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Different Types of Switch Ports

  • Last Updated : 06 Oct, 2021

Network devices connect to a switch through its switch ports. Switch Ports which are physical opening where data cables are plugged in to connect the devices. Switch port type should be configured according to the requirement considering the factors like network architecture, speed and functionality.

Switch ports can be classified in following types based on network architecture :

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1. Access Port : 



  • Access port is a connection on a switch that transmits data to and from a specific VLAN.
  • It is used to connect switches to host devices such as desktops, laptops, printers etc., only available in access link.
  • It sends and receives Ethernet frames in untagged form from access VLAN.
  • It can only be member of single VLAN i.e. the access VLAN, and discards all frames that are not classified to the access VLAN.

2. Trunk Port :

  • Trunk port is a connection on a switch that transmits data to and from multiple VLANs.
  • It is used to connect switches to other switches, routers and servers available in trunk link.
  • Frames are marked with unique identifying tags when they move between switches so that they can be directed to their designated VLANs.
  • It can manage traffic for numerous VLANs at the same time.

3. Hybrid Port :

  • Hybrid port is a connection on a switch that transmits data to and from one or multiple VLANs.
  • It is used to connect network devices (like switches) as well as user devices (like laptops).
  • It support both tagged and untagged frames from VLANs.
  • It can receive frames from one or more VLANs at the same time.

Switch ports can be classified in following types based on the functionality :

1. Combo Port :

  • It is a compound port which can support two different physical ports with same switch fabric and port number but both the ports can’t be used simultaneously.
  • It is used to configure the switch according to the application requirements.

2. Stack Port :

  • It is a special functional port which is used to connect with other stackable switches of the same model, brand and software version to operate as a single stackable switch with port capacity equal to the sum of the combined switches.
  • It is used for making long distance connections.

3. PoE (Power over Ethernet) Port :

  • It allows a single network cable to carry data and power simultaneously.
  • It is used in devices such as wireless network repeaters or IP security cameras which use a single Ethernet cable for voice, data and power.

Switch ports can be classified in following types based on the functionality :

1. RJ45 Port :

  • Registered Jack 45 (RJ45) is an Ethernet style network port which is used to interact or communicate with other devices where Ethernet networking is required.
  • It supports up to 100 Mbps speed.
  • It is used in data centers for server switching, LANs, uplinks from desktop switches, etc.

2. SFP Port :

  • Small form-factor pluggable (SFP) port are a slot on a network device into which SFP transceivers are inserted.
  • It enables Gigabit switches to connect to a wide variety of fiber and Ethernet cables in order to extend switching functionality throughout the network. 
  • It supports up to 1 Gbps speed.
  • It enables a gigabit switch to achieve fiber uplinks over longer distances or short-range copper uplinks.

3. SFP+ Port :

  • SFP+ port is an advanced version of SFP port which supports higher data rates.
  • It supports up to 10 Gbps speed.
  • SFP+ transceiver can’t be plugged into SFP port because SFP+ does not support speeds less than 1Gbps.

4. SFP28 Port :

  • SFP28 is enhanced version of SFP+ designed for 25G signal transmission.
  • It supports up to 25 Gbps speed.
  • It is used for networking upgrade.

5. QSFP+ Port :

  • Quad small form factor +(QSFP+) port have 4 lanes which support speed 4 times their corresponding SFP( here, SFP+).   
  • It supports up to 40 Gbps speed.
  • It have four-channel 10 Gbps SFP+ interfaces.

6. QSFP28 Port :

  • Quad small form factor 28 (QSFP28) port have 4 lanes which support speed 4 times their corresponding SFP( here, SFP28).   
  • It supports up to 100 Gbps speed.
  • It have four-channel 25 Gbps SFP28 interfaces.
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