What are the Port Types of Ethernet Switch?

Switch has abundant types of ports, which varies with the development of different LAN and transmission media. According to the function, the ports of switch can be classified into data ports and management ports. As the name suggests, data ports are mainly responsible for data transmission and management ports are used to configure and manage switch. Now, let’s see what ports there are exactly!

1. Data Ports

RJ45: It’s the most common port on the switch with 8 grooves and 8 contacts. It’s assessable with an ordinary cable and a crystal connector. It transmits data sometimes and also works as a management port;

SFP:  Exchanging ports of optical and electrical signals; Adopting optical fiber access; Because signals have higher transmission rates and remoter transmission distance. It’s widely applied in the fast Ethernet and can be seen on a number of high-performance switches.

Data Rate Types of line  Types of ports Farthest Distance
 FE(100M) Cable RJ45 100m
Fiber SFP 80km
GE(1000M) Cable RJ45 100m
Fiber SFP  100km
10GE (10000M)  Cable RJ45 100m
Fiber SFP+/XFP 80km
40GE Fiber QSFP+/QSFP28  40km
100GE Fiber QSFP28  30km

2. Function Ports

Combo port

A combo port is a single interface with two front ends, an RJ-45 connector and an SFP module connector. In other words, it is a compound port that may support two distinct physical connections while sharing the same switch fabric and port number. However, the two different physical ports cannot be used at the same time. That is, if the SFP port is used, the equivalent copper port is deactivated, and vice versa. The benefit is that numerous types of connectivity can be provided without taking up underutilized switch fabric, providing users the freedom and flexibility to build their switch for their specific application needs.

Stack port

stack port is a specific functional port on the switch that connects to other stacking switches of the same model, brand, and software version to work as a single stacked switch. This group of switches has the features of a single switch but the combined port capacity of the switches. A stack port can also be an uplink port, but certain switches may have a specialized stack port. FS S3900 Series stackable switches, for example, use uplink ports to stack with DAC, AOC, or transceiver modules and fiber patch cables. This approach is incredibly cost-effective, flexible, and perfect for long-distance connections.

PoE port                      

Power over Ethernet (PoE) allows a single network cable to carry both data and power. IEEE 802.3af, also known as PoE+, gives power up to 30 Watts on a switch port, whereas IEEE 802.3at, commonly known as PoE, delivers power up to 15.4 Watts on a switch port. PoE ports operate in accordance with these two specifications. However, when the distance increased, the power would be diminished. The PD’s minimum guaranteed power is 12.95 watts per port for PoE and 25.5 watts per port for PoE+.

3. Network Architecture Ports


Access port is used to connect desktop computers, notebook computers, printers, and other devices, which can only be connected to access links. Usually, an access port can only belong to one VLAN. It means that the access port can only be a member of this specific VLAN. Besides, the access port only transmits data frames for this VLAN. All data frames not classified as this VLAN will be discarded. Among them, the access port will only send and receive data frames in the native format, and will not carry out VLAN tagging, that is to say, the data frames will not carry any VLAN tags.


Trunk port refers to the connection ports between switches/between switches and routers/between switches and servers, which can be connected to trunk links. The trunk port allows multiple VLANs to pass through and can receive and send packets of multiple VLANs at the same time. Trunk ports are VLAN-aggregated ports that connect to other switch ports, while access ports are the ports of a switch that connect to hosts in the VLAN.


Hybrid port refers to the connection port used to connect network equipment and user equipment, which is used to connect hybrid links. The hybrid port can support both untagged VLANs such as access ports and tagged VLANs like trunk ports. Like the trunk port, the hybrid port can also allow multiple VLANs to pass through and can receive and send packets of multiple VLANs, but the difference is that the hybrid port can allow packets from multiple VLANs to be sent without tagging. The trunk port only allows packets of the default VLAN to be sent without tagging. Although hybrid ports are similar to trunk ports in many ways, hybrid ports have more port configuration capabilities.


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