Even though switches are primarily used for ethernet connections, they also support other networks such as IB, ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode), and Fibre Channel. Earlier, most people depended on hubs, but network switches quickly took over as they posed several advantages – the most important one being reducing unnecessary network traffic. However, switches are only suitable for data exchange within local area networks and cannot do so on the internet as they cannot read IP addresses. Regardless, there is a lot more a buyer should know before buying network switches, and this comprehensive buying guide will be a helping hand.
High-Performance Ports & Easy Configuration
When buying network switches, buyers need to consider the number of built-in ports, and while most come with five ports, others have anywhere between eight to sixteen. However, the choice entirely depends on the number of devices one wants to connect. But buyers also need to make sure they go for network switches with lightning-fast and high-performance gigabit ports for high-speed data transfer. Similarly, one should prefer plug and play switches with an easy configuration process – meaning there should not be the need to install any additional software and can be set-up rather quickly.
Broad Compatibility and Power Management are Essential
Besides computers, network switches can be used to connect to a host of devices, including printers, IP phones, IP cameras, and other access points. So, one needs to make sure the network switch they select is compatible with all such devices and not just desktops. Some switches come with intelligent power management that cuts off lower priority ports' power when the total power consumption exceeds a specific limit. Similarly, a few network switches are equipped with power usage optimisation technology to help lower operation costs – and buyers should consider such smart features.
What Else Should Buyers Know?
Buyers should go for fan-less network switches as they do not produce extra noise, especially if installing one in noise-sensitive environments. It is also essential to ensure the network switch has durable and robust construction like those with corrosion-resistance and high-quality metal casing – also, the more the mounting options, the better. One must choose network switches with built-in LED indicator lights so you can always monitor the activity and auto-negotiation features for automatic connections. Lastly, buyers should purchase network switches with lifetime or extended hardware warranty and easy exchange & replacement policies.
Categories Simillar to Network Switches includes Powerline Network Adapters