what is switch

What is Switch, Functions, Types and How it Works

In this article we will discuss what is Switch, functions, types and how switch it works. You can read this article till end, if you need to know what is Switch. Lets read this article.

The world of information technology cannot be separated from computers with various types of components on their networks. Each of these components has its own 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 is the switch. Some of you may still be curious about what a switch is, which this component usually functions to help exchange information or data on several computers. For those of you who are in the IT world, you must be familiar with the switch. What is switch? You need to know that in general a switch is one of the network components in a computer that has a fairly important role. Where the main function of the switch is to connect a number of computer devices so that they can exchange packets and forward data to various destination devices.

In understanding what a switch is, actually 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. Switch is considered to be a better working system than HUB, although the price is indeed more expensive. To understand more clearly what a switch is, the following will be given a more complete explanation.

Definition of Switch


For those of you who are still wondering what a switch is, you should know that a switch is a computer network component that functions to connect several computer devices so that they can exchange packets, either receiving, processing and forwarding data to other devices.

In addition to understanding what a switch is, there are other opinions that define a switches as a type of component on a computer network that is used to connect several HUBs to form a larger computer network and require a fairly large bandwidth as well.

However, unlike the HUB, the switches usually works in a more focused, efficient manner and directly targets the intended address for data exchange, processing and sending data. In addition, the switch is also able to detect the destination of the data to prevent collisions when data is sent.

Switch Function


After understanding what a switch is, then you also need to understand the function of a switch. Where in general the function 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. Where switches can be used to prevent looping when receiving data for unknown purposes. Then the data received will be forwarded to the destination IP Address through blocking on 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, the forwarding of 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 is in the process of receiving data, the switch also records the MAC address of the sender and learns where the data will be sent.

Switch Types

For those of you who want to know more about what a switches is, you should also know the types of switches. The types of switches 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 cheaper 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, which is between the types of unmanaged switches and managed switches. However, for this smart switch, the settings and configuration use technology in the form of a web base. This type of switches has the advantage of being able to automatically adjust 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 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 ability of the switch 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 the table data it has.
The next stage, the switch will make a logical connection using the port that is 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 receive the data. The way this switch works can reduce the potential for data collisions.


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

For those of you who still don’t understand what a switch is, now you have a complete explanation as above. Where the switch is a device that has an important role on a computer network because the switch is the center of network traffic. If one day the switch is interrupted then all activities on the network will also be disrupted. In addition, the switch also has a very important function to facilitate 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 forward data packets precisely and quickly.

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