Network switches are used for businesses and homes as a way to ensure that individual computers work together in the most efficient way. A switch works to regulate different signals and the amount of data that passes through a network, and can be configured to limit the risk of viruses and unauthorised access, as well as preventing a network from becoming overloaded. Similarly effective at keeping port mirrors working, and able to regulate priority and MAC settings, a network switch is one of the most important devices for keeping a complex network running. When buying a network switch, it’s worth thinking through some of the following areas:
1 – The Size of a Network
Different switches are available depending on how much traffic a network has to deal with. Key things to consider include whether or not the switch has to be used for a set number of computers, or whether this will change on a regular basis. Moreover, it’s important to consider the extent to which different administrative privileges will have to be set up for individual users, and how this can be monitored. Having a specific security protocol in case for these networks also makes it possible to set up a network switch to verify and help to produce logs of the redistribution of data between different devices and users.
2 – Remote vs On Site Administration
It’s often a good idea to have a network switch set up that can be configured and updated on site via an IT support team, but can also be worked on from a remote distance in case of any unforeseen errors. Wireless log in, and remote monitoring can help to ensure that a network does not experience any significant problems when a technician is not on site for a business.
3 – Security
Security is a crucial feature for a network switch, and should be factored into the design of a network via firewall software that can boost the day to day filtration of important data for a business. As previously noted, a clear security plan and levels of access for individual users can make a network switch an important gateway for controlling a network.
4 – Extra Features
The size and type of a switch will vary depending on the amount of data that the network experiences on a regular basis. Multilayer switches are more expensive than single layer switches, but have the advantage of being able to deal with a more extensive range of data. High speed networks that run an Internet connection of 50 to 100 Mbps are more lily to be able to handle a number of tasks, and typically require a network switch that can be configured to meet this flow of data.
5 – Installation
One of the key practical areas to consider when investing in a network switch is whether or not you want to stack a number of switches within an office using a rack mount or a data cabinet, or if you want to use a smaller switch around a desktop to handle a small business or home network. In some cases, it may be more practical to have a dedicated server room for stacking servers and switches.
Patrick Hegarty is a technophile and likes to share his latest findings about good quality network switches with a growing community of online followers.