by Cisco Systems, Inc.
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Published on: October 2008
Type of content: WHITE PAPER
Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Length: 1 page
When looking at networking basics, understanding the way a network operates is the first step to understanding routing and switching. The network operates by connecting computers and peripherals using two pieces of equipment; switches and routers. Switches and routers, essential networking basics, enable the devices that are connected to your network to communicate with each other, as well as with other networks.
Switches are used to connect multiple devices on the same network within a building or campus. For example, a switch can connect your computers, printers and servers, creating a network of shared resources. The switch, one aspect of your networking basics, would serve as a controller, allowing the various devices to share information and talk to each other. Through information sharing and resource allocation, switches save you money and increase productivity.
There are two basic types of switches to choose from as part of your networking basics: managed and unmanaged.
- An unmanaged switch works out of the box and does not allow you to make changes. Home networking equipment typically offers unmanaged switches.
- A managed switch allows you access to program it. This provides greater flexibility to your networking basics because the switch can be monitored and adjusted locally or remotely to give you control over network traffic, and who has access to your network.
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