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Can I Use Uplink Port as Normal Port?

With the increasing demands towards bandwidth, a hot topic has gained more and more attention. That is, can I use uplink ports on switch as normal ports? To answer this question, we first need to learn about the shared port and dual-purpose port, and then we’ll solve the puzzle.

Shared Port and Dual-Purposed Port

Some older network equipment specially configured a normal port next to the uplink port and linked the two together as a pair. Specifically, the traditional hardware logic of these products supported connections to either the uplink port or the normally shared port, but not both. Connecting devices to both ports of a shared port device stop the unit from functioning properly. Nowadays, many network equipment offers a dual-purpose port that can function either as an uplink or a normal port depending on the type of device connected to it. A dual-purpose uplink is a combination of one 10/100/1000TX copper port and one SFP-based Gigabit Ethernet port. One of these two ports can be used at a time. This added uplink flexibility allows the use of high-density, fiber-uplink-based stacks. Dual-purpose uplinks also offer a full-duplex, gigabit-speed trunk for a stack. In a word, that’s to say, we can use the uplink port as a normal port based on specific demands.

How to Use Uplink Port as Normal Port?

Now that it is known that we can use uplink port as normal link, there follow some details we need to pay attention to. For fiber uplink ports, SFP/SFP+ as examples, are ports that what’s the manufacturer expects you to uplink a core switch on another floor or in another building, or somewhere too far away for a copper run. In that sense, there’s nothing unusual about an uplink port vs standard port. As for RJ45 uplink ports, they are usually wired as a crossover, so there is a physical difference compared with normal RJ45 switch ports.


In fact, the uplink port can serve as a normal port. Although there are some minor differences in use, actually no substantial ones exist. The only difference is that the uplink port is connected to a higher layer network device to aggregate the bandwidth and must be connected to the normal port on another network device. Hope this article will make you clearer about the normal port and uplink port on switch.



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