Switches

Network switches are vital parts of a network.  They allow all the computers and devices on the network to communicate at the same time. The two main type of switches are managed and un-managed switches.  Simple networks may have only hubs or old, un-managed switches.  To meet the demands of today’s faster internet and computer speeds, it’s best to have managed, high-speed switches.

A Business-Class Switch

  • Is stackable
  • Is manageable
  • Has redundant power supplies
  • Has firmware that is upgradable
  • Has multiple connections for Gigabit, Fiber and Standard Ethernet devices

Definitions
Managed switch: allows the network administrator access to the necessary tools to regulate, monitor and secure the network.
Stackable switch: is fully functional operating alone but can also be set up to operate together with one or more other network switches.

Should You Upgrade to a New Switch?
Residential-grade hubs and unmanaged switches were often used in offices because they are inexpensive and easy to setup. Managed switches cost more, but also allow for more configuration options. They can be programmed much like routers, something hubs can’t accomplish.  They also allow administrators to troubleshoot more efficiently.

Switches, VLANs and Wireless

Managed switches help administrators build Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) which allow for networks to be split into sections that are separate from each other.

  • A private and public network
  • An executive and staff network
  • A student and teacher network

When managed switches and VLANs are combined with compatible Wireless devices it can create a private WIFI network for staff and a public WIFI for guests.