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What you need to know when choosing a network switch

Published on 24 April 13
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When picking a network switch, itâs important to think through a number of different factors. Network switches provide a more comprehensive alternative to a hub for a large network, helping to direct data between different ports. Particularly useful at being able to regulate the speed of an Ethernet connection, as well as different security layers and LANs, having the right network switch means considering the best option for the size of a business, as well as what levels of management control and security are needed to keep a network running at the right level. Extra features are also available with high quality network switches, which can allow for VoIP and other Internet services to run without slowing down a network.

Primarily, itâs necessary to think about how large your network is, and the switch, or number of switches that you need. A small business can use a basic switch that can be kept on a desktop, or included as part of a rack mounted server cabinet. The more network switches you have running, the more time needs to be spent on ensuring that there is enough space within server cabinets and racks, as well as easy access to ports, as well as proper ventilation. Cable management solutions, and environmental monitors and sensors can be used to prevent over heating, as well as keeping network switches away from the danger of static charges and condensation.
What you need to know when choosing a network switch - Image 1Image credited to: Wikimedia Commons - Geek2003
Larger businesses with multiple devices also require switches with more advanced features and security layers. An unmanaged switch that directs data packets to individual ports can usually run on default settings for a small business, while a managed switch will require a set up that ensures the right data is sent to the right ports, and that local networks can be established, and different security levels established.

Managed switches typically require remote and browser monitoring to ensure that data packets are encrypted, and that individual ports are configured to prevent data from going to the wrong place. An admin is able to monitor traffic on different layers, and to manage the speed, and the priority of ports. Network switches can work particularly well with secure shell (SSH) encryption to ensure that the right access levels are maintained. Larger networks similarly benefit from stackability, whereby different switches can be configured to increase speeds and make LANs more efficient.

Current switch technology is designed to handle superfast broadband speeds over an Ethernet and fibre optic connection, and are also designed to be compatible with VoIP systems. Options for power output and data priority can be made for various ports, with a network switch also able to offer Power Over Ethernet functions for VoIP ports that reduce the amount of AC connections needed for a network. High-quality network switches should also allow administrators to go into specific data for port mirroring and copying of data as part of troubleshooting strategies. Network switches with roving analysis ports are typically used for this kind of troubleshooting, and work as part of the overall management of data packets and port set-ups across a network.


SJ is a super geek, who thinks network switches are awesome. She is always tinkering with her home network, and researching different large networking devices and structures. She can be found blogging about the different hardware and software involved in network management.







When picking a network switch, itâs important to think through a number of different factors. Network switches provide a more comprehensive alternative to a hub for a large network, helping to direct data between different ports. Particularly useful at being able to regulate the speed of an Ethernet connection, as well as different security layers and LANs, having the right network switch means considering the best option for the size of a business, as well as what levels of management control and security are needed to keep a network running at the right level. Extra features are also available with high quality network switches, which can allow for VoIP and other Internet services to run without slowing down a network.

Primarily, itâs necessary to think about how large your network is, and the switch, or number of switches that you need. A small business can use a basic switch that can be kept on a desktop, or included as part of a rack mounted server cabinet. The more network switches you have running, the more time needs to be spent on ensuring that there is enough space within server cabinets and racks, as well as easy access to ports, as well as proper ventilation. Cable management solutions, and environmental monitors and sensors can be used to prevent over heating, as well as keeping network switches away from the danger of static charges and condensation.

What you need to know when choosing a network switch - Image 1
Image credited to: Wikimedia Commons - Geek2003

Larger businesses with multiple devices also require switches with more advanced features and security layers. An unmanaged switch that directs data packets to individual ports can usually run on default settings for a small business, while a managed switch will require a set up that ensures the right data is sent to the right ports, and that local networks can be established, and different security levels established.

Managed switches typically require remote and browser monitoring to ensure that data packets are encrypted, and that individual ports are configured to prevent data from going to the wrong place. An admin is able to monitor traffic on different layers, and to manage the speed, and the priority of ports. Network switches can work particularly well with secure shell (SSH) encryption to ensure that the right access levels are maintained. Larger networks similarly benefit from stackability, whereby different switches can be configured to increase speeds and make LANs more efficient.

Current switch technology is designed to handle superfast broadband speeds over an Ethernet and fibre optic connection, and are also designed to be compatible with VoIP systems. Options for power output and data priority can be made for various ports, with a network switch also able to offer Power Over Ethernet functions for VoIP ports that reduce the amount of AC connections needed for a network. High-quality network switches should also allow administrators to go into specific data for port mirroring and copying of data as part of troubleshooting strategies. Network switches with roving analysis ports are typically used for this kind of troubleshooting, and work as part of the overall management of data packets and port set-ups across a network.

SJ is a super geek, who thinks network switches are awesome. She is always tinkering with her home network, and researching different large networking devices and structures. She can be found blogging about the different hardware and software involved in network management.

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