Computer Hardware Terms, Glossary and Dictionary
A switch is a networking device that connects network segments. Technically, network switches operate at layer two (Data Link Layer) of the OSI model. They were developed from the electronic hub, where the hub provided a central nodal device for a star-configured network. In a shared hub, all star network connections receive a broadcast frame. A switch is similar to a hub in that it provides a single broadcast domain, but differs in that each port on a switch is its own collision domain. Generally, a switch contains more "intelligence" than a hub. Network switches are capable of inspecting the data packets as they are received, determining the source and destination device of that packet, and forwarding that packet appropriately.