When designing a network, a network switch is effectively its core, or its “brain”. It’s networking hardware that connects all devices together on a LAN (Local Area Network), redirecting and forwarding data to the correct destination. When running a business, it’s important to ensure that you have a network switch that helps you effectively cover the needs of your entire IT scope.
When it comes to the cost, the comparison is relatively simple. You can find unmanaged switches usually in price ranges from $50 to around $100 (USD) or more. This price usually depends on how many ports you need the switch to have. With managed switches, however, you should expect significantly higher costs. These can range from anywhere in $1500 per port to $2800 (USD) per port. The prices here are more affected by the different features, such as security and access controls that you’re paying for in addition to the switch’s configuration abilities.
managed vs unmanaged switch
Size is not the only thing that matters when deciding on the right switch, as you can get switches with any number of ports, both managed and unmanaged. However, when it comes to smaller networks, such as for small businesses, the home, a single office, or so on, then an unmanaged switch is more likely to be used. Managed switches are better suited to enterprise-sized businesses with a much larger network scope, or for those that use things data centers and need much better control over the traffic within their network.