Many of you have heard of Ethernet, but do you know what a Token Ring is? Like Ethernet, a Token Ring is a local-area network (LAN) protocol. Developed by IBM, Token Ring was first introduced to the public in 1984. However, Token Ring is not as popular or as widely used as Ethernet.
The major difference between Token Ring and Ethernet is how they deal with the transmission of information and how they prevent data from colliding with each other. Ethernet depends on random pauses to transfer data. On the other hand, Token Ring uses a mechanism called a "token." You can think of a group of little kids sitting in a circle. They pass around a little beanbag, and the only person allowed to talk at a given time is the one with a beanbag.
Courtesy of The
PC Tech Guide
Copyright (c) Dave Anderson.
Well, a token is passed around from one computer to the next
in the Token Ring. If a computer has information it wants to transmit to another
computer, it first has to wait until it gets the token. When it finally gets
the token, the computer will initiate the transmission of the frame, or the
short message it wants to transmit. The frame will be sent to all of the computers
that are part of the network, until it gets back to the original computer.
That computer will remove the frame from the network, and then send out a
new token. The new token will then go from one computer to the next, until
it reaches a computer that wishes to transmit data to another computer. Then,
the process begins all over again!