Cisco switches can perform the functions detailed in this chapter without any configuration. You can buy several switches, turn on the power, and cable the devices to the switch—and everything works! So, if the CCNA INTRO exam wanted to test you about only things you have to do to a switch to get it working, you would not even need this chapter.
Of course, Cisco wants you to know how switches work. Not only is that necessary for the CCNA exams, but it also helps you in a job as a network engineer. So, in this chapter, you will learn about bridges and switches and how they are both similar and different. You will learn how switches operate. You will also learn about a few related concepts, such as the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), which is used to prevent Ethernet frames from looping around the network.
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