Practical Networking .net

What is the Native VLAN?

The Native VLAN is an oft confused concept, though it needn’t be. This video will explain what the Native VLAN is and how it affects traffic on a wire.


An Access port (or “untagged port” in the non Cisco world) is a switch port which carries traffic for only one VLAN.

A Trunk port (or “tagged port” in the non Cisco world) is a switch port which carries traffic for multiple VLANs.

When frames traverse a Trunk port, a  VLAN tag is added to distinguish which frames belong to which VLANs. Access ports do not require a VLAN tag, since all incoming and outgoing frames belong to a single VLAN.

The Native VLAN is simply the one VLAN which traverses a Trunk port without a VLAN tag.



  1. Ashish Mishra says:

    Very informative

  2. Dude, this material is absolutely top notch. Colour schemes, explanations!! Congratulations with the material. The ASA NAT article was awesome, full kudos for that.

  3. Palanikumar says:

    Absolutely fantastic material with perfect diagram which makes readers eye catching. Worth reading always as expected from you guys. Keep it up

  4. Leonardo Dias says:

    Hi Ed,

    As always you do in your articles, it is clear and right to the point.

  5. East or West, Ed Harmoush’s article is always best.

    We all are excited for your next article. After going through your articles we don’t have to look for another to understand the concepts.

    In short I would say “one stop for all networking concepts”.


  6. One question; what does it mean when the command ‘encapsulation dot1q 1 native’ is used on a trunk port?
    Does it mean tag the native vlan on this trunk? ; or
    Assign vlan 1 as the native vlan on this trunk (untagged, of course)

    I would assume the former, since by default vlan 1 is set the native vlan (on trunk ports)

  7. super explanation of VLAN . Kudos to the author.

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