What is Switch, Functions, Types and How it Works

In this article we will discuss what is Switch, its functions, types and how the switch works. You can read this article till the end if you need to know what Switch is. Let’s read this article.

The world of information technology cannot be separated from computers with various types of components on their networks. Each component has its function and role, ranging from managing binary programming to connecting several computers to exchange information or data.

One of the components that play an important role in the switch. Some of you may still be curious about what a switch is; this component usually functions to help exchange information or data on several computers. Those of you who are in the IT world must be familiar with the switch. What is the switch? You need to know that, in general, a switch is one of the network components in a computer that has a somewhat important role, where the main function of the switch is to connect several computer devices to exchange packets and forward data to various destination devices.

In understanding what a switch is, a switch can be categorized as a type of computer-level network that resembles a HUB. However, both switches and HUBs have differences in their working systems. Although the price is higher, the switch is considered a better working system than HUB. To understand more clearly what a switch is, the following will be given a more complete explanation.

Definition of Switch


For those still wondering what a switch is, you should know that a button is a computer network component that connects several computer devices to exchange packets, either receiving, processing, or forwarding data to other devices.

In addition to understanding what a switch is, other opinions define a switch as a type of component on a computer network that connects several HUBs to form a more extensive computer network and requires a reasonably large bandwidth.

However, unlike the HUB, the switches usually work more efficiently and directly target the intended address to exchange, process, and send data. In addition, the Switch can also detect the destination of the data to prevent collisions when data is sent.

Switch Function


After understanding what a switch is, you also need to understand the function of a button. In general, the part of the switch is to become a concentrator that can receive and share data between computer devices. Here are some switch functions that you need to know.

  1. Looping Avoidance

    Looping is the rotation of data that occurs on the switch port only. Switches can be used to prevent looping when receiving data for unknown purposes. The data received will be forwarded to the destination IP Address by blocking one of the ports connected to other devices.

  2. Forward Data Frames

    Switches are also used to filter and forward data frames to the address being addressed. In addition to sending data to the destination address, forwarding data frames will also continue to a specific MAC address and port. This can reduce the occurrence of collision events during the data transmission process.

  3. Address Learning

    Address learning on the switch functions to record MAC addresses between network devices that are currently connected. When the switch receives data, the Switch also records the MAC address of the sender and learns where the data will be sent.

Switch Types

Those of you who want to know more about switches should also know the types of controls. The types of Switch include the following:

  • Unmanaged Switch

    This type of switch is included in the cheapest category among other types on the market. Usually, this type is also often used in the office or at home on a small scale. Unmanaged switches have the main function of managing the flow of data between the printer and several computers and between other devices. In addition, this type of switch can also be used directly without the need for complicated settings. Unmanaged switches have advantages in terms of easy installation and relatively lower prices.

  • Managed Switch

    Managed switches have the advantage of having a user interface over other types of switches. With these advantages, it can make it easier for users when configuring the switch. You can perform several configuration methods, such as using the console, interface, and the most sophisticated via the internet.

  • Smart Switch

    This type of switch has undergone a characteristic modification between the types of unmanaged and managed switches. However, the settings and configuration use technology as a web base for this smart switch. This type of switch has the advantage of being able to adjust automatically and can be changed according to the needs of the computer network.

  • Enterprise-Managed Switch

    Enterprise-managed switches are switches used by large companies that require the network to monitor and configure. This is due to the concept of network topology, which is more complex than other types. In addition, this type of switch is also different from other types of switches in terms of the number of managers and device support capabilities. Usually, only about 4-8 ports are dedicated to ethernet devices.

Purpose of Using Switch

As time and technology develop, the use of switches is increasing. Because more and more computer users understand what a switch is and the purpose of its use. The purposes of using a switch are:

  • Reduce the workload on each host PC.
  • Help improve performance on the network.
  • Networks that use switches will have fewer frame collisions. Because the switch creates a collision domain for each connection.
  • The switch can be connected directly to the workstation.

How Switch Works

Talking about what a switch is also related to how a switch works. Where the switch’s ability is better and more efficient when exchanging data, processing, and sending data than the HUB, in its application, the switch will receive data sent by other devices that are already connected. Then the switch will detect and match the MAC address of the destination device with its table data.
In the next stage, the switch will make a logical connection using the port already connected to the destination device. Thus the data to be sent can only be received by the destination port. As for the other ports can not accept the data. The way this switch works can reduce the potential for data collisions.


Based on the explanation above about a switch, you can now know that a switch is a type of hardware on a computer network that helps connect several computers in the network protocol layer. Then the computers become interconnected via UPT or network cables with a center on the switch. With the switch, several computers can be connected and exchange data even though they are far away.

You have a complete explanation for those of you who still don’t understand what a switch is. The switch is a device that has a vital role in a computer network because the switch is the center of network traffic. If the switch is interrupted one day, all network activities will also be disrupted. In addition, the switch also has a crucial function in facilitating work because the switch can check and analyze data packets received by the computer before being forwarded to the destination device. The switch can also determine the destination address and source of data packets. Furthermore, the switch can also deliver data packets precisely and quickly.