Talking To Ethernet Card In Windows/MFC

I need to create a small ethernet hub with a PC connected to a number of custom external devices. I don't know much about ethernet as in the past I have utilised something like a CSocket or a PIPE directly using TCP/IP.

In this case the protocol will be directly on the ethernet and I am wondering if there is a developer kit that allows talking directly to the ethernet card under Windows?

Anybody have any experience of this?

Env: VC++ 6.0, Win NT/2K/9x
sdj_workAsked:
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jhanceConnect With a Mentor Commented:
>>Ethernet protocol

This is what I mean.  Ethernet is NOT a protocol.  It's a networking physical layer.  Many protocols can be carried over an Ethernet network.

Do you want to use TCPIP?  If so, then WINSOCK is the way to go on a Windows host.

Do you want to use some other protocol?  Unless you are looking for a lot of work for yourself, choose one that has support on your host.

Do you want to send RAW PACKETS?  In that case, you may want to see:

http://www.rawether.net/

for a very useful toolkit and information.
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jhanceCommented:
Can you be more specific about what you are trying to do.  To me, this question mixes terms incorrectly and really obscures the meaning.

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sdj_workAuthor Commented:
The system will be a Windows based PC that needs to talk to a number of external devices. The devices are likely to be electrical signs (say 4 or 5 each with an Ethernet connection) which I need to communicate with.

I need to send/receive messages to/from the signs using the Ethernet protocol and I am assuming that to do this I will need to talk directly to the card (using an Ethernet Packet), via a developer kit of some kind.

Currently I don't know how I am going to talk to the card. My previous experience of networking has been via TCP/IP, hence I have used Windows Sockets that abstract away from the "packet" level of the protocol.

Hope this is clearer?
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sdj_workAuthor Commented:
I want to send a custom defined very simple 5 byte protocol. Can I send this as a part of a RAW PACKET? It seems that rawether.com is what I need.

I am confused as to where "raw packets" and using my own protocol fit in. You have suggested that these form two different options.
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