To understand basic networking, you first need an answer to the question, What is a network switch?
Most business networks today use switches to connect computers, printers, phones, cameras, lights, and servers in a building or campus.
A switch serves as a controller, enabling networked devices to talk to each other efficiently. Through information sharing and resource allocation, switches save businesses money and increase employee productivity.
An unmanaged switch works right out of the box. It's not designed to be configured, so you don't have to worry about installing or setting it up correctly. Unmanaged switches have fewer features and less network capacity than managed switches. You'll usually find unmanaged switches in home networking equipment.
A managed network switch is configurable, offering greater security, flexibility, and capacity than an unmanaged switch. You can monitor and adjust a managed switch locally or remotely, to give you greater network control.
What is an unmanaged switch?
An unmanaged network switch is designed so that you can simply plug them in and they work, no configuration required. Unmanaged switches are typically for basic connectivity. You'll often see them used in home networks or wherever a few more ports are needed, such as at your desk, in a lab, or in a conference room.
A network switch is a hardware device that channels incoming data from multiple input ports to a specific output port that will take it toward its intended destination. It is a small device that transfers data packets between multiple network devices such as computers, routers, servers or other switches.
In a local area network (LAN) using Ethernet, a network switch determines where to send each incoming message frame by looking at the physical device address (also known as the Media Access Control address or MAC address). Switches maintain tables that match each MAC address to the port which the MAC address is received.
What is a managed switch?
Managed switches give you greater security and more features and flexibility, because you can configure them to custom-fit your network. With this greater control, you can better protect your network and improve the quality of service for those who access the network.