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- When a user accesses the internet or another computer network outside their immediate location, messages are sent through the network of transmission media. This technique of transferring the information from one computer network to another network is known as switching.
- Switching in a computer network is achieved by using switches. A switch is a small hardware device which is used to join multiple computers together with one local area network (LAN).
- Network switches operate at layer 2 (Data link layer) in the OSI model.
- Switching is transparent to the user and does not require any configuration in the home network.
- Switches are used to forward the packets based on MAC addresses.
- A Switch is used to transfer the data only to the device that has been addressed. It verifies the destination address to route the packet appropriately.
- It is operated in full duplex mode.
- Packet collision is minimum as it directly communicates between source and destination.
- It does not broadcast the message as it works with limited bandwidth.
Why is Switching Concept required?
Switching concept is developed because of the following reasons:
- Bandwidth: It is defined as the maximum transfer rate of a cable. It is a very critical and expensive resource. Therefore, switching techniques are used for the effective utilization of the bandwidth of a network.
- Collision: Collision is the effect that occurs when more than one device transmits the message over the same physical media, and they collide with each other. To overcome this problem, switching technology is implemented so that packets do not collide with each other.
Advantages of Switching:
- Switch increases the bandwidth of the network.
- It reduces the workload on individual PCs as it sends the information to only that device which has been addressed.
- It increases the overall performance of the network by reducing the traffic on the network.
- There will be less frame collision as switch creates the collision domain for each connection.
Disadvantages of Switching:
- A Switch is more expensive than network bridges.
- A Switch cannot determine the network connectivity issues easily.
- Proper designing and configuration of the switch are required to handle multicast packets.