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Definition: ARCNET

(Attached Resource Computer NETwork) The first local area network (LAN) introduced in 1968 by Datapoint Corporation. It connected up to 255 nodes in a star topology at 2.5 Mbits/sec over twisted pair or coax. A 20 Mbits/sec version was introduced in 1989. Although not as popular as Ethernet and Token Ring, many ARCNET networks were sold due to their lower-cost adapters. Gateways could connect ARCNET to mini and mainframe networks.

ARCNET is a data link protocol and functioned at the data link and physical levels of the OSI model (1 and 2). It used the token passing access method. See data link protocol and OSI.