Ask the Expert

Why do switches need to support so many MAC addresses?

Why do switches need to support so many MAC addresses?

Requires Free Membership to View

Switches are unlike hubs or repeaters. A hub simply rebroadcasts every signal on every port to every other port, which (while inefficient and slow) is easy to create. A switch, on the other hand, intelligently directs traffic between systems by routing packets only to their proper destination. To do this, it keeps track of the MAC addresses of the NICs plugged into each port. MAC addresses need to be unique or at least highly unlikely to be repeated for this to work, which is why manually setting a MAC address can have unexpected consequences in a switched network.

This was first published in March 2003

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: