IBM developed Token Ring technology to provide networking on small computers. There are two speeds of Token Ring available: 4Mbps and 16Mbps. Token Ring networks link their computers in a logical ring, as shown in Figure 17.2. Before it transmits data, a computer waits to receive a token from its neighbor. When the computer receives the token, it transmits the token along with a packet of data to its other neighbor. The neighbor computer then passes on the data, if required, and so it goes until the data reaches its intended recipient. Because only one computer at a time is allowed to transmit data, Token Ring networks don't suffer from collision problems, as can Ethernet networks.
In terms of hardware, Token Ring networks use a hub-like device and twisted-pair cables, so Token Ring hardware closely resembles that of 10BaseT or 100BaseT Ethernet. The Token Ring's ring is implemented inside the hub.
The closed loop of a Token Ring network lets the token cycle endlessly through the network.
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