What is Trunking? An easy-to-understand explanation of the basic concepts of network technology

Explanation of IT Terms

What is Trunking? An easy-to-understand explanation of the basic concepts of network technology


In the world of computer networks, trunking is a term commonly used to refer to a method of combining multiple network connections into a single, high-capacity connection. It plays a crucial role in efficiently managing traffic and ensuring smooth communication between devices in a network. In this blog post, we will explore the basic concepts of trunking, its benefits, and how it works in network technology.

The Basics of Trunking

Trunking, in the context of network technology, involves the aggregation of network links or channels to create a single, logical connection. This connection is capable of carrying multiple signals simultaneously, effectively increasing the available bandwidth and enhancing network performance. Trunking is often used in Ethernet networks, where it is referred to as Link Aggregation or EtherChannel.

The Benefits of Trunking

Trunking offers several benefits for network administration and management. It provides increased bandwidth, which allows for faster data transfer rates and improved network scalability. By combining multiple links, trunking also enhances network reliability by providing redundancy. If one link fails, traffic automatically switches to the remaining functioning links, minimizing downtime and ensuring uninterrupted network connectivity.

How Trunking Works

Trunking involves the use of a protocol or technology to aggregate the individual network links into a single logical connection. One commonly used protocol for trunking is the IEEE 802.3ad standard, also known as Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP). LACP allows multiple physical links to be combined into a Link Aggregation Group (LAG), which acts as a single logical link.

In a network employing trunking, devices capable of trunking, such as switches, establish a trunk link between each other. These trunk links, also known as trunk ports, are configured to carry traffic from multiple VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks) simultaneously. By encapsulating and tagging the traffic, trunking ensures the correct delivery of data to the appropriate VLANs on the other end of the trunk link.


Trunking is a fundamental concept in network technology that enables the aggregation of multiple network links into a single, high-capacity connection. By combining links, trunking provides increased bandwidth, better scalability, and network redundancy, enhancing overall network performance and reliability. As network demands continue to grow, trunking remains a crucial tool in effectively managing traffic and optimizing network resources.

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