EtherChannel aggregates multiple switched links together to load balance over redundant paths between two devices. All ports in one EtherChannel must have the same speed, duplex setting, and VLAN information on all interfaces on the devices at both ends. Settings configured in the port channel interface configuration mode will also be applied to the individual interfaces in that EtherChannel. Settings configured on individual interfaces will not be applied to the EtherChannel or to the other interfaces in the EtherChannel.

PAgP is a Cisco-proprietary protocol that aids in the automatic creation of EtherChannel links. PAgP modes are on, PAgP desirable, and PAgP auto. LACP is part of an IEEE specification that also allows multiple physical ports to be bundled into one logical channel. The LACP modes are on, LACP active and LACP passive. PAgP and LACP do not interoperate. The on mode is repeated in both PAgP and LACP because it creates an EtherChannel unconditionally, without the use of PAgP or LACP. The default for EtherChannel is that no mode is configured.