A switch receives and distributes information on the computer network. Physically, it is a box equipped with four to several hundred Ethernet ports, and is used to connect several cables or fibers in a computer network.
A switch allows to create virtual circuits, receive information and send it to a given recipient on the network by directing it to the appropriate port.
Switches have the advantage of securing data transmitted over the network and can be used to increase the number of computers connected to an Ethernet network.
The second advantage of a switch is that it maintains high performance compared to a simple network hub that has no intelligence. This is made possible by the built-in microprocessor, which is able to share the wired connection by distributing Ethernet packets or frames on the transport layer of the OSI model.« Back to Glossary Index