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Internet Protocol switching

Internet Protocol switching

(also IP switching, multi-layer switching)

Internet Protocol switching definition

Internet Protocol switching is a network technology that combines routing and switching to forward data packets in a network (i.e., to send information). In traditional methods, each data packet is looked at individually to decide where it should go next. In IP switching, when the best route for a data packet is found, it is remembered without re-evaluating it each time. IP switching is typically quicker than traditional routing and can be great for busy networks.

See also: Internet Protocol address, data packet

How Internet Protocol switching works

  • When a data packet arrives at an IP switch, the switch looks at its destination IP address (i.e., where the packet needs to go).
  • The IP switch uses special hardware to look up the destination IP address.
  • Based on the lookup, the IP switch determines the best port for the packet.
  • The packet is immediately forwarded through the selected port, allowing the data to travel quickly and efficiently within the network.

Benefits of IP switching

  • IP switching is fast and can forward data much quicker than traditional routing.
  • It optimizes network traffic flow, reducing congestion and latency for smoother data transmission.
  • IP switching simplifies the network by combining routing and switching into one device, making it less complicated.
  • It can easily accommodate growing networks, making it suitable for both small and large organizations.

IP switching limitations

  • Configuring IP switching can be complex.
  • IP switches may not provide the same advanced routing features as dedicated routers.
  • High-speed IP switching needs specialized hardware, which can be resource-intensive.

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