Network Switch is a gadget used in networking which acts as a facilitator for the exchange of information between multiple devices in a network. It enables computers and other hardware equipment to talk to each other more efficiently along with the provision of internet connection to them. Connection mechanism used by network switch is “Packet Switching”.
What’s different than Hub?
The primary function of Network hub and switch is just the same, but hub broadcasts information on the whole network exposing it to all devices. On the other hand, network switch ensures the security of information by exposing it only to the destination device.
The basic purpose of every network/Ethernet switch is to provide internet and information transmission platform to the computing gadgets, but depending on the frequency, type and scale of use, different types are suitable in different circumstances. 4 important types are discussed below.
Local Area Network Ethernet switch is the type of switches which connects points on a company’s internal LAN. The benefit of using LAN switch is that it distributes bandwidth in a manner which is economically useful. Overlapping data packets are blocked by this device and it delivers important bandwidth first, after which remaining get the chance to be delivered.
Unmanaged Network Switch:
This is a simple and easy to use network switch which permits computers/hardware equipment on the same network to communicate with each other. It’s just like a plug and play thing. No technical knowledge is necessary to use this specific instrument.
This sort of network switch is also used for interconnection of various devices within a network but it offers multiple customization and configuration features as well. Managed switches have further two types:
1. Smart Switches, which have limited options and which allow the user to change some basic settings of the switch using a web interface.
2. Enterprise Switches, as the name suggests have much more than ordinary switches including a wide range of customization options and numerous features resulting in more efficient management. These switches are a little expensive than ordinary switches but you can’t find a replica having such capabilities.
4th type of network switches going to be discussed here is a Router. This networking assistor sends data packets along a network. It also has the ability to connect more than two networks.
Advantages of Network Switch:
Network switches have many benefits, some of which are listed below:
- Efficient handling of data packets
- Collision Management
- Two way information flow
- Locating issues in the network is easy.
What to consider while buying:
Many factors of technical and non-technical nature should be under consideration of the buyer while buying a network switch. Most critical aspects are discussed below.
Ethernet switches don’t only carry the ability of handling high internet speed but they actually improve the internet speed. Gigabit switches can handle internet speed up to 1,000 Mbps.
The way a network switch forwards data packets is necessary to be known. Most renowned forwarding method is store-and-forward which provides the leverage of converting LAN speed as well. This feature must be checked before going for a particular device.
The time a gadget takes for the processing of incoming or outgoing data packets is switching speed and this is what decides the eminence of a network switch.
Cutting it short, network switch is the basic need of your networking environment whether it’s a home-based system or a corporate structure. You definitely need to have an insight into the device you’re going to purchase. Its data handling capacity, switch modes and network speed everything must be checked in. You need to know your requirements clearly too because this is the pathway which will lead you to the most appropriate network switch for your network.