home, school, computer laboratory, or office building...

s (LANs) commercially introduced in 1980. Standardized in IEEE 802.3
IEEE 802.3
IEEE 802.3 is a working group and a collection of IEEE standards produced by the working group defining the physical layer and data link layer's media access control of wired Ethernet. This is generally a local area network technology with some wide area network applications...

, Ethernet has largely replaced competing wired LAN technologies.

Systems communicating over Ethernet divide a stream of data into individual packets called frame
Data frame
In computer networking and telecommunication, a frame is a digital data transmission unit or data packet that includes frame synchronization, i.e. a sequence of bits or symbols making it possible for the receiver to detect the beginning and end of the packet in the stream of symbols or bits...

s. Each frame contains source and destination addresses and error-checking data so that damaged data can be detected and re-transmitted.

The standards define several wiring and signaling variants.