Tag Switching (Label Switching)

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What Does Tag Switching (Label Switching) Mean?

Tag switching is a flexible and efficient network communication mechanism used to transmit Internet Protocol (IP) traffic over a telecommunications network. Tag switching supports different networking routes, and its simplicity appeals to major network vendors.

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Tag switching is also known as label switching.

Techopedia Explains Tag Switching (Label Switching)

Tag switching, which integrates router and switch functionalities, is a proprietary Cisco protocol. Packets are tagged with particular information and routed to their destination via routers (tag-edge routers), switches (tag switches) and protocols (tag protocols). Tag switching provides dynamic functions, including vendor and network IP scalability.

Multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) is a new all-in-one technology that is gradually replacing the tag switching functionality.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.