A network switch is a computer networking device, which uses packet switching to connect devices together on a computer network in order to receive, process and forward data to the destination device. There are two common types of switch: managed switch and unmanaged switch, both of which play an important role in home network. So should I use managed or unmanaged switch for home network?
What Is a Managed Switch?
A managed switch can be configured and managed correctly to provide a more tailored experience for users. It not only offers tools and means to monitor the network but also gives the network administrator greater control over managing and prioritizing LAN (local area network) traffic. Managed switch allows users in charge of setting everything up, but users have to take all the responsibility for the operation.
What Is an Unmanaged Switch?
An unmanaged switch, on the contrary, is a plug-and-play switch that already has all the required program settled, and does not require user intervention, setup or configuration. Here’s one thing to note: the unmanaged switch is manufactured with a standard configuration that cannot be changed, you should think twice before you buy it.
Managed or Unmanaged Switch for Home Network?
Managed switch is able to be configured for more advanced functions while unmanaged switch can’t. Knowing the differences between the two will do a favor in selecting managed or unmanaged switch for home network.
Differences and Similarities Between Managed and Unmanaged Switch
- They allow multiple devices to connected to the network to communicate with each other.
- An unmanaged switch is a “plug and play” switch, simply allows Ethernet devices to communicate with one another, such as a desktop PC or router.
- A managed switch not only provides all the features of an unmanaged switch but also gives you the tools and means to monitor your LAN traffic for a stable and ideal network.
- A managed switch prioritizes through configuration changes whereas an unmanaged switch is shipped with a fixed configuration and does not allow any changes to this configuration.
Managed Switch for Home Network
A managed switch offers high-levels of network security. It incorporates STP (Spanning Tree Protocol) to provide path redundancy to keep your network safe. So if you need to handle some sensitive information at home, we recommend going with managed switch. It is able to implement VLANs, which allow network administrators to group devices together without running new cables or changing the network infrastructure, to prioritize user traffic for a better performance in a network. A managed switch allows you to configure port mirroring to forward copies of traffic to a single port on the same switch for analysis by a network analyser. The benefit of using managed switch at home is you can diagnose and fix problems without taking the network out of service. In short, a managed switch is ideal for operations that require monitoring and control capabilities. It costs the most, but worth the price over time.
Unmanaged Switch for Home Network
However, an unmanaged switch will work in the most basic form. It can’t be modified or managed. It allows your devices to connect with one another, handles everything automatically. If you’re using unmanaged switch in your home or a small network of fewer than 5-10 computers, it provides ample support. To sum it up, an unmanaged switch is ideal for primary learners with cheaper price.
Now that you know the advantages of managed and unmanaged switches, also the differences between them, you should be able to decide managed or unmanaged switch for home network. For home network, managed switch is for configuring, managing, and monitoring, while unmanaged switch is for simple operating, low in cost. If you are still unsure about the features mentioned above or are confused about the problem confronted, please do not hesitate in getting in touch with FS.COM, we will be more than happy to help with your networking needs.