The Different Types of Network Switches and Which Ones You Should Use

an example of a network switch

What is a Network Switch?

A network switch is a computer networking device that keeps your computer users connected to each other and/or the internet. From printers, to computers, to game consoles and DVD drives, this system allows the smooth flow of data transfer to the designated device. Streaming videos from a different device and downloading pictures while you are in the other room, are just some examples of the function of this switch.

There are different types of switches made available. Depending on the number of devices you have and the number of people using the network, you have to choose the right kind of switch that fits your space.

Types of Network Switches

LAN Switch or Active Hub

Also known as the local area network or Ethernet switch, this device is used to connect points on a company’s internal LAN. It blocks the overlap of data packets that run through a network by allocating the bandwidth economically. When we say bandwidth, it refers to the amount of data that can be carried from one point to the other under a given period of time. With a LAN switch, it reduces the network traffic by delivering the data only to its intended recipient. The important bandwidth would first be delivered before the subsequent ones.

Unmanaged Network Switches

Mostly used in home networks and small companies or businesses, this device allows other devices on the network to connect with each other; it could be from one computer to the other, or a computer connected to a printing device. As what the name suggests, this type of device does not need to be watched constantly and it is the easiest and simplest installation, because of its small cable connections.

Managed Switches

Unlike the unmanaged network switch, this device is customizable; because of this feature, you can enhance the functionality of a certain network. This device has two types – Smart switches and Enterprise switches.

Smart switches have limited features, but provide a web interface and accept configurations of basic settings. They are perfect for fast and constant LANs which support gigabit data transfer and allocations.

Enterprise switches have a wide range of management features and the capability to fix, copy, and transform and display network configurations. They are usually found in large companies which contain large numbers of connections, nodes, switches, and ports. Having more features than the smart switches, Enterprise switches are usually more expensive.

Routers

You may be more familiar with this device than any other switches that were described. A router is an electronic device that sends data along networks. It is usually connected to LANs or WANs, and is capable of connecting more than two networks.

Choosing the correct switch for your home or business will increase your data transferring efficiency and network connectivity. If you need any assistance with installing any network related devices, then contact LeBlanc Communications at: 203-938-8400, or visit our contact page here.

We, at LeBlanc Communications, prove the best maintenance and installation services for all your networking needs in the surrounding areas of Stamford, Norwalk, and Greenwich, Connecticut and New York. We also have the best communications products from the most trusted brands!