Switching techniques are methods of connecting devices and transferring data in a network. There are two main types of switching techniques: circuit switching and packet switching.
In circuit switching, before a communication starts, a dedicated path is identified between the sender and the receiver. This path is a connected sequence of links between network nodes. All packets follow the same path established during the connection.
In packet switching, each information or message to be transmitted between sender and receiver is broken down into smaller pieces, called packets. These packets are then transmitted independently through the network . Different packets of the same message may take different routes depending on availability.
Each packet has two parts — a header containing the address of the destination and other information, and the main message part. When all the packets reach the destination, they are reassembled and the complete message is received by the receiver.
Unlike circuit switching, a channel is occupied in packet switching only during the transmission of the packet. On completion of the transmission, the channel is available for transfer of packets from other communicating parties.