Maximal Transfer Unit

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Maximal Transfer Unit is the largest possibl layer 2 frame size on a network.

Ethernet uses a 1500-byte in the 10Mbps and 100Mbps forms, and commonly uses 9000-byte MTUs in 1000Mbit (Gigabit) ethernet. Ethernet MTus can be as high as 16384 bytes.

PPPoE connections and other tunnels will often use a MTU of 1492, to accout for the tunnel overhead.

Other (less common) MTU sizes:

  • 16 Mbps Token Ring: 17914
  • 4 Mbps Token Ring: 4464
  • SONET: 4460
  • FDDI: 4352
  • X.25: 576

ATM uses a cell size of 53 bytes, but the LANE layer on top of it emulates a larger MTU.

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