Frequently Asked Question’s

What is the difference between Smart Managed, Managed & Unmanaged Network Switches?

Smart Managed Switches

smart managed switches

Preparing for future growth can include utilising Smart Managed Switches for network management. The performance-improving features of smart switches can range from basic to complex. By configuring smart switch options, administrators gain greater control over data transmissions, while improving efficiency. In comparison to fully managed switches, intelligent switch models will have some limitations. For example, most do not allow for the management of advanced features, such as IP multi-casting. However, reliable smart switches do support the management of:

  • Quality of Service
  • VLANs
  • Link Aggregation
  • Web Management

If advanced applications are not required, then Smart Managed Switches can be the perfect solution for simple applications for small to medium sized businesses with networks. Some of the specific Smart Managed Switch Ranges available can be found below:

  • Standalone Smart Managed Switches – Purposely designed for small to medium sized businesses which come with high performance, SMB-oriented features and easy management – supporting Voice over IP (VoIP), streaming media, multicasting, security, and many other bandwidth-intensive applications.
  • Multi-Gigabit Ethernet Smart Managed Switches – An ideal solution for businesses with future expansion in mind where the network needs to support speeds greater than 1 gigabit from incoming new multispeed devices.
  • Gigabit Stackable Smart Managed Switches with 10G Copper/Fibre Uplinks – A cost-effective 10G solution with ultimate flexibility in 10-Gigabit connectivity either via copper or fibre.
  • 10-Gigabit Smart Managed Switches – Purposely designed for small to medium sized businesses with cost-effective 10GBASE-T connectivity and advanced L2+/ Layer 3 Lite features.
  • Stackable Smart Managed Switches – Designed for growing networks, providing true stacking capability with high performance, scalability and reliability.
  • Stackable Smart Managed Switches with 10G Uplinks – Suitable for small to medium sized businesses with growing networks, stackable smart managed switches with 10G uplinks and are best paired with 10-gigabit ready servers and network storage systems.

Web Smart Managed Switches

web smart managed switches

More often than not Smart Managed Switches are managed via a web browser which enables users to maintain their networks through intuitive guidance. Web Smart Managed Switches have become a viable solution for businesses with mid-sized networks that require management. Web Smart Switches come with switch management features such as port monitoring, link aggregation. Web Smart Switches also come with a simple Web interface via an embedded Web browser to provide VPN. Typically these switches do not come with SNMP management capabilities or a CLI. Web Smart Switches are also typically managed individually as opposed to group management. Some of the specific Web Smart Switch Ranges available can be found below:


  • Gigabit Smart Managed Plus Switches – Deliver network monitoring, traffic prioritization and network segmentation to small businesses who want more visibility and control on top of plug-and-play connectivity
  • 10-Gigabit/Multi-Gigabit Smart Managed Switches – Cost-effective 10-Gigabit and Multi-Gigabit copper switching solution available for SMBs, workgroups, and even home users

Cloud Smart Managed Switches

Cloud Smart Managed Switches enable monitoring and remote/cloud management of your networks Smart Managed Switches from anywhere. Some of the specific Cloud Smart Managed Switch ranges available can be found below:

  • Smart Managed Cloud Gigabit Switches – Fully-integrated, cloud-manageable devices. All Gigabit models have copper Gigabit Ethernet ports.
  • Smart Managed Cloud Gigabit/10G SFP+ switches – Fully-integrated, cloud-manageable devices. All Gigabit/10G SFP+ models have copper Gigabit Ethernet ports, 2 dedicated Gigabit SFP fibre ports, and 2 dedicated 10G SFP+ fibre ports.

Managed Switches

Managed switches are designed to work for large data centre and enterprise networks. Generally managed switches have a serial port which allow recovery from misconfiguration with minimal downtime. Managed switches also have more intelligent functions like port mirroring and monitoring management, which enables users to prioritise network traffic and get a high degree of control over their networks. Additional Features to Managed Switches include:

  • Quality of Service (QOS)
  • Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
  • Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs)
  • Redundancy
  • Port Mirroring

Unmanaged Switches

Unmanaged Switches enable Ethernet devices such as computers and printers to communicate with each other. Unlike Managed Switches, Unmanaged Switches come with a fixed configuration which are not editable. Primarily Unmanaged Switches are used in small networks where network traffic is light and flows unrestricted between devices without the need for giving priority to packets. Some of the specific Unmanaged Switch Ranges available can be found below:

  • 10-Gigabit/Multi-Gigabit Unmanaged Switches
  • Fast Ethernet Unmanaged Switches
  • Gigabit Unmanaged Switches
What is Fibre Optic Cable?

what is fibre cable?

Multimode and singlemode versions of fibre optic cables come sized for short and longer distance applications. These segments of fibre optic cable are terminated at each end with a connector to create the patch cord. Connectors on the fibre optic patch cord ends include LC, ST, SC and other types. Cable descriptions will list end-to-end connections, such as LC to ST or LC to LC. Singlemode fiber cable is commonly utilized over long distances, while multimode fibre optic cable is designed for shorter-length applications. Both support high speed networks. A fibre optic patch cable (also called patch cord) will come in a variety of jacket colours and should be connected to a similar type of cable.

Types of Fibre Optic Cable

Fibre optic patch cords are assemblies that have been pre-tested to ensure performance standards. Multimode cables are classified as OM1, 2, 3, and 4. Multimode fibre cable specifications include core diameters of 62.5/125 micron for OM1 and 50/125 for the other classifications. This size is printed on the cable. Singlemode are classified as OS1 and 2 with a 9/125 micron core. A cable may be described as an OM3 50/125 fiber optic patch cable, or as a 9/25 singlemode patch cable in 3m length. The OM2 multimode fibre is commonly used in LANs. The 10 Gigabit-capable OM3 is now a preferred choice over OM1.

Duplex Fibre Patch Cable

A duplex fibre patch cable is comprised of dual cores. Both multimode and single-mode can be duplex cable versions with data transmissions via two directions. Simplex cables send data in a single direction. Fibre optic patch cables and pre-terminated fibre optic cable offer convenience. Additional information on fibre optic and UTP patch cable is found at Comms Express.