Switches

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Switches
What are the advantages and disavantages of using a switch in a network?

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The only real disadvantage that occurs to me is that if you are NOT the administrator of the network, then you can spy on your colleagues – Not much of an advantage from a security perspective, I can assure you.

Since switches forward all broadcast packets, but no unidirected ones (or at least until the MAC address table is fully populated), I can’t think of any disadvanted to using them – other than to monitor traffic (spy).

Bob

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  • Squasher
    In comparison to what? Switches are virtually essential in LAN topology. As far as "spying" - this is not a disadvantage or advantage.
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  • Tomjaeger
    Assuming you mean a switch vs a hub. A hub is a dumb device that forwards all traffic to all ports. A switch only forwards traffic to the port that the traffic is addressed to. So as a rough guideline lets say you max out ip traffic at 75% ... above that and you start getting collisions that causes the packet to be resent causing more collisions. on a hub that is 100 mb you will get 75 mb total for all traffic combined. on a switch you can get 75 mb per port depending on setup. if it has a gigabit port for your server you could have 10 clients all sending 75 mb for a total of 750 mb in theory. As far as packet sniffing "spying" any quality switch will have the ability to specify a port to recieve all network traffic duplicated. very important for statful packet inspection ..... intrusion detection for security. Please excuse my spelling / grammer ... been up 24hrs and not about to care lol
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