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Top 8 Ethernet Switches Tools

Cisco Ethernet SwitchesNETGEAR SwitchesMikroTik Routers and SwitchesAruba SwitchesUbiquiti UniFi SwitchesJuniper Ethernet SwitchesMeraki MS SwitchesFortinet FortiSwitch - Secure Access
  1. leader badge
    It's all-encompassing and can help you in all these different areas. If people realize that they want something that's going to work, that's pretty foolproof, then Cisco's always worth the investment.
  2. leader badge
    The solution is fast, even though you might not necessarily get the speed out of the internet anyway.For what I used this switch for, it did well.
  3. Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, Netgear, MikroTik and others in Ethernet Switches. Updated: October 2021.
    542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.
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    I like MikroTik's GUI. It's completely handy and easy to handle because of its GUI. Despite other brands like Cisco urging me to switch, I didn't because they don't have a GUI. This is the most comfortable thing in my project that anyone can use easily. It's effortless to maintain MikroTik routers because both screens make it very easy in GUI mode. You can easily interact with your hardware.
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    These switches have a good performance, and they are also quickly configurable. The most valuable features are stability, ease of management, and the monitoring tool.
  6. The performance is good. They also have good prices.Good price point and very simple to use.
  7. Juniper switches are very good with MPLS. The solution is easy to use and has good integration.
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  9. The solution is stable. These switches are not expensive and their configuration is very easy. You can provision them on the dashboard, then you just connect them to everything.
  10. The technical support has been very good.It is very user-friendly. There is no need to use command lines to configure it or to do anything in it. You hardly use command lines, which makes it different from Cisco. In Cisco, the CLI is your best friend. Fortinet has the lowest TCO, so you can use its integrated components without having to buy additional licenses. They provide centralized management without needing to buy or acquire additional licenses. You have an integral or complete vision through a single pane of glass, and you can see everything from one single console without having to buy additional licenses, which is a plus. It works the same way when you add wireless. You can see everything from FortiGate. It has a security processor, which is another plus. It does not have a standard desktop processor. It has a multi-threat security processor, and it is built by Fortinet. So, all the components that you include in a Fortinet solution are proprietary and work in an integral way. It has one sin

How does an Ethernet switch work?

Ethernet switches ensure data packages arrive at their intended destination by connecting devices on a network. Regular network switches include ports up to 28 devices, while corporate Ethernet switches can offer 128 connections.

Network hubs use switches to expand the bandwidth capacity users can share on the network. Large networks may include a number of switches connecting several groups of computer systems together. To build a business network, you need switches to bridge between devices. The switches connect to a router, which enables an Internet connection for the devices.

Some of the activities Ethernet switches can do include:

  • Receiving packets: The switch works at the data level. Connected devices create data packets that are housed in an Ethernet frame. Frames are sequences of information that Ethernet networks move between computers. Typically, a frame includes the source address - the origin of the frame - and the destination address, where the data should go.
  • Processing identifying data: When the switch receives the frame, it reads the identifying information (such as origin and destination) and decides which ports to use so that the data will reach its destination.
  • Sending packets: Once the switch decodes where to forward the packet, it sends it to the destination device. The destination device then receives and decodes the packet.

Ethernet switches provide flexibility for non-wireless networks by connecting a large number of devices to a network. This enables network administrators to monitor traffic and to manage user access. It also allows for communication between devices.

What's the difference between an Ethernet splitter and a switch?

Ethernet splitting is when you split an Ethernet cable into several cables. A splitter is a small plug device with three Ethernet ports, two on one side and one on the other. While they are cheap and this seems like a simple solution, they “divide” the data throughput, reducing it with each split. This will likely affect the performance of your connected devices. A maximum of two devices can be connected per cable.

Ethernet switches are a better option for anything bigger than a home network. You use one port to connect the switch to the router via Ethernet, and then you connect the devices to the remaining ports, like a hub. Even better, the switch decodes the data received, learns where it has to go, and sends it through the right port. Since the switch enables the sending and receiving of data at the same time between devices, it results in a faster network.

Do Ethernet switches reduce speed?

Usually, the opposite is true. Ethernet switches connect different devices to the network and between themselves, enabling them to send and receive data at the same time. This increases the response speed.

There can be cases, however, where you may risk slowing your network. For instance, if the group of machines communicates mostly with each other, there shouldn’t be any problems with performance. But if 100% of the traffic goes to another switch, your uplink speed can be significantly reduced.

Features of Ethernet Switches

When choosing an Ethernet switch, you should look for these must-have features:

  • Speed: Speed requirements are growing exponentially. Switches are available in several configurations: Fast Ethernet (10/100 Mbps), Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mbps), Ten Gigabit (10/100/1000/10,000Mbps).
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE): This feature enables the switch to transmit power and data through the Ethernet cable at the same time. Thus, you don’t need a separate power supply or cable, which reduces costs.
  • Stackable switches: Scalability needs make this feature very important for business networks when there is a need for connecting multiple devices. Stackable switch technology simplifies the availability of the network by treating all switches as single logical devices.

In addition to basic features like receiving, inspecting, and sending packets through the right port, some Ethernet switches also include some of these popular additional features:

  • Storing and forwarding switches: The Ethernet switch reads the data packet incoming through a port. The switch then checks the frame for errors and lets it pass only if it is error-free.
  • Port mirroring: This feature provides a copy of the data from one of the ports of a switch to another port. You can configure the mirrored and mirror port of the switch.
  • Auto-sensing: The switch automatically identifies the transmission rate of a signal.
  • Auto-negotiation: This allows devices to negotiate and agree upon a transmission rate before the first data transmission.

Benefits of Ethernet Switches

Ethernet switches help organizations maximize the efficiency of the available cable. Here are some of the benefits of adding Ethernet switches:

  1. Reliable connectivity - Switched Ethernet (aka managed switches) helps reduce network downtime by reducing latency. Additionally, since managed switches can be customized, organizations can diversify the cable route or add more switches in order to maximize reliability.

  1. Enhanced security - Data breaches are becoming more and more prevalent, so keeping your network secure is critical. Managed Ethernet switches control the information going through a network. This allows only the necessary information to pass through, after verifying that it is coming from a trusted device.

  1. Scalability - Switches are easy to scale up, and therefore are an attractive solution for organizations that are growing quickly. Ethernet switches allow for private switching over public networks so they can adjust to future growth.

  1. Application agnostic - Most managed Ethernet switches are application agnostic. This means organizations can integrate the applications needed to run their business, such as cloud-based services, file sharing, or bookkeeping.

Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco, Netgear, MikroTik and others in Ethernet Switches. Updated: October 2021.
542,721 professionals have used our research since 2012.