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Types of VLAN connection links - Trunk Links and Access Links

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There are two types of VLAN connection links and they are Access link and Trunk link.

The difference between access link and trunk link are given below.

• Access link: An access link is a link that is part of only one VLAN, and normally access links are for end devices. Any device attached to an access link is unaware of a VLAN membership. An access-link connection can understand only standard Ethernet frames. Switches remove any VLAN information from the frame before it is sent to an access-link device.

• Trunk link: A Trunk link can carry multiple VLAN traffic and normally a trunk link is used to connect switches to other switches or to routers. To identify the VLAN that a frame belongs to, Cisco switches support different identification techniques (VLAN Frame tagging). Our focus for CCNA Routing and Switching examination is on IEEE 802.1Q.

A trunk link is not assigned to a specific VLAN. Many VLAN traffic can be transported between switches using a single physical trunk link.

Following picture shows the difference between access and trunk links.

Access and trunk links

The dotted lines in above picture are access links and solid line connecting two switches together is a trunk link. The access links are part of only one VLAN and carry traffic to only the end devices connected to that particular VLAN. But a trunk link is used to connect switches to other switches or to routers and can carry traffic from multiple VLANs.

Cisco supports trunk links on both Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet ports.

              Jajish Thomason Google+
Related Topics
• What is Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN)
• Advantages of VLAN
• How to create and name static VLAN
• How to view VLAN information using "show vlan" command
• VLAN Frame Tagging
• Inter-Switch Link (ISL) VLAN Tagging
• IEEE 802.1Q VLAN Tagging
• What is Native VLAN
• How to configure VLAN trunk link and native VLAN
• How to configure and assign a switch access port to a VLAN
• What is VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP)
• What is VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) Domain
• VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) Modes
• VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) Advertisement Messages
• How to configure VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP)
• How to view VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) information
• What is VLAN Trunking Protocol (VTP) Pruning
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