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Switch Buying Guide

Switches enable you to connect multiple computers, printers and other devices to your LAN (Local Area Network) using Ethernet cabling. Devices connect to the switch via a port. Switches vary in size, from 4 ports up to 52 ports and beyond. Switches can also be connected to additional switches to increase port capacity as your business grows. Once connected to a switch, computers and devices can transfer information between them, including messages, emails, files and printer instructions etc. A switch cannot access the Internet; this functionality requires a device called a router that switches connect to.

Managed Switches

These have a full set of management features, including CLI, SNMP agent, and web interface. They may have additional features to manipulate configurations, such as the ability to display, modify, backup and restore configurations. Compared with smart switches, enterprise switches have more features that can be customized or optimized, and are generally more expensive than smart switches. Enterprise switches are typically found in networks with larger number of switches and connections, where centralized management is a significant savings in administrative time and effort.

Smart Managed Switches

These have a full set of management features, including CLI, SNMP agent, and web interface. They may have additional features to manipulate configurations, such as the ability to display, modify, backup and restore configurations. Compared with smart switches, enterprise switches have more features that can be customized or optimized, and are generally more expensive than smart switches. Enterprise switches are typically found in networks with larger number of switches and connections, where centralized management is a significant savings in administrative time and effort.

Unmanaged Switches

Plug and play, you plug and they work or they don?t. No management or configuration can be done.



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