The 5-4-3 rule divides the network
The 5-4-3 rule divides the network into two types of physical segments: populated (user) segments, and unpopulated (link) segments. User segments have users' systems connected to them. Link segments are used to connect the network's repeaters together. The rule mandates that between any two nodes on the network, there can only be a maximum of five segments, connected through four repeaters, or concentrators, and only three of the five segments may contain user connections.
Requires a Signal to Reach Every Part of the Network
The Ethernet protocol requires that a signal sent out over the LAN reach every part of the network within a specified length of time. The 5-4-3 rule ensures this. Each repeater that a signal goes through adds a small amount of time to the process, so the rule is designed to minimize transmission times of the signals.
The 5-4-3 rule -- which was created when Ethernet, 10Base5, and 10Base2 were the only types of Ethernet network available -- only applies to shared-access Ethernet backbones. A switched Ethernet network should be exempt from the 5-4-3 rule because each switch has a buffer to temporarily store data and all nodes can access a switched Ethernet LAN simultaneously.
Recommended Reading: Webopedia's Ethernet Designations chart.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
The following facts and statistics capture the changing landscape of cloud computing and how service providers and customers are keeping up with... Read More »Facts about Computer Science: Education and Jobs
The following computer science facts and statistics provide a quick introduction to the changing trends in education and related careers. Read More »Texting & Chat Abbreviations
From A3 to ZZZ this guide lists 1,500 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Read More »
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that we use... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
Computer architecture provides an introduction to system design basics for most computer science students. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »