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What Is a Switch Network Diagram?

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  • Written By: Dulce Corazon
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 26 July 2014
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A switch network diagram illustrates the use of a switch on a network in a home environment. The usual diagram includes representations of the switch, desktop computers or laptops, the Internet, and other devices such as printers, game consoles and other networks. It is a simple diagram that focuses on the connections of a network and how the connected devices interact with each other. A very effective switch network diagram is something that cleanly shows the devices and their connections as clearly and as simple as possible.

The central device of this simple representation of a network design is the ethernet switch, which is sometimes called the ethernet hub. An ethernet switch is a device capable of automatically dividing a network into several segments. A switch network diagram shows how an ethernet switch can make it possible for multiple computers — desktop or laptop — to network with other devices and each other. Usually, an ethernet switch can support up to four connections from various types of computers and network-capable devices.

Designing a network using a switch network diagram may not work at times because of the limitation in connections. This can usually be remedied by removing optional network components or devices such as games consoles, Internet access, scanners, and even printers. Adding another ethernet switch is frequently necessary in order to accommodate these extra or optional devices.

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The main drawback of using an ethernet switch is that all computers that are connected to it should have a functioning ethernet network adapter. Another drawback of using an ethernet switch is that in order for it to connect to the Internet, it has to be connected to a computer that is designated to control Internet access for all the other computers in the network. This is often an important thing to consider in creating or designing a switch network diagram.

Network diagrams can come in the form of tree diagrams or flow diagrams. A switch network diagram cannot be really classified as a sub-class of either tree diagrams or flow diagrams. This is because its connections do not have a clear structure, especially if multiple ethernet switches and devices are involved. To create network diagrams, including a switch network diagram, there are available software applications that can be purchased online. These applications can assist users in representing a network design in a clean and elegant manner and style that people can easily understand.

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Discuss this Article

nony
Post 3

@Mammmood - I have a home computer network and I love it. It’s almost like a smart house.

I was amazed at how easy it was to put together, too. If you want to build a home network and you’ve never built one before, start by taking a look at a network diagram example online. You can find these diagrams everywhere and they are high level enough that anyone – even a total beginner – will understand the basic idea of how to put them together.

If you’re not that tech savvy, just print out the diagram and take it to the computer shop. Tell them what you want to do, and they’ll see that they get you the right devices, cables and stuff to get it going. They may even offer to come and help you set it up (for a fee, of course), but I don’t think it’s all that hard. If you can connect cables, you can set up a home network.

Mammmood
Post 2

@everetra - That’s certainly a solution. Personally, I don’t think that home networking arrangements are all that complicated either way, whether you go with one switch or two.

If you want real complexity take a look at a WAN network diagram. I used to work for a school system and they wanted to hook up all their schools wirelessly.

We had some IT folks come in and they convinced the administrators to lease a big broadband line and use it to broadcast wireless signals to ten schools in the system.

They put together a WAN network diagram which had flowchart lines from the main line to the first hub in the network, which broadcast signals to other schools.

Unlike a typical network diagram, they didn’t have all the signals emanating from one hub however. Some of the other schools had direct wireless connection (kind of like a peer network) to other schools, depending on their proximity to each other.

everetra
Post 1

While most Ethernet switches have about four ports, this is woefully inadequate for many networks that have more than four devices.

In these situations, most network diagram examples will solve this problem by hooking up another switch as the article talks about. While you can certainly add another switch, I think it adds to the complexity of the network.

I’ve found an alternative. I’ve been able to find Ethernet switches which have eight ports. This is more than enough for my home network arrangement. I have two computers, a couple of printers and some game consoles. I can route everything through one Ethernet hub without making any substantive change to my network.

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