Acronym for Attached Resource Computer Network, an early local area network (LAN) architecture developed in 1976 by Datapoint Corporation. ARCNET predates Ethernet and uses RG/62 93-ohm coaxial cabling, RS485 twisted-pair cabling, or fiber-optic cabling to transmit data at 2.5 Mbps and a maximum of 255 nodes.
A newer implementation called ARCNET Plus operates at a data rate of 20 Mbps and a maximum of 2047 nodes.
ARCNET is a baseband networking technology that is similar to standards for token-passing bus networks running over broadband cabling. ARCNET uses a token-passing bus architecture with nodes forming a logical ring but a physical bus or star pattern.
TIP: A computer running Microsoft Windows NT on an ARCNET network will have difficulty communicating with computers running Windows 95 and Windows 98 on the same network. This is because Windows NT uses Raw ARCNET, while Windows 95 and Windows 98 use Encapsulated ARCNET. The workaround solution is to install the 16-bit TCP/IP stack with Novell Open Data-link Interface (ODI) drivers on the machines running Windows 95 and Windows 98.