What is a switch?

February 18, 2015
What is a switch?

Local networks use a variety of equipment. Consider what a switch and what it is for.

A switch (from the English. "Switch" - switch) is a switch responsible for the transmission of packets of information. It gives you the opportunity to combine in a local network the computers connected to it.

Switch assignment

Switches are used in almost all public networks. Switches are modern devices that can fix the addresses of connected devices and direct traffic to the corresponding port.

At the beginning of its work, the switch receives information and makes its duplication on all ports. At the same time, he remembers the MAC addresses of each of the devices connected to it and stores them in a special table stored in the device’s memory. After the address is memorized, the corresponding packets are not duplicated, but are sent to a specific recipient, i.e. the information is transmitted addressally. This is a big plus, because other computers that do not intend information, do not need to once again process it.

In the course of the switch operation, a clear address table is built, so that each of the received packets goes exclusively to the designated port.

Switches may differ in their dimensions. They are presented:

  • Small, almost invisible boxes, designed for multiple ports.
  • Massive devices designed to connect about 50 computers.

Switches can be of a simple or controlled type. The first type of device operates according to a predetermined scheme, and the second allows you to configure certain parameters using the web interface. If necessary, switches can be combined into whole arrays that form data structures (stacks) and turn into separate independent devices. Now you know what a switch is and what its purpose is.