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What is a network segment? Is a network segment the same as an Ethernet segment?

What is a network segment? Is a network segment the same as an Ethernet segment?
A network segment is a logical group of computers that share a network resource. This can be accomplished with a router, VLAN, switch segmentation, etc. Unfortunately, with a hub, everyone sees every packet which is why they have pretty much died in the market. Switching is a much better technology. You can segment a network either logically (through VLANs or mapping) or physically (connecting switches back to a core).

If you can picture all connections coming into a hub, the packet travels through every port. With a switch, it can read the MAC info, or in the case of a Layer 3 switch, the IP address info, and it will skip over any ports that do not need the packet and switch it over to the port that does through the switching fabric.

This was last published in November 2004

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