One of Ethernet’s most important features is the method it uses to prevent conflicts among nodes, called Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD). Every time a network node is ready to transmit a frame, it checks if another frame is already using the network; if the network is clear, the node sends the frame. But if the node detects that another frame is using the net- work (a condition called a collision), it waits a random period of time before it tries again. CSMA/CD is important because it allows a relatively large number of computers and other devices to operate through the same network without interference.
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