Network switches are characterized by a large number of parameters. Let’s analyze the most important of them, available for understanding by the average user.
What do you need a switch for?
A network switch is a device designed to connect several nodes of a computer network within one or more network segments. And if simpler, the switch is used to combine several computers into one network.
The switch is sometimes called a multiport bridge. While a typical bridge has only two ports, a switch has several tens to hundreds of ports depending on the model. Like bridges, switches receive certain information from data packets from different computers on the network. This information is then used to construct data-switched tables, which are then used to determine the direction of data flows sent by one network computer to another.
There are three switching modes:
- With intermediate storage. The switch reads the information, checks it for errors, and then passes it to the recipient.
- The switch only reads the address of the port to receive the information and forwards it immediately. This mode is much faster than the previous one.
- Fragmentless. This mode is a combination of the previous two, ie the transfer is carried out after certain filtering.
Overview of opportunities
The switch stores in its own internal memory a switching table, which contains all the relationships between ports and MAC addresses of computers (MAC address is a unique identifier that is assigned to each structural unit of computer networks. This address is always unique). When you switch on the switch for the first time, this table is empty and it is operating in learning mode. In this mode, the information coming to any of the ports is transmitted to all other ports of the switch. The switch analyzes all the frames and, having determined the MAC address of the sender, enters it in the table and saves it.
Top 5 the best network switches alternatives
The switch allows users to communicate in parallel through the use of virtual channels and create dedicated network segments, free from collisions. The second advantage is the ability to reuse existing hardware and cable infrastructure, which makes the transition to the use of switches financially efficient.
The switch has significantly improved the transfer of large files through the use of Jumbo-frames of 10 KB. Buffer size – 2Mb. The use of Green Ethernet technology saves up to 60% of electricity consumption.
3. D-link DGS-1100-05
This is a compact five-port switch, which supports a wide range of features and capabilities, so you can apply a wide range of tasks. This switch supports Surveillance VLAN technology, which allows you to deploy an efficient video surveillance system with video traffic priority.
4. ZYXEL GS1900-24E
In terms of price/functionality/quality, this is one of the most successful models. The capacity of the MAC address table is 8 Kb. The device supports a wide range of network standards, including IGMP filtering, channel aggregation, half-duplex communication, etc.
5. Linksys LGS116P
It is an unmanaged 16-port desktop Gigabit business switch series that supports QoS to ensure bandwidth priority for individual connected devices even in congested networks.