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Understanding Switches


Define, compare, and contrast hubs and switches.

Hubs act on the physical layer and are classified as Layer 1 devices. They connect several
computers together in a local network. It passes on all received information to the connected

Switches act on the Data Link Layer. Unlike hubs which relay information to all the ports,
switches control the flow of network traffic. They forward packets to the appropriate port. This
results in the reduction of unnecessary traffic.

2. On which OSI model layer, do switches reside?

Layer 2 Data Link Layer

3. On which OSI model layer to hubs reside?

Layer 1 Physical layer

4. What information does the first half of the MAC address contain?
Manufacturer ID

5. What information does the last half of the MAC address contain?
Unique device IDwhat identifies the device.

6. What access methodology does Ethernet utilize?

Carrier Sense/Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD)

7. Briefly explain the difference between managed and unmanaged switches.

Managed switches allow for user configuration, unmanaged switches follow stock configuration
and dont allow user configuration.

8. Compare and contrast full and half duplex.

Full duplex allows back and forth communication at the same timetwo way traffic.
Half duplex allows one way at a timeone way traffic.

9. What is VLAN? Briefly describe its function.

VLAN stands for Virtual Local Area Network. VLANs act as if all the computers are connected,
physically, when in fact theyre only connected virtually, but act as a local area network.
10. What is the QOS? Briefly describe an environment where it would be useful?
Quality of Service prioritize network packages. While streaming videos, video packets are

11. What is the spanning the spanning tree protocol? What problem does it prevent?

The spanning tree protocol prevents more than a single path to be active between 2 switches, thus
preventing data loops in the network.
SOHO Routers

1. What differentiates a SOHO router from an Enterprise Router?

SOHO routers are less costly but lack certain functions that Enterprise routers have. Enterprise
routers are more costly.

2. When youre dealing with an ISP, why would you want a static IP address?

Static IP addresses are permanent IP addresses. Dynamic IP addresses change. Having a static IP
addresses avoids having to reconfigure the configuration settings.

3. What functions (services) do you normally find in a SOHO router?

DHCP, DNS, port forwarding, and firewall services.

4. What does a firewall do?

Firewalls block access to specific ports, thus closing them to unauthorized users.

5. With a SOHO router, why would redundancy be desirable?

If service were to go down, a secondary connection would be able to be used to keep the
network running.

6. What is a DMZ? Why would a small company want one?

Demilitarized Zones allow for two levels of security on the same internet connection. Devices can
be separated depending on whether they should be secure or not.

7. In a small office what would be the disadvantage of using enterprise level routers?
Configuring enterprise routers is more difficult, enterprise routers are too costly.