What is Switching and Its Types in Computer Network


In a Computer Network, Switching means sending information from one computer to another computer over the network. In short, we can say that it is a method of transmitting information between the two ports from one port to the destination port. It is known as “Switching”.

Let’s take an example: Suppose there is computer A who wants to send the information to computer B, but both devices are far to communicate with each other. To make communication between them switching method is used to provide the information from one device to another device. The devices are far so that they cannot do direct communication, for the communication: switching helps to provide the best path for data transmission via the switching terminals.

Types of Switching

There are three types of switching:

  • Circuit Switching
  • Message Switching
  • Packet Switching

Circuit Switching

Circuit switching is a switching method that creates a dedicated path between the transmitter and the receiver it is known as “Circuit Switching”. This type of switching is designed for the “Telephone Netwoking” where the connection between the sender and receivers established before the transmission of the data.

This is the oldest type of switching where there was no OSI model or TCP/IP model invented. At the time of where Computer Network was not established that time this technique is used to make the connection of two physical devices. Lets take an example: When you try to call your friends or someone else that time the your phone rings, Rings means your device trying to connect with those person who you are trying to call and that time the telephone exchange got the signals from the sender and send it to the receiver. When you friends accept your call then we can say that your device and receiver device connected successfully to share the audio data between it.

Message Switching

This type of switching comes from the circuit switching. As we saw in circuit switching it says that for transmitting the data, first it have to make the connection between the device then you can able to transmit the data. But in message switching it is not required to make the connection. It can send the message directly from switch to the device via hop by hop. At the time of sending the data’s every node saves the complete message before forwarding it to the next node. It is known as “Message Switching”.

Packet Switching

Packet switching is almost same as message switching, the differences is message switching sends the all the bulk of data to the hop or we can say switching terminals then it can transmit the data. But in “Packet Switching” the data/ packets are divided in the form of packet then goes to the hop/switching terminals after that it can decide which past is best to transfer the data from one device to another device is known as “Packet switching”.

As in the given diagram the data’s are divided into four packets 1,2,3 and 4 after that it distribute and take the path of switch and send it to the device 2.

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