Spanning Tree Protocol

Abbreviated STP, a link management protocol that is part of the IEEE 802.1 standard for media access control bridges. Using the spanning tree algorithm, STP provides path redundancy while preventing undesirable loops in a network that are created by multiple active paths between stations. Loops occur when there are alternate routes between hosts. To establish path redundancy, STP creates a tree that spans all of the switches in an extended network, forcing redundant paths into a standby, or blocked, state. STP allows only one active path at a time between any two network devices (this prevents the loops) but establishes the redundant links as a backup if the initial link should fail. If STP costs change, or if one network segment in the STP becomes unreachable, the spanning tree algorithm reconfigures the spanning tree topology and reestablishes the link by activating the standby path. Without spanning tree in place, it is possible that both connections may be simultaneously live, which could result in an endless loop of traffic on the LAN.

Webopedia Staff
Webopedia Staff
Since 1995, more than 100 tech experts and researchers have kept Webopedia’s definitions, articles, and study guides up to date. For more information on current editorial staff, please visit our About page.

Related Articles

AutoIt Scripting Language

AutoIt is a popular and easy-to-learn scripting language used by developers since 1999 for quick software development. Here’s more about AutoIt scripting language, its...

Sales CRM

A sales CRM, or customer relationship management (CRM) tool for sales, is frequently the centerpiece of sales operations for a variety of business use...

HighLevel CRM

HighLevel is a sales and marketing customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed by the company HighLevel. Because it's uniquely designed for marketing agencies, HighLevel...

CRM Manager

A customer relationship management (CRM) manager is a person that oversees all customer and client relations within a business. They specialize in customer interactions...

AutoIt Scripting Language

AutoIt is a popular and easy-to-learn scripting language used by developers since 1999...

HighLevel CRM

HighLevel is a sales and marketing customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed by...

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)

As enterprise networks become increasingly distributed with growing numbers of remote workers, unified...