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Time: August 8th, 2023

In this article, we will talk about the much-asked query of what is layer 2 network is and how its works in a typical network. We will also briefly touch on the basic concepts regarding this topic. 

The data link layer of the OSI model is sometimes called the MAC layer. It's responsible for addressing and packet reassembly, as well as error handling. The data link layer is composed of two sub-layers: Media Access Control (MAC) and Logical Link Control (LLC).

What is Layer 2 Network?

Layer 2 is the second layer of the data link in the OSI model and is responsible for delivering data between two endpoints. It's responsible for converting electrical signals into digital form, transmitting them across a network medium, and then converting them back into electrical signals at their destination. It's composed of a physical sublayer and a logical sublayer:

  • Physical - The physical sublayer corresponds to the physical medium (cable) through which information travels in your computer network. This includes things like copper wire or fiber optic cable that connects devices via hubs/switches/routers.
  • Logical - The logical sublayer defines how data gets transmitted between hosts on different networks using different networking protocols such as Ethernet (IEEE 802) or WiFi (IEEE 802).

Layer 2 Protocols

They are used to transmit data across a LAN and are the second layer of the OSI model. Examples of popular layer 2 protocols include Ethernet and WiFi. Most common network devices use a combination of both Layers 1 and 2 to communicate with other devices on the same network segment (or subnet).

For example, if you have an IP address that belongs to your router's subnet (192.168.,0), then any device within range should be able to communicate with it over Ethernet port 1 by using TCP/IP or UDP/IP as its transport protocol; this includes computers connected wirelessly via Wi-Fi or directly through cables plugged into each machine's ports.

Difference Between Layer 2 and Layer 3

The topic what is layer 2 network also relates to the layer 3 layer. They are two layers of the OSI model. Layer 2 is a physical layer, which is concerned with the physical aspects of a network. It deals with how data travels over a network cable or wireless signal, such as speed and flow control. Layer 3 is a network layer, which is concerned with the logical aspects of a network. It deals with routing packets from one node to another node to reach their destination efficiently.

Optimizing Your Network for Layer 2

The data link layer is the second of seven layers in the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. It manages physical and data link connections between network nodes, and it allows devices to communicate with each other over a network. 

Layer 2 protocols are used to manage these connections, allowing multiple devices on different networks to talk to one another without having to use layer 3 routing protocols like RIP or OSPF. Layer 2 does this by creating virtual circuits between source and destination hosts so that packets can be forwarded across networks as if they were traveling along a single cable.

There are still a lot of networks running outdated SNMP implementations or even networks without SNMP enabled. This will have an immediate effect on their capacity to identify and map Layer 2 connections. Therefore, it's crucial to optimize your network by ensuring that your infrastructure has been configured correctly if you want Layer 2 data. 

Any map that contains Layer 2 switches can automatically be updated to show how those devices are interconnected and the ports through which they are connected when Layer 2 is used with network mapping software. You can typically choose from a variety of Layer 2 scanning options with these tools. You can either throttle the scan to only show your switching backbone, or you can perform a full scan of your entire infrastructure, including endpoint connects.

You can get a detailed breakdown of network activity and device statuses from Layer 2. In real-time, you'll be able to quickly learn how devices were set up and whether they're functioning properly. It will be easier to keep your network operating smoothly if you can find a dependable network monitoring solution that enables you to create Layer 2 maps.


This concludes our take on the topic of what is layer 2 network. Now that you know the basics of the data link layer, it's time to put your knowledge into practice. Take some time to review your network and see if there are any ways in which you can use Layer 2 protocols like Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) or Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP) to improve it. This will help ensure that your devices are communicating efficiently with each other so they don't cause congestion at any given point on your network!

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