Network switch

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A network switch or switching hub is a computer networking device that connects network segments.

The term commonly refers to a network bridge that processes and routes data at the data link layer (layer 2) of the OSI model. Switches that additionally process data at the network layer (layer 3 and above) are often referred to as Layer 3 switches or multilayer switches.

The term network switch does not generally encompass unintelligent or passive network devices such as hubs and repeaters.

The first Ethernet switch was introduced by Kalpana in 1990.[1]

Contents

Function

The network switch, packet switch (or just switch) plays an integral part in most Ethernet local area networks (LANs). Mid-to-large sized LANs contain a number of linked managed switches. Small office/home office (SOHO) applications typically use a single switch, or an all-purpose converged device such as a gateway to access small office/home broadband services such as DSL or cable internet. In most of these cases, the end-user device contains a router and components that interface to the particular physical broadband technology. User devices may also include a telephone interface for VoIP.

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