What is a switch?

December 2016







A switch is a device used to interconnect several computers to one local area network. They are used in offices and even at home. It operates at the layer two, Data Link Layer of the OSI model. Most network switches look like network hubs but doesn’t really work like hubs!

It can support 10/100 Mbit/s and the maximum is 10/100//1000 Mbit/s of port transfer rates.

There are four types of switches:
• Unmanaged switch
• Managed switch
• Smart Switch
• Enterprise managed switch

Unmanaged switch:

This type of switch is used very cheap and is used in small offices or at home which have minimal functions. So you can manage data flow connecting a shared printer and several Pcs.

Managed switch:

Managed switch has multiple functions and even a software which you can use to edit the settings of the switch with a user interface. It can be also updated. So these types of switch are for well experienced users!

Smart switch:

This is the middle rank switch which also has a user interface but which is web-based.

Enterprise-managed switch:

This type of switch is used in big companies or organizations it has a wide range of variable settings. This switch must be handled by IT network administrators and must be monitored all the time.. depending on the size of the network!

Related :

This document entitled « What is a switch? » from CCM (ccm.net) is made available under the Creative Commons license. You can copy, modify copies of this page, under the conditions stipulated by the license, as this note appears clearly.