Computer networks: what is a switch?

More technology self-tutoring: the tutor explains his understanding of switch, a term he’s found tricky to define.

For background, my post from April 2, as well as my post from yesterday, connect with today’s topic.

Switches can be used in a variety of ways, so a simple conception only explains one application. However, I find this idea helpful:

Imagine a self-contained local network of computers physically connected. A given member can send a message to a specific other, or to all others at once. Then, the simplest central connection among these computers is a switch.

A switch is different from a hub (once again, my post from yesterday) in that the switch can forward a message to a specific intended recipient, whereas the hub just forwards it to everyone.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

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