Major Functions of Switch in Computer Network & 3 Switching Techniques

Do you know what is Network Switch? How does it work and how many types & functions of switch in computer network? If you want to know more about Switch then you have come to the right place. In this article, we have been given all the information about the switch. You can get all kinds of knowledge about Switch after reading this.

A switch is a networking device. It helps to connect one device with another device. The switch is done in the datalink layers of the OSI model. It can connect all the devices in a single network. Let’s know the functions of switch.

What is a Switch?

A switch is a networking device that connects other networking devices in a network via an ethernet cable. It sends data from a source node to a destination node through a MAC address. That’s why switches are mostly used in the data link layers. They allow us to connect different computers, printers, and other devices to each other and share information.

The switch is a device that filters, forwards, and sometimes generates data packets on a computer network. The switch reads the header information of each packet in order to determine the packet’s destination. If the packet’s destination is located on the same network as the sender, it will forward it to that destination directly through a physical port. If not, it will filter out all packets except for those going to its own broadcast address before forwarding them to all ports using a logical address.

A switch is a networking devices that connects devices on a network so they can communicate with one another. Switches are often used to break up large networks into smaller, more manageable sections, or to connect multiple devices on one segment into one larger network.

Types of Switching Techniques

How a switch receives and forwards a data frame is described in the switching method. Below there are mention the 3 types of switching techniques.

  • Store and forward method: In this method, when the data comes to the switch from the sender, then the switch first checks the data whether it is error-free or not. If error-free then forwards that data frame.
  • Cut through method: In this method, the switch tries to read the MAC address of the data frame. after finding the MAC address of the destination then it sends the data frame to the destination.
  • Fragment-free method: The section-free method is an improved version of the cut-through method. In this method, before forwarding an Ethernet frame, the first 64 bytes are checked to determine whether the frame is error-free. An Ethernet frame that is less than 64 bytes is called a Runt frame. A rant frame is nothing but a corrupt frame.

Types of switch in computer network

There are many ports in a switch. The important functions of switch is to send the output information to the correct port after receiving the input information. In this, all the ports work as input ports and output ports. So let’s know how many types of switches are there in computer networks.

There are 4 types of switches used in networking.

Unmanaged switch

This unmanned switches are used in small network. Like in small offices, homes, etc. It is very easy to use as it provides plug and play facility. As soon as you give power to it, it turns on. This switch has very few ports. It does not have to be configured nor can any port be controlled.

Managed switch

Managed switches are used in large organizations. This type of switch has many features. Such as high level security, batter precision control, and completely managing the entire network.

Managed switches are configured using the Simple Network Management Protocol. A network administrator is required to configure it. Due to the many features and options, its price is higher than other switches.

LAN switch

LAN switches are mainly used to reduce congestion or bottlenecks in the network. In this, only that data packet is delivered to the node to which the data packet is sent. LAN Switch is also called Ethernet Switch or Data Switch.

PoE switch

PoE switches or Power over Ethernet switch is a computer networking switch that works on Power over Ethernet technology. These switches are helpful in connecting multiple networking devices. In this, both power supply and data transmission happen simultaneously. Which simplifies the cabling process and network cost.

PoE switch is used because of its flexibility, reliability, and cost-efficient. Using it does not require doing additional electrical wiring. It can be backed up by an uninterruptible power supply. Using PoE switches, the user does not have to buy any separate electrical wires or outlaws. Which the user does not have to do any installation or maintenance.

This type of switch is mainly used to provide connections to IP cameras, wireless access points, VoIP phones, etc.

Functions of switch in computer network

Talking about the functions of switch, it receives the data packets being transmitted in the network and then sends them to their correct destination. For this, it uses the MAC address of the device, where MAC addresses of all devices connected to the switch by cable are saved.

function of the switch

Switches are mainly used in the data link layer. The Internet coming from the ISP (Internet Service Provider) comes to the router first. This internet comes from the UPLINK port of the router to the UPLINK port of the switch via an RJ45 cable, only then the switch itself is able to provide internet to the connected devices.

Switches can provide internet by connecting all devices like computers, laptops, printers, WIFI, access points, etc. to a network. If the print command is given to a networked printer from a computer system, then first this command goes to the switch. The switch verifies that command and it checks which MAC address to send and sends it to the correct destination. After that, the command reaches the printer and the printing work is done.

The switch can support three communication technologies namely unicast, multicast and broadcast. The switch has both functions simultaneously which is sent and receive i.e. full-duplex communication is used. Switch has 8 ports, 12 ports, 16 ports, 24 ports, and up to 48 ports are available in the market.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Switch

Advantages of Switches

  • Basically, a switch does unicast communication. This means sending a private message to its proper location.
  • It supports a full-duplex communication mode.
  • Mainly a switch saves the MAC address of the networking devices connected to itself and when the time comes for data communication, it easily sends the data to their appropriate destination.
  • It provides more security and intelligence than the hub.
  • If any node connected to the switch gets damaged then it does not damage the whole network.
  • It is easy to set up.

Disadvantages of Switches

  • It is more expensive than a hub and repeater.
  • If there is some fault in the switch then the whole network goes down.
  • Switches with fewer ports perform the plug-and-play role, but switches installed in large networks are difficult to configure. This requires a network administrator.
  • Network connectivity issues are very difficult to trace through network switches.

Also Read


I hope you have understood the article on functions of switch & the advantages and disadvantages of switch in computer network. It has always been my endeavor to provide you with complete information about whatever topic we have written so that you do not need to search any other site or internet in the context of that article.

If you have any doubt in your mind regarding this article, then you can tell us your doubt in the comment box. We will do our best to solve your problem.

If you liked the article here, then share it with your friends, family members, and on social media. Anyone who wants to know about the switch can have access to the information here.

!!Thanks for reading this article!!

Leave a Comment