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LAN Switching

LAN Switching

LAN Switching definition

LAN Switching involves using a device called a switch to connect and manage data traffic between devices in a Local Area Network (LAN). Unlike older devices called hubs that send data everywhere, switches are smarter; they send data only to the device that needs it. This makes networks both faster and more secure.

See also: LAN party, virtual private LAN service

Here’s a breakdown:

  • How They Work: Switches use MAC addresses (unique IDs for devices) to decide where to send chunks of data, known as frames.
  • Avoiding Data Collisions: Before switches, devices used hubs that often caused data “collisions.” Switches prevent these collisions by giving each connection its own data lane.
  • Handling Broadcasts: Even though switches are good at sending data to specific devices, they’ll send certain messages, called broadcasts, to everyone. However, with features like VLANs, switches can control these broadcasts better.
  • Double Duty: Switches can handle devices sending and receiving data at the same time, which makes things faster.
  • Remembering Addresses: Switches remember which device (MAC address) is connected to which port. If it doesn’t know, it sends the data everywhere, learns from the responses, and then updates its memory.

Types of Data Sending:

  • Cut-Through: The switch sends data quickly after getting just a bit of it but might sometimes send bad data.
  • Store-and-Forward: The switch waits to get all the data, checks it, and then sends it. It’s a bit slower but more accurate.
  • Grouping Devices: With VLANs, switches can group devices based on needs or roles, not just location. This can make things organized and safer.

Further reading

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