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The current standard Ethernet switches are based on the Spanning Tree (ST) protocol. Their most important restriction is that they can not work when the topology has active loops. In fact, the ST protocol selects a tree from the real topology by blocking the links that are not involved in the tree. This restriction produces a network traffic unbalancing behavior saturating those link near the root switch while rest of links will be idle or with a very low utilization. This paper proposes a new transparent switch protocol for Gigabit Ethernet backbones that considerably improves the performance of current ones. The proposed protocol is named ALOR for Active Loops and Optimal Routing. ALOR protocol could be used in the last stage of a fat tree network in order to allow a final backbone with active loops. So, rings, mesh and other regular/irregular active loop topologies can be used to connect the Gigabit switches in order to obtain better performance results.