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What is a network switch?

All the network cables are ultimately connected into a device called a network switch.  A network switch serves as a central device enabling the communication of the IT devices connected to it.  These are the devices you typically see with all the green and yellow blinking lights.  Each light represents a device connected and communicating on the network.  A good network switch will be capable of efficient speeds (often called fast-ethernet or gigabit switches) and allows your IT team to fine tune the settings and set priorities for which network devices are most important (called managed switches).

 

Hubs vs. Switches

You may have heard of the term “network hub”.  A network hub is an inexpensive device that provides for the most basic communications between network devices.  When a hub is used to connect computers on a network, all the communications from every device are mixed together. This is similar to using multiple loudspeakers in a crowded room and has very poor efficiency.

 

hub-vs-switch

On the other hand, a network switch ensures that communicating devices speak and listen only to each other.  Instead of multiple loudspeakers in a room, this can be likened to a room full of individual telephone handsets where each person is able to listen without being distracted by other conversations.  The communications are most efficient when being performed over a network switch.

 

Proper planning and application is always a critical component of maintaining healthy communications in any network infrastructure.  Fortunately, our team of experts and engineers at TechWorks is very qualified to assist when it comes to selecting the right equipment for your network infrastructure.

 

Posted on September 28, 2015 in Information Technology

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About the Author

Marc enjoys working closely with other entrepreneurs helping them leverage technology to enhance success! Boasting 2 decades of I.T. consulting expertise, Marc continues to contribute in many forums, and offers technology insights through our regular newsletter and by speaking publicly across California. He contributes regularly to our blog and actively assists our team here at TechWorks as a virtual CIO consultant.

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