Network Switch

So you have a small and home-based business or office? If you have, then probably, your network is nothing more than a combination of PC, router, and a modem. However, if you’re planning to expand your business as well as your network, you may easily find your router running out of ports to link more PC’s to it.

If that happens, getting a network switch is in order! A network switch is a device that allows you to link up multiple computers together through a local area network or LAN. Looking at its appearance, network switches look identical to network hubs.

However, when it comes to price and intelligence, network switches rank far higher than hubs. Unlike network hubs, switches have the ability to inspect the packets of data they receive, determine the source and destination of the packet, and send them as instructed. By doing so, a network switch can greatly aid you in conserving your network’s bandwidth…and generally, they perform far better than hubs.

There are different types of network switches. Each type of network switch can support specific numbers of devices connected to them. Usually, network switches that are meant for average consumers can provide four to eight connections. If you find that a single network switch isn’t enough to link your networks together, you can daisy chain them to add larger number of computers and devices connected to your LAN.

Network switch is a term specifically used for the device that connects the network segments and hence called computer networking device. The commonly used term for network switch is the network bridge as it processes and routes the data. There are also network layer switches and multilayer switches for the processing and routing of the data. Kalpana introduced the first Ethernet switch in the year 1990 so you can see the technology has been around for a while.

The network switches form the integral part of the local area network systems and also play an important role as Ethernet local area network systems. Small office home office applications use a single switch, or an all-purpose converged device like gateway access to small office or home office broadband services like DSL router cable. Wi-Fi router. In most of these cases, the end user device has a router and components that interface to the particular physical broadband technology.

Let’s take a look at some types of network switches and what they do:
Unmanaged Network Switches – This type of network switch doesn’t have any configuration, option, or interface in them. If you’re running a small or home office, or if you’re linking multiple computers for gaming, unmanaged network switches are your best bet.

Managed Network Switches – Unlike their unmanaged counterparts, managed network switches allow you to access one or more interfaces for configuring and managing your network. They have features like Spanning Free Protocol, port speed, VLAN’s, etc.

Enterprise Network Switches – Also known as high-end switches, enterprise switches can provide a web interface. They come in higher quality than managed network switches and they’re used for managing larger networks. They also provide a serial console as well as command-line access through telnet and Secure Shell.

Smart Or Intelligent Network Switches – Last but not the least; we have smart or intelligent network switches. They are managed network switches but they have limited features. These switches are in between unmanaged and managed network switches…a hybrid if you will. They are web-managed, cost lower than managed switches, and they provide a web interface that lets you configure it with the basic network settings.

Knowing what exactly you want to do with your network, determining how large your network would be, as well as knowing the number of devices you want to connect to it should help you determine what type of network switch you should opt for.

This Network Switch Review is Written/Updated on Aug 24th, 2009 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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