Media Access Control Method

Definition of Media Access Control Method in Network Encyclopedia.

What is Media Access Control Method?

A way to allow computers to transmit signals over network cabling while ensuring that only one computer transmits at a time. If two computers simultaneously place signals on the wire, a collision can occur and data might be corrupted unless a method is used to resolve the collision gracefully.

Media Access Control Method
Media Access Control Method

Media access control methods act like traffic lights by permitting the smooth flow of traffic on a network, and they prevent or deal with collisions. Media access control methods are implemented at the data-link layer of the seven-layers Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model.

Four main media access control methods are used in networking:

  • Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD), which is used in Ethernet networking
  • Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA), which is used in AppleTalk networking
  • Token passing, which is used in Token Ring and Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) networking
  • Demand priority, which is used in 100BaseVG networking


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