The switching principle was originally used exclusively in data packet switching of data packet networks; since the beginning of the 1990s, it has also been used as LAN switching in LAN infrastructures. LAN switching can be used to achieve a significant increase in throughput in LAN networks. In this case, the various LAN segments of a network are not connected by a conventional bridge or router, but by more powerful switching systems. These are capable of switching more data packets simultaneously and without significant delay. In local area networks (LAN), the total throughput between LAN segments can thus be increased to many times the respective local transmission capacity.
Switching technologies are used in all high-speed networks, both in the local area and in wide-area networks.