GigaBit Ethernet

What is Gigabit Ethernet?

Gigabit Ethernet refers to the data transmission technology following the Ethernet protocol and frame format. It can achieve a data rate of up to one billion bits per second, hence its name.

Usually, it is used in LANs or Local Area Networks and is described in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.3 standard.

Understanding Gigabit Ethernet

What is Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet signifies a specific version of Ethernet technology. It is typically used by large commercial and industrial organizations.

It is the successor to Fast Ethernet and other 802.3 standards of 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps and can support roughly one hundred million Ethernet nodes.

Data is transferred through optical fiber over a long distance of up to 70 KM.

Gigabit Ethernet is typically abbreviated as GbE or GigE and the first standard was labelled as 802.3z and certified by the IEEE 802.3 Committee.


The primary objective of Gigabit Ethernet is to enhance the performance and speed while maintaining all of the standards of Ethernet. It can function in two different ways, such as:

Supporting the same 802.3 frame, it also uses Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) to achieve higher data transfer speeds.

This particular feature can detect and discard the colliding data packets within the network.


Depending on the physical layer standards and cabling, Gigabit Ethernet can be categorized into the following types:

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In most cases, Gigabit Ethernet is found to work fine with any standard Ethernet cable belonging to the CAT5e and CAT6 cable standards.

However, nowadays, Cat7 and even Cat8 cable standards are also used for high-speed Gigabit Ethernet.


You will need to use a Gigabit Ethernet adapter with your connection.

It is a compact and small device that will allow you to connect your devices to the high-performance Gigabit Ethernet network.


You will also get a Gigabit Ethernet switch, which is a specific kind of network switch that can support a speed of up to 1 Gbps for every device connected to a Local Area Network.

Usually, you will get these switches for consumer use with four to eight ports. However, for enterprise use, the switches can support many more connections.

Gigabit Ethernet Speed

Typically, the speed of Gigabit Ethernet is believed to be 1 Gbps. However, in practice, the devices using this standard can normally reach up to a speed of 900 Mbps.

This is because, under normal conditions, the average speed of the connection typically depends on a lot of different factors, such as:

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It is also affected by the limited performance and incoming and outgoing data handling capabilities of the Central Processing Units (CPUs) and the Gigabit Ethernet ports of the routers.

If you want to check the actual speed of data transfer, you can do it in the following ways:

Control Panel app

Network and Internet option

Select your internet connection

Look at the speed, usually mentioned in Mbps.

Is Gigabit Ethernet the Same as RJ 45?

No, the two are different in the sense that the RJ 45 ports used with the Gigabit networking devices typically follow the Ethernet 1000BASE-T standard.

These cables also support the twisted pairs only for network connections via Category 5, 5e, or 6 cables made from high-quality copper.

They are good for 1 Gbit transmission over a distance limited to 330 feet or 100 meters.

Gigabit Ethernet Vs Fast Ethernet

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Questions & Answers

Do You Need CAT 6 for Gigabit?

You can use either a CAT 5e or a CAT 6 for Gigabit transmission since they both can transmit data at a speed of up to 1000 Mbps or 1 Gigabit per second. Both of these categories are pretty fast and reliable in comparison to most of the internet connectors.

How Many MB Is Gigabit Ethernet?

Mathematically, 1 GB is equivalent to 125 MB, which means that a Gigabit Ethernet transfers 125 MB of data every second.

Is Gigabit Ethernet Good?

Yes, Gigabit Ethernet is good since it is faster. Ideally, it is because of its higher speed that most users move from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet because it is ten times faster than the former, usually transferring data through fiber optic cable at a speed of 1,000 Mbps.


Gigabit Ethernet is a very good option for those users who want to have a much faster data transfer speed and higher flexibility, but all that comes at a price.

It is therefore best suited for network-intensive tasks. However, the performance and energy efficiency offered balance the high cost of Gigabit Ethernet.