What is a network switch and how does it work? - Exotic Digital Access
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What is a network switch and how does it work?

What is a network switch and how does it work?

What is a network switch and how does it work?

Think of your home wireless router. It routes to a broadband connection through its WAN port, but it usually also has additional Ethernet ports that you can use to connect an Ethernet cable for a computer, television, printer or even a gaming console. While other devices on the network, such as other notebooks and phones, connect through the Wi-Fi router, it still offers switching functions through the LAN. So the router, in effect, is also a switch. And you can even connect a separate switch to the router to provide both internet and LAN access for additional devices.

What does an internet switch do?

References to an internet switch are most likely describing a router. Both switches and routers can forward and route network traffic. Switches operate on a LAN, while routers operate on a WAN. As mentioned, switching functionality can be built into router hardware, and a router can perform switching functions. When it comes to moving packets over the internet, that’s the job of a router.

What are the different types of switches?

Switches vary in size, depending on how many devices you need to connect in a specific area, as well as the type of network speed/bandwidth required. In a small office or home office, a four- or eight-port switch usually suffices, but for larger deployments you generally see switches up to 128 ports. The form factor of a smaller switch is an appliance that you can fit on a desktop, but switches are also rack-mountable for placement in a wiring closet, data center or server farm. Sizes of rack-mountable switches range from 1U to 4U, but larger ones are also available.

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