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Glossary: Network switches for use with home networks

A network switch is a device which allows more than two network devices to be linked via Ethernet. As Ethernet is a 1-to-1 connection, only 1 device can be connected to another. A switch offers multiple network ports on a single device and contains electronics to send the right information to the right device. Switches are nowadays set to work at either 100 or 1000 Megabits per second, but are also backward compatible so that older devices which operate at 10 Megabits per seconds can connect.

Ethernet switches usually come with 8, 16 or 32 ports. Most home routers usually have a small switch built in and allows a few network devices to be connected. Aditionally, switches can be connected to each other by Ethernet cable which allows an unlimited number of network devices to be used on your network.

Published on August 15th, 2008 by James Drinkwater

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