What are the two different types of Ethernet drivers?

The two different Ethernet drivers for RSLinx Classic are the Ethernet Devices Driver and the EtherNet/IP Driver. Rockwell Automation offers two different Ethernet drivers to give their end users a better ability to set up a system quickly and also a way to setup a system with individual drivers for a more itemized approach to help slightly lower the bandwidth on the Ethernet network that you are on and give a better itemized control.

RSLinx Ethernet driver requirements are:

You need TCP/IP software, a network card, and a network connection. The TCP/IP software must provide the WINSOCK API version 1.1. The network card must be connected to your network, in some way.


What is the Ethernet Devices Driver?

The Ethernet Devices Driver is a driver for RSLinx that can be set up for only looking at the IP addresses that you enter into that driver and will not look at any IP addresses outside of that driver, this helps reduce bandwidth slightly because the driver is only passing information through the driver to the IP addresses inside that driver therefore it only adds packets to the devices in use.

Generally this is used in a large network to setup individual drivers to only talk to the equipment in that location, it also makes trouble shooting easier and also an easy way to locate PLCs and HMIs for large networks, What I mean by saying that is if you have 100 devices on a network and someone needs to look at one piece of equipment then it would be easy for that person to select just that one driver to find the PLC or HMI then go online with it.

This is also very helpful on setting up a stored path in the PLC or HMI so that all you have to do then is select go online. Another valuable piece that this driver helps with is if you are setting up alarming for a SQL server database then it can be set up to link directly to the equipment hosting just the alarms in that piece of equipment.

The Ethernet Devices Driver is one of Rockwell’s oldest Ethernet drivers but is still a very powerful and user friendly driver depending on the setup.


What is the EtherNet/IP Driver?

The EtherNet/IP driver is a driver unlike the classic Ethernet Devices Driver as it works with your computers Ethernet setup or static IP to automatically find all Ethernet devices that are attached to the network that you are connected with. Meaning if this driver is setup in RSLinx classic and your computer is connected to the network then it will automatically detect all of the Ethernet devices that are on that network and in our computer’s IP address range.

Advantages to this driver are that you can set it up ad in seconds be online with a PLC or HMI.

With that being said, you will have to know the Ethernet network pretty well to be able to find the PLC or HMI that you need.


Ethernet Driver Conclusion

Now that you see a few different points between both Ethernet drivers in RSLinx classic there is a place for both of them in the industry, personally I use both of them and also generally keep both of them setup as a trouble shooting tool to see if I am using the correct static IP address or if DHCP is not connecting to the network that I am on.

I have put together a document on how to setup both of these drivers to give an idea of how easy it is to use.

Here is the document: RSLinx Ethernet Drivers

This is a free document so feel free to take a look, it is in a PDF format.



I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you for stopping by and that I have many of helpful documents that I will be adding to this website but as you may know we are just starting up this website so everyday we will be adding different elements to help out in learning PLC and HMI programming.

Meanwhile if you need anything please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section or in the contact section of this website.


Thanks again,