Definition of autosensing in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Autosensing (in computer networking)?

Technology in which a device can determine the characteristics of an attached device and configure itself accordingly.

For example, a port on an autosensing 10/100-Mbps Ethernet switch can automatically detect whether the attached station has a 10-Mbps or 100-Mbps network interface card (NIC).

This is a useful feature that allows a combination of 10BaseT and Fast Ethernet connections in a single local area network (LAN). Often during migration and system upgrades you’ll find a combination of slower, legacy networking equipment and faster, more modern devices.

These devices might need to coexist together for months or years, depending on the budget available for upgrades. Using autosensing hubs and switches makes this coexistence cheap and simple, and allows a full upgrade to the faster configuration later—without purchasing additional equipment.