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When a switch has the ability to learn what MAC addresses each of its ports serves, then uses that to determine which port to send ethernet packets out, what is that feature called?

Also, does every switch with that feature also support ethernet broadcasts?

I need to spec out some switches that have this functionality but I'm not sure what the correct terminology is.

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closed as off-topic by Katherine Villyard, Ward, mdpc, Avery Payne, Falcon Momot Feb 15 at 6:44

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Both of these features are part of the primary function of all modern switches. –  Avery Payne Feb 14 at 22:20

2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

When a switch has the ability to learn what MAC addresses each of its ports serves, then uses that to determine which port to send ethernet packets out, what is that feature called?

That's called. Wait for it...switching. All switches do that, and it's a key differentiator between hubs and switches.

Also, does every switch with that feature also support ethernet broadcasts?

Yes.

I need to spec out some switches that have this functionality but I'm not sure what the correct terminology is.

If that's all you need, any $10 switch from your local tech store will do. Be advised, though, that you are going to want managed "smart" switches. You may not realize that want now, but you will kick yourself later if you purchase unmanaged switches.

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Ohhh; thanks. I really had it all wrong! I mistakenly thought this was something that only "managed" switches do, and I didn't really know what a hub did. –  Jason C Feb 14 at 2:18
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Fortunately hubs are going the way of the dodo.Hubs were more or less a "repeater", taking in a frame from one port and sending it out over all the other ports. –  EEAA Feb 14 at 2:36

It's called switching. If it didn't have that feature it would be a hub.

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Oh. I guess it was too obvious for me to figure out! –  Jason C Feb 14 at 0:58

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