Step-By-Step Guide: What To Look For When Buying A Network Switch

A network switch is an essential component of any modern business. It allows you to connect multiple computers and devices on a single network, as well as enable other wireless communication such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and more. So what should you look for when buying a network switch? In this blog post, we will run through a step-by-step guide that will help you figure out what to consider before making your purchase. We’ll discuss the different types of switches available, the features you should consider and how to choose the right one for your business. Ready to get started? Let’s go!


What is a Network Switch?


A network switch is a device that allows you to connect multiple devices to a single network. A switch allows you to create a separate network for each device, which can be very useful if you have a lot of devices that need to be connected to the internet. For example, if you have a computer and a printer that both need to be connected to the internet, you can use a switch to create two separate networks. This way, your computer can be on one network and your printer can be on another.


The Different Types of Network Switches


There are two main types of network switches: Managed and Unmanaged. Each have their own benefits that make them ideal for different situations.


Managed Network Switches:

A managed switch gives you more control over your network. You can configure things like VLANs, Quality of Service (QoS), link aggregation, and port security. This is perfect for businesses who need more control over their data traffic or who have high-bandwidth applications running on their network. Managed switches also come with a web interface or console interface that allows you to change the settings and monitor the activity on the switch.


Unmanaged Network Switches:

An unmanaged switch is a good choice if you have a small network or you don’t need all the features that a managed switch offers. Unmanaged switches are plug-and-play, which means they’re easy to set up and don’t require any configuration. They’re also less expensive than managed switches. However, since you can’t configure things like QoS or VLANs, an unmanaged switch might not be suitable for larger networks or businesses with complex data needs.


When choosing a network switch, it’s important to first assess your needs and then decide which type of switch is best for your situation.


Pros and Cons of Each Type of Network Switch


The following is a list of the pros and cons of each type of network switch:


Managed switches:

-Pro: offer more control and configuration options than an unmanaged switch

-Con: require more technical knowledge to set up and manage

-Pro: can be fine-tuned to specific needs

-Con: may be more expensive than an unmanaged switch

-Pro: can be monitored and managed remotely

-Con: may require additional software or hardware to do so


Unmanaged switches:

-Pro: are much easier to set up and manage than a managed switch

-Con: offer less control and fewer configuration options

-Pro: are usually less expensive than a managed switch

-Con: cannot be fine-tuned to specific needs

-Pro: can still be monitored, but not as easily or extensively as a managed switch


What to Look for When Buying a Network Switch


When you’re looking for a new network switch, there are several factors to consider. Here are the most important things to look for when choosing a switch:


  1. Ports and connectivity. The number of ports on a switch is important, but not always the most important factor. You also need to consider the type of ports offered and whether they’re compatible with your devices. For example, if you have a lot of devices that use Ethernet, you’ll want a switch with Ethernet ports.


  1. Speed and bandwidth. Network switches come in different speeds, measured in Mbps (megabits per second). The higher the Mbps rating, the faster the switch can handle data traffic. If you have a lot of devices on your network or you transfer large files often, you’ll want a switch with a high Mbps rating.


  1. Management features. Some switches come with built-in management features that make it easy to monitor and control your network traffic. If you have a complex network or you need granular control over your traffic, look for a switch with advanced management features.


  1. Quality of service (QoS). QoS is a feature that allows you to prioritize certain types of traffic on your network so that mission-critical data always gets through first. If you have time-sensitive applications or VoIP calls, look for a switch with QoS capabilities.




Getting the right network switch for your business is a crucial decision that requires careful consideration and research. We hope that this guide has been useful in helping you understand what to look for when shopping for your new network switch so you can make an informed decision. With these tips, you should be able to find a great option that meets all of your requirements without breaking the bank. Good luck on finding the perfect networking switch!

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