Ethernet devices on the ends of a link must use the same standard or they cannot correctly send data. For example, a NIC cannot use 100BASE-T, which uses a two-pair UTP cable with a 100-Mbps speed, while the switch port on the other end of the link uses 1000BASE-T. Even if you used a cable that works with Gigabit Ethernet, the link would not work with one end trying to send at 100 Mbps while the other tried to receive the data at 1000 Mbps.

Upgrading to new and faster Ethernet standards becomes a problem because both ends have to use the same standard. For example, if you replace an old PC with a new one, the old one might have been using 100BASE-T while the new one uses 1000BASE-T. The switch port on the other end of the link ...

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