Network Switches: Allow you to connect two devices on a Local Area Network (LAN)

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As a part of the computer network system, network switches allow you to connect two devices on a Local Area Network (LAN). Also known as the Ethernet Switch, network switch operates at the data link layer of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model. Almost every device needs a hardware switch as a part of their functionality. PCs, printers, phones, and access points are some of them. The switches used inside the houses are of unmanaged switch type which requires no configuration and simply plugging them is all you need to do to get them working.

 

Only a few ports can be managed by it and the risk of a short circuit is more likely in it than the other types. As they are more suitable for houses and smaller connections, it is understandable that they serve basic needs while the managed switches provide higher security and improved quality of service. The most convenient thing about the managed switches is their ability to be customized according to the network's needs and requirements. For even more basic needs and Lower quality, hubs are used instead of switches.

 

The downside of them is that data transfer is slowed down as more and more devices are connected to the network. Another type of network switches is a hybrid switch which offers lesser functions and services in comparison with managed switch despite being similar to it in some ways. Both the managed and the hybrid switch support virtual local area network (VLANs).

 

Functions of a Network Switch:

 

1. When two devices are connected with switches using either optic fiber cable or Ethernet cable (most commonly used for switches), they are able to transfer and exchange data packages between themselves.

2. Switches can also be used to increase the number of ports in a router and the wires might help in increasing the speed.

3. Switches can be seen as a more advanced version of hubs as they use the full-duplex mode while hubs use half-duplex mode. Switches connect devices on a local area network in which the communication between two devices is interruption-free in comparison to a hub.

4. Its' ability to connect multiple hosts makes it suitable for the star topology routing.

5. A switch is able to read the Media Access Control (MAC) address in order to decode it and learn where the data package is to be sent.

6. As it supports full-duplex mode, it is a good manager of network traffic.

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