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Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab
Discovering computer networks: hands on in the Open Networking Lab

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3.1 Switches, routers and ports

In this part you will look at what switches and routers look like and how other network devices are physically connected to them via ports.

Watch the video below, which is about 4 minutes long.

Switches, routers and ports

Download this video clip.Video player: 16_switches_routers_and_ports.mp4
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Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Now you will have a chance to explore a simulated network for yourself.

Activity 1 Try it out

10 minutes

  • 1. Open PT Anywhere [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] in a new tab or window so you can read these instructions.

  • 2. Click on the connections between the various devices.

  • 3. Can you find out the type of connections (e.g. FastEthernet) between devices and the ports they are connected to?

    Click Reveal answer if you would like a hint.

  • This information should show underneath the device names once you have clicked on the connection. They should all be either FastEthernet connections (typically between the switch and PCs) or GigabitEthernet connections (even faster connections between network devices).

    The /1 or /2 indicates the port used for that connection.

  • 4. Can you find out how many FastEthernet ports the switch has?

    Click Reveal answer if you would like a hint.

  • Click on the switch and Edit device. Select Interfaces and click on the drop-down arrow next to name. You should find there are 24 FastEthernet ports.

  • 5. Add another PC and connect to the switch with a FastEthernet connection. What port has this used?

    Click Reveal answer if you would like a hint.

  • Drag and drop a PC to the workspace. Click on connect devices and follow the instructions on screen. Select FastEthernet and the first available port (/4).