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Difference between a switch and a Layer 2 switch

What is the difference between a switch and a Layer 2 switch? Why should someone go for Layer 2 switch instead of a switch?
A layer 2 switch is the lowest switch level. It is smart enough to send messages out the port the message is addressed to. A layer 3 switch is where you would notice a difference. Layer 3 switches are basically routers but are easier to configure and generally cost less. Layer 3 switches can span multiple routing protocols where layer 2 cannot.
This was last published in May 2003

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