How does a router or switch direct a packet?

How does a router and switch know which device requested what?

Steve Smith talks about how a router and switch sends data to the right device.

Episode #6-08 released on October 24, 2015

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I've talked before about the use case scenarios that may require an additional switch in your network. And, many of you will understand that because all routers come with 4 Ethernet ports, and only 4, no matter how much you spend on your consumer router, if you wish to connect more computers you have three choices. Go wireless, not always good. Go get another router and have a subnet, which can may things more complicated. Or, get an unmanaged consumer switch and connect that to your router.

Getting a consumer switch, which is unmanaged and connecting to your router is easy for anyone. It makes extending your network to include more hard wired devices easier. But, the question is, how does that work exactly?

Yes, you could use a cheap hub, but why? It will reduce the overall effectiveness of your network traffic, and make data travel slower, whereas a network switch will properly analyze and send the traffic to the right place, but how does it know this?

All your devices have a unique MAC address, and this allows the router itself, which, also, has a built in switch, to send traffic to the correct devices. Even the switch has its own unique Mac address, and every wireless receiver. Because all of your devices have their own unique MAC addresses, it makes it easier to send data exactly where it belongs, instead of flooding the entire network with the same information where only the correct device could use the data anyway. It limits the amount of useful data transmitted.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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