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What is a Network Switch? – Definition, Features, and Manufacturers

What is a Network Switch? – Definition, Features, and Manufacturers

Definition Network Switch

A switch is a network hardware device that allows communication between devices within a network, such as your local home network.

Most home and small business routers contain built-in switches.

A switch is more correctly known as a [network switch] when it is related to the computer network — and also known as a switching hub.

Important switch data

The switches are in unmanaged and managed forms also.

Unmanaged switches have no options and work immediately.

Managed switches have advanced options that configure easily. Managed switches also contain software called firmware that must be updated as published by the switch manufacturer.

The switches connect to other network devices only through network cables and, therefore, do not need drivers to run on Windows or other operating systems.

Features of Network Switch

The switches connect several network devices, such as computers, to allow communication between them. The switches have several network ports, sometimes dozens, to connect several devices.

Typically, a switch connects, via a network cable, to a router and then physically, again through a network cable, to the network interface cards on any network device you may have.

Everyday Tasks of the Switch

Here are some collective actions that you can perform with a managed [network switch]:

Change the password of a switch

Update the firmware of a switch

Network switch manufacturers

Cisco, NETGEAR, HP, D-Link


The switching technology operates at level 2 of the OSI reference model. It is merely a sending process in which messages are sending in packages. Each package contains the necessary addresses for shipment; in the different nodes of the network, these packets are received in the queue and retransmitted after analysis.

Creation of the MAC address table

The difference with a hub or HUB comes from the method of returning information packets to the recipient. A HUB only forwards the received information packet to all connected peripherals.

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