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What is a 12 Port Switch?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
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A 12 port switch is a device used as a hub to allow multiple computers or similar devices to have network connectivity and Internet access through a single modem. The term 12 port switch comes from the switch itself having ports for 12 different devices to be connected to it and thereby to each other. These ports can be used to establish multiple computers on a single local network and to give those computers Internet access through a single modem, as well as access to other devices such as printers, scanners, and miscellaneous input devices.

Port switches, often referred to as hubs, are devices that allow the creation of local networks between multiple computers and other devices. Such a network allows a business to connect different computers for easier transmission of information and file sharing between machines. With a 12 port switch, this sort of network can be established between 12 computers or similar devices, which can be useful for a small business or a larger business for use in individual departments or building floors.

Though the name itself certainly implies limitation to 12 devices, the term can sometimes be used as a general term for any hub that will allow connectivity to 12 or more devices. These are often extended versions of the basic 12 and can allow 24, 48 or more devices to all be networked together and connected through the single hub. Such devices can certainly be expensive, but they include features intended to boost the productivity of a network created through such devices.

A 12 port switch can often have signal boosters built into the device to allow information to be transferred between machines more quickly and efficiently. This is especially beneficial in work environments where large files may be sent or voice conferencing is allowed through the network. Surge protectors can also be included to ensure that if there is some type of power surge due to electrical accident, the surge is not carried through the entire network to damage every machine plugged into it.

More complicated hubs and machines can be used to create more advanced networks that allow a greater number of users or more diverse infrastructures. A 12 port switch is most often used for simpler networks built around easy connectivity and network management. Due to the expense, however, simpler hubs or routers may be preferable for users looking to connect only a few machines together.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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