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What is a Switch Port?

Last Updated : 07 Jan, 2022
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A network switch is a piece of hardware that allows computers to communicate with one another. It accepts physical connectors from computers and other network devices and then uses packet switching to receive and forward data. Connecting different devices to the ports on a network switch allows them to communicate with one another via data transfer within the switch. Most networking devices also connect to the internet, allowing them to access the internet via switch ports.

Types of Switch Port:

Switch ports are classified into the following types:

  • Access Port
  • Trunk Port
  • Hybrid Port

For a detailed explanation refer to this article.

Features of Switches

  • A switch operates in layer 2, i.e. data link layer of the OSI model.
  • It is a smart network device that functions as a multiport network bridge.
  • It sends data packets to designated destination ports using MAC addresses (addresses of the media access control sublayer).
  • It receives and forwards data packets from the source to the destination device using the packet switching technology.
  • It can communicate in unicast (one-to-one), multicast (one-to-many), and broadcast (one-to-all) modes.
  • Before forwarding data to the target port, switches can perform some error checking.
  • The transmission mode is full-duplex.

How Do You Configure a Switch Port?

Managed switches and smart switches can both be configured. You may be able to enable or disable specific ports, set up port mirroring, limit bandwidth, designate access and trunk ports, or create a VLAN depending on the device. The command-line interface and the Simple Network Management Protocol are two techniques for setting switches and ports. You may be able to set up your switch using a web-based interface. The manufacturer should include clear setup instructions.

A port is an essential component of network hardware such as home Ethernet switches or business network switches. While the ports on most switches are physically identical, you may be able to customize them for various applications. The number of ports and their configurations is determined by the purpose of the switch itself.

How Many Ports Does a Switch Have?

The number of ports on a switch varies according to the device’s function. A simple residential router may have five ports, but a switch for a big network may have up to 52 ports. The number of devices that can connect to an Ethernet switch, is one less than the number of physical ports because one port is allocated for the connection that connects the switch to the router.

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