For faster Internet connections and for networking, an Ethernet port (or “network port”) is used. It looks like an extra-wide North American telephone jack but it has 8 pins instead of the phone cord’s 4 pins. Be careful not to plug a phone cord into an Ethernet port.
The first picture below shows the Ethernet/network port with the cable unplugged; the second picture shows the cable plugged into the Ethernet/network port.
The port is used to connect network cabling to a computer. Cable plugged into this port can lead either to a network hub (a junction box that can wire lots of network cables together), directly to a cable modem or DSL modem (both used for high speed Internet) or to an Internet gateway which shares a fast Internet connection between computers.
Most newer computers have one of these ports. It may be built into or appear on the exposed part of an Ethernet PCI card, which inserts into a slot inside the computer.
Data moves through them at speeds of either 10 megabits, 100 megabits or 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) depending on what speed the network card in the computer supports. Little monitor lights on these devices flicker when in use.
The “ACT” light flickers when data is moving through the network to or from the port. The 10 or 100 lights relate to data speed. “10” means data is moving across the network at 10 Megabits per second. “100” means the network is moving data at 100 megbits per second.
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