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Switches

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DEFINITION: Also see repeater, hub, bridge, gateway, and router.In a telecommunications network, a switch is a device that channels incoming data from any of multiple input ports to the specific output port that will take the data toward its intended destination. In the traditional circuit-switched telephone network, one or more switches are used to set up a dedicated though temporary connection or circuit for  … 
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SWITCHES DEFINITION (continued): …  an exchange between two or more parties. On an Ethernet local area network (LAN), a switch determines from the physical device (Media Access Control or MAC) address in each incoming message frame which output port to forward it to and out of. In a wide area packet-switched network such as the Internet, a switch determines from the IP address in each packet which output port to use for the next part of its trip to the intended destination. In the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) communications model, a switch performs the Layer 2 or Data-link layer function. That is, it simply looks at each … 
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