What is a switch?

Written by on Thursday, July 17, 2008 22:07 - 1 Comment

What is a switch and what types of switches exist

Networks are segmented into various parts and held together by switches. Switches can be used to connect different types of networks together, like an ATM machine connected into the network of a retail store; a switch would be used for that purpose. Switches have many different applications from connecting the network to ensuring security of a network by creating mirror data. Small networks belonging to home offices or small businesses usually have one switch where as a large corporation may have many linked managed switches to connect their network together.

Different types of switches serve different purposes. Switches used on Ethernet networks have port speeds of either 10/100 Mbps or 10/100/1000 Mbps. Meaning that the switch can switch from 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps automatically. Larger switches can support an average of 10 Gbps. This shows that switches can have different ports of speed unlike hubs.  Another type of switch is Power Over Ethernet or POE, these switches supply power to the device along with the data.

Switches can be unmanaged, managed, or smart managed. Unmanaged switches do not have settings or options. Managed switches, found commonly in larger networks, can be configured and different features can be used. Smart managed switches have a limited amount of features and/or can be web managed, they are the in between of managed and unmanaged. As far as cost is concerned, unmanaged switches are the cheapest, smart managed switches are a little more expensive yet cheaper than managed but of lower quality. Managed switches are usually the most expensive but they have a higher quality and are the best of the three switches. ')}

Article written by MyComputerAid.com

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Aug 24, 2008 5:35

This is something I always had to explain to people I know. The differences between switches, routers, hubs, modems,.. What I’m more curious in though is with new switches and routers that support either the straight or the crossover cables.

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