What is Metro Ethernet and How Can It Benefit Your Business? 

User typing what is metro ethernet?

Have you ever wondered what is metro ethernet? Most businesses, and even residential users, have a passing knowledge about ethernet services. You plug your ethernet cable into the wall and bam – you’re connected to the internet and can enjoy uninterrupted service. But few know just how beneficial ethernet – and metro ethernet – services can be for them and their business. In this blog, we’ll unpack what metro ethernet is and present some of the benefits you can expect when you use it. 

What is Metro Ethernet?  

Before we answer “what is metro ethernet”, let’s talk about ethernet itself. In simple terms, ethernet is a protocol that allows devices to connect – via an ethernet cable – to a wired Local Area Network (LAN), Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), or Wide Area Network (WAN). Ethernet cables allow devices on these geographically based networks to “talk to one another” and allow data to be transmitted between them. No wireless connection required. 

Terms to Know: X Area Networks 

Area networks are a collection of cables, switches, routers, and other components that allow devices to connect to secure, internal servers and even other networks. A LAN is an area network that’s in a single, limited area – ranging from a single-user home network to a public school with thousands of users and hundreds of devices. A MAN is a network of that’s bigger than a single building but covers a smaller geographic area than a WAN. For instance, a LAN would cover an office building, a MAN would be able to cover a few city blocks. Now, a WAN is a “network of networks” as CISCO puts it that all communicate with one another. WANs can cover greater geographic distances than any of its counterparts. 

So, after all these definitions, answering “what is metro ethernet” is simple! Metro ethernet is a network of wired devices that provide connectivity for users across a specific Metropolitan Area Network (MAN). It is, essentially, a location’s private network. 

For a deeper dive into the specifics of ethernet protocols, click here. 

Is Metro Ethernet Still Used?  

Absolutely. Since its inception in the 1970s, ethernet protocols and cables have been used by many organizations such as offices, universities, and hospitals – anyone who wanted to keep their data secure. Ethernet continually updates and evolves, offering higher levels of performance each year thanks to The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Plus, it’s affordable, reliable, simple to install, highly secure, and backwards compatible. 

The Benefits of Metro Ethernet for Businesses 

Different ISPs offer different features for their metro ethernet services. But, in general, here are some of the benefits you can expect to enjoy with a metro ethernet service:  

  • Affordability. Since metro ethernet is backwards compatible, it doesn’t require any expensive, or complicated, equipment replacements or new-and-improved infrastructure. You can use what you have!  
  • Reliability. Most metro ethernet providers offer a Service Level Agreement that guarantees 99.999% uptime. No more random outages or spotty service! 
  • Simplicity. Metro ethernet is the definition of a plug-and-play solution. You talk to your provider, plug your devices into the network, and go on your way. The maintenance of the network – and the connectivity – rests solely with your metro ethernet provider. They’re constantly monitoring to ensure your connection is secure, bug-free, and up-to-date. 
  • Security. Because all devices must connect to the network using physical cables, metro ethernet is less susceptible to unauthorized access or hijacking attempts by unknown devices.  

Metro Ethernet vs. Wi-Fi 

We all know that public wi-fi networks aren’t as secure as many of us think. But what about business wi-fi? How does that stack up against a metro ethernet solution? Well, before we give our opinion, let’s lay out the facts. 

Metro Ethernet 

  • Transmits data using a cable connection 
  • Physical cables are required to transmit data, meaning it’s less mobile than Wi-Fi 
  • Better speed, reliability and security than Wi-Fi 
  • No extra encryption required 
  • Lower latency than Wi-Fi (meaning faster load times and smoother video transmissions) 
  • More installation steps than Wi-Fi 


  • Transmits data via wireless signals 
  • No cables required, meaning more mobility 
  • Slower, less reliable, and less secure than metro ethernet 
  • Prone to signal interference 
  • Requires extra encryption measures 
  • Higher latency than metro ethernet (meaning more lagging videos) 
  • Simple installation 

So, is business wi-fi better than metro ethernet or worse? Well, in our opinion, they’re different solutions for different needs. 

Are you looking for higher quality videos, simple yet effective security, and better reliability? Choose metro ethernet. 

Are you looking for more mobility, simple installation, and don’t mind a few connectivity hiccups? Choose a Wi-Fi solution. 

Looking for a combination of the two? You can also choose both – offering a secure wi-fi solutions for visitors but a metro ethernet network for your internal employees. What you decide to do is up to you and what unique needs your business might have. 

Crocker Communications: Your Metro Ethernet Provider! 

Whether you need 5 Mbps of bandwidth or an entire Gigabyte, or find yourself wondering, what is metro ethernet? Crocker Metro Ethernet is the solution for you. Thanks to our partnership with MassBroadband’s fiberoptic network, our metro ethernet service is efficient, cost-effective, secure, and can be customized to fit your specific needs. Want to learn more? Connect with our team of experts today – we’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. 

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