What Does 10BASE5 Mean?

10Base5 refers to a standard for Ethernet network technologies that use a thicker version of coaxial cables. It has the capability to transmit data at speed of 10Mbps up to 500 meters using baseband transmission.


10Base5 is also known as Thicknet, ThickWire, thick Ethernet and thick coaxial Ethernet.

Techopedia Explains 10BASE5

The 10Base5 is among the first of original standards of Ethernet along with 10Base2. The name 10Base5 is derived from its 10Mbps transmission speed and 500 meters as the maximum segment length. Its coaxial cable is similar to RG-8/U but with a much thicker shield and braiding, making it highly resistant to network interference. Its outer sheath even has the ability to resist and protect against fire.

A 10Base5 network segment (LAN) can consist of a maximum of 100 nodes. Each node connects to the network segment or cable using an N-connector and must have a distance of 2.5m between one another. Nodes can also be connected through a vampire clam that enables adding a new node in a live network.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…