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1. A switch is a piece of a physical circuitry component that governs the signal flow. Having a switch or toggle switch allows a connection to be opened or closed. When opened the switch allows a signal or power to flow through the connection. When closed the switch stops the flow and breaks the circuit connection.

NETGEAR network switch2. On a network, a switch is a hardware device that filters and forwards network packets, but often not capable of much more. The first network device that was added to the Internet was a switch called the IMP, which helped send the first message on October 29, 1969. A network switch is more advanced than a hub but not as advanced as a router. The picture shows an example of a NETGEAR 5 port switch.

3. A switch is also a button or lever that can be switched to turn a device on or off.

Illustration of how a scissor switch keyboard works.4. With a computer keyboard, a switch is what is beneath each key that gives the key a response when pressed. For example, a scissor-switch is a type of switch used with laptop computers. In the picture, is an example of a scissor-switch and how the key is compressed when pressed.

5. When referring to another command, a command switch is an available option that can be used with the command. For example, the command: "fdisk" can be used with the /MBR switch, using "FDISK /MBR" would allow the user to recreate the master boot record and not just run the fdisk program.

Tip: If you want to see all available switches for a command search for the command on our site. Each of our command pages have a full listing of all available switches with an explanation on each switch.

6. When referring to the switches command, this command is loaded through config.sys and allows you to add and remove various functions of MS-DOS. See the switches command for further information about this command.

7. Switches is also a config.sys command that allows the user to add and remove features of early versions of MS-DOS and Windows. See the switches page for further information on this command.

Also see: Argument, Bridge, Connection, Electronics terms, Network terms, Parameter, Programmer's switch, Router