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Definition of Switching Techniques

Switching Techniques are the techniques that are used and applied on a large network. Switching technique comes into picture when these large network needs to transfer the packet from source to destination i.e. from sender to receiver. The packet ready for transmission from source to destination needs to trace the route from which the transmission of packets will take place. The process of selecting the available route for data transmission of packets from sender to receiver is known as Switching. There are two types of popular switching techniques like circuit switching and packet switching with their own significance.

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Switching Techniques

There is the varied classification of switching technique which is used for the large network to communicate among themselves for message transfer or for sending some packets from source to destination. This way it is used for various hierarchies and arrangements of data in the network route. Thus following is the hierarchy of various switching techniques:

Circuit Switching Technique

Time Division Switching Technique

Space Division Switches

Message Switching Technique

Packet Switching

Datagram Approach

Virtual Circuit Approach

Circuit   (PVC)


1. Circuit Switching Technique

Circuit Switching Technique is a switching technique where the available path between sources to destination is adopted for any packet transmission.

Once the connection is successfully published then the adopted path as per availability remains to exist without any disturbance i.e. in terms of termination it is long-lasting.

Circuit switching in any public telephone network is used for voice transmission.

If circuit switching technique is applied and then any user wants to send the data for transmission and data can be any video, request or voice then that video is sent to destination receiver and then acknowledgement is provided to the user who sends the data.

In-circuit switching technique only fixed set of data can be transferred and proper path from source to destination should be available.

Communication Switching Technique involves three main stages :

Circuit connection establishment

Transfer of Data

Disconnection of Circuit

Further, this communication switching technique is divided into two :

Time Division Switching Technique

Space Division Switching Technique

Space Division Switching Technique involves circuit switching technology in which a single transmission path is adopted to segregate the set of crosspoints separately.

2. Message Switching Technique

Message Switching Technique is a technique that is used for transferring a message as a complete entity and gets routed through nodes that are intermediate and are used to store and forward the messages in sync.

In Message switching, there is no specific continuous path between source and destination i.e. receiver.

The intermediate node based on information is appended to the message with the destination address on top of it.

Message switches provide the most efficient route which is programmed in a most prominent way.

This network has a tendency to store and forward the network and its information to the next node which treats each message as an independent entity.

Priority of message can be done to use and manage network and also the size can be of unlimited type.

There might be a delay in time due to the forwarding and storing of message feature available in the Message Switching Technique.

3. Packet Switching Technique

This form of switching technique is used for dividing the message into smaller chunks so that it can be sent to the destination receiver individually without any issue.

The message packaged inside the packet gets split into small pieces and is given a unique number in order to give an identity to the receiving end.

Each packet comprises information that is stored in its headers such as sequence number, a destination address, and source address.

Packets try to cover the shortest path available across the entire travel network.

The order of the packets at the receiver end is in order and gets reassembled once received.

Once the order received in the receiver end is correct and is in proper sequence then in that case the acknowledgment message will be sent to the user.

Basically, two types of approaches are tried and adopted for packet switching which is as follows:

In any packet switching technology wherever the packet is present is in the form of the datagram and is considered an independent entity as mentioned earlier.

Also, the packet switching can further e bifurcated into two types:

Connectionless Packet Switching

Connection Oriented Packet Switching

Connectionless Packet Switching is a switching technique where the connection and packet transfer is complete and consists of information about the entire message in the header which is routed individually.

In the connection-oriented Packet Switching technique data packets are first arranged and reassembled in a format then that data is numbered sequentially to send across the circuit which is predefined and then it is routed sequentially.

There might be a chance of bouncing a packet from one source to another source especially from source to destination once hopped from one router to another router.

This kind of loss of packets and incomplete information in the destination creates a lot of problems with respect to performance as together this set of lost data might get clustered somewhere thus creating hindrance. Hop count is used as a solution to this problem and takes care of keeping track of it by making the packet reach its destination.


Switching Techniques play a very pivotal role in the networking domain. Any network in use makes use of switching with respect to packet, time, and IP addresses therefore making all the concepts useful and easy to understand with implementation to the nodes which are present for hopping and address migration.

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