With network switches, you can connect various devices to a computer network. They do it with the help of packet switching by receiving, processing and forwarding data to a desired device.
Types of Network Switches
These types of switches are very popular at places where there are constant changes to the network configuration.
Expansion modules are application-specific like wireless, firewall or network analysis.
Modules can also comprise additional interfaces, cooling fans and power supplies.
Fixed Configuration Network Switches
Unmanaged Switches- If you need some extra Ethernet ports at your place to help with your wired devices, unmanaged network switches are the best for this purpose.
Smart Switches – These are considered as a ‘light’ edition of managed switches. They require a specific level of management and are less scalable. Smart switches are comparatively cost-effective substitute and are excellent for low complexity networks. With these switches, you can divide the network into work-groups by making VLANs. However, the amount of segmentations is lower as compared to what you would get with managed switches.
Fully Managed L2/ L3 Switches – These switches offer users with the most inclusive set of features. You can imagine getting the highest level of security and the most accurate management and control of the network.
Features of a Network Switch
Switches are offered in a variety of speeds. The speeds are classified as follows:
Fast Ethernet (10/100 Mbps)
Ten Gigabit (10/100/1000/10000 Mbps)
Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/100 Mbps)
The most accepted speed on the market at present is ‘Gigabit Ethernet’ however; ‘Ten Gigabit’ has been growing in demand rapidly, particularly within data centre environments.
Users can avail fixed configuration switches in 5, 8, 10, 16, 24, 28, 48 and 52-port configurations. You can choose one according to your requirements. However, 8 port network switches and 16 port POE network switches are most widely used.