EtherType is a two-octet field in an Ethernet frame. It is used to indicate which protocol is encapsulated in the payload of the frame and is used at the receiving end by the data link layer to determine how the payload is processed. The same field is also used to indicate the size of some Ethernet frames.

EtherType is also used as the basis of 802.1Q VLAN tagging, encapsulating packets from VLANs for transmission multiplexed with other VLAN traffic over an Ethernet trunk.

EtherType was first defined by the Ethernet II framing standard and later adapted for the IEEE 802.3 standard. EtherType values are assigned by the IEEE Registration Authority.

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