Like a hub, a switch is a device that connects individual devices on an Ethernet network so that they can communicate with one another. But a switch also has an additional capability; it momentarily connects the sending and receiving devices so that they can use the entire bandwidth of the network without interference. If you use switches properly, they can improve the performance of your network by reducing network interference. Switches have two benefits:

(1) they provide each pair of communicating devices with a fast connection; and


(2) they segregate the communication so that it does not enter other portions of the network. (Hubs, in contrast, broadcast all data on the network to every other device on the network.)

These benefits are particularly useful if your network is congested and traffic pools in particular areas. However, if your network is not congested or if your traffic patterns do not create pools of local traffic, then switches may cause your network performance to deteriorate. This performance degradation occurs because switches examine the information inside each signal on your network (to determine the addresses of the sender and receiver) and therefore process network information more slowly than hubs (which do not examine the signal contents).


Most switches operate by examining incoming or outgoing signals for information at OSI level 2, the data link level.


23 January 2015


Network Equipment, IT Equipment

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