Difference Between Managed and Unmanaged Switch?

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Switches are essential in putting up a network for your business. It is a must that you also understand what comprises your network and the considerations in setting up one. Thus, knowing the difference between managed and unmanaged network switches is just one of the things you need to oversee.

You might start looking for the best unmanaged switch right away. This could be due to the convenience of plug and play. Let’s try to understand the difference between managed and unmanaged network switches first. You might not know yet the best things a managed switch can offer.

To start, we need to understand the terms we are talking about. What is a switch? What is an unmanaged network switch? What is a managed network switch? These are basic definitions that we need. Then, we’ll check on the difference between managed and unmanaged network switches.


Managed vs Unmanaged Switch

To start, we need to understand the terms we are talking about. What is a switch? What is an unmanaged network switch? What is a managed network switch? These are basic definitions that we need. Then, we’ll check on the difference between managed and unmanaged network switches.

What Is a Switch?

There are a wide variety of switches. However, in setting up a network, it refers to a piece of hardware that establishes a connection. A switch connects an entire Local Area Network (LAN) by accommodating multiple devices. This is done thru packet switching. Packet switching filters and forward data from one device to another. Knowing what a switch is can help you determine the basic difference between managed and unmanaged network switches.

In a business environment, a switch connects several units of computers on a desk that needs to communicate. This communication establishes their connection with each other via shared folders. To make this possible, you need Ethernet cables for a communication hub that allows the sharing of data. The difference between managed and unmanaged network switches is not a consideration in this basic switch function.

Since a switch connects the number of devices that a network covers, its size could range from 5-48 ports. All these ports will accommodate cables from different devices sharing the same network. Understanding how a switch works for your business will help you appreciate knowing the difference between managed and unmanaged network switches.

What Is an Unmanaged Switch?

An unmanaged switch is a convenient kind. You can call it the typical plug and play switch. It allows Ethernet cables to connect several plug and play devices without the hassle of configuration. This is the advantage of a fixed configuration that does not allow alterations. This is the main difference between managed and unmanaged network switches.

An unmanaged network switch is shipped all ready for network setup. Its function ranges from setting up a small workgroup up to a large business network. However, customization based on your business needs is limited.

What Is a Managed Switch?

All the functions of the unmanaged switch are present in a managed switch. On top of that, it provides the ability to configure, manage, and monitor your Local Area Network (LAN). This provides advanced features to control your LAN traffic. That marks the difference between managed and unmanaged network switches.

The thing about IT control is that you need the skills and the time to use that control. It is more of a responsibility to ensure that your network is in good shape. Since you have access to the configuration of your network, you also have the chance to make or break your business network setup.

Managed VS Unmanaged Switch

You can sum up the difference between managed and unmanaged network switches in the allowance for configuration.

You can control and prioritize when you are using a managed network switch. You can apply changes in the configuration and customized based on your business network needs.

On the other hand, an unmanaged network switch uses standard configuration. You can’t change them. They are functional to the extent of establishing a network. It requires little to no technical help in setting up your network.

The managed network switch provides add ons on top of the configuration allowance. This includes tools for monitoring, configuration, and improvement of the performance of your network. This will ensure stability and consistency.

However, a managed network switch costs more than an unmanaged network switch. That is quite understandable. This is because of the better technical specifications that managed switches provide. This allows IT management, configuration and even Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs).

To sum it all up, the difference between managed and unmanaged network switches is the technical features. These features are only available in managed switches.

Unmanaged switches provide the basics. Managed switches step up the network configuration game. That is the difference between managed and unmanaged network switches.

The best choice depends on your business needs and your capacity to manage the network. When you face the difference between managed and unmanaged network switches, always choose the one that could benefit you.