What Is a Network Switch?


Quick Answer

A network switch is a piece of hardware used to join two or more computers into a local area network, usually through an Ethernet connection. Network switches for consumer use are designed for four to eight connections, while corporate switches connect 32 to 128 computer connections.

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Full Answer

A network switch works by directing data within the network, inspecting it to determine its destination and then sending it directly to the correct device. Network switches can be connected together in a daisy chain to provide more connections for devices in the local area network. They replace earlier networking technology that required data to be sent to all devices in a network until reaching the destination, reducing the overall bandwidth used for the data.

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