What is a network switch?

A network switch is a multiport network bridge that links multiple devices using the same network together. It means that a network switch creates a network web for various devices using the same network as the connection route between all those connected devices.

A network switch is designed to manage the flow of data by transmitting and receiving the data. In simple words, you can say that the network switch will receive data from device 2 that intends to send that data packet to devices 4 and 5.

This received data packet will be transmitted only to those intended devices 4 and 5 through the network switch. The data packet will not be shared between other devices connected to the network switch and only intended devices can receive the data transmitted by the sending device.

How does a network switch work?

Network switches make use of the hardware addresses of the device, such as port numbers, to process the data and forward it to linking layers. The linking layer is the second layer of the OSI model that channels network switches; network switches can rarely use the third layer of the OSI model by routing the device’s functioning.

A network switch is compulsory for creating a networking web of different computers and allows them to work smoothly and efficiently. Network switches are available in many different types and shapes to suit the needs of users.

The most commonly used type of network switch is the Ethernet switch that is frequently encountered in multi-computer connections. Ethernet switches are further classified into different types varying on the speed of a connected network. Gigabyte Ethernet switch is more common with its 1 GBPS speed and is offering the lowest possible speed with network switches.

To enhance the networking speed, there are 10 gigabyte Ethernet switches as well as 100 G switches. The range of these network switches is ( Ethernet switch is encompassing 1 GBPS, 10 GBPS, 25 GBPS, 40 G, and 100 G Ethernet switches).

As the speed of these Ethernet switched differs, the same goes for the available number of connectivity ports. These ports range in between 8 to 48 ports and feature different configuration setups for different ports and speeds.

Router vs network switch

The basic similarity between routers and network switches is their networking capability being a computer networking device. Both of these devices are designed for multiple connected computers using one or more networks.

The difference lies in the type of connection. The router is meant to connect different networks in a single device, while the network switch connects different computers over a single network. In other words, a network switch is meant to create a network while the router is meant to connect these created networks.

Another significant difference lies in their ability to make nets. A network switch is only designed to be used in LAN while the routers are capable of being used in all three LAN, WAN, and MAN connections.