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Definition: 10Base-T

An Ethernet standard that transmits at 10 Mbps over twisted wire pairs (telephone wire). 10Base-T was the first version of Ethernet to use a star architecture. When used with a hub, 10Base-T shares the 10 Mbps bandwidth between all the ports. When used with a switch, each transmit/receive pair has the full 10 Mbps.

There are rarely new products that are 10Base-T only. Most Ethernet adapters, hubs and switches are 10/100/1000 devices, which support 10, 100 and 1000 Mbps (10Base-T, 100Base-T and 1000Base-T). See Ethernet adapter.

The T Means Twisted
In the 1980s, 10Base-T was widely deployed. Using inexpensive and flexible twisted pair "telephone wires," 10Base-T Ethernet was easier to install than previous "thick" and "thin" Ethernets that used coaxial cable. See 10Base5, 10Base2, 10Base-F, Ethernet and Ethernet switch.

A Star Configuration
All stations in modern Ethernet networks are wired to a central switch using twisted pair wires and RJ-45 connectors.