Managed and unmanaged switches

A switch can be classed as either managed or unmanaged. In a business environment, you are more likely to see a managed switch than an unmanaged switch due to the extra functionality the former offers. However, you may see small unmanaged switches being used in offices where there's a shortage of wall ports.

An unmanaged switch is a network device that ships with a preloaded configuration that cannot be changed and is used purely to allow endpoint devices to communicate with each other. Physically, the unmanaged switch will usually be a small box with a small number of ports. The following picture is an example of a NETGEAR unmanaged switch with five ports. Notice the labeling above the port with the red cable. ...

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